Skip to main content

Your taxes at play: Government building transformed into enormous LED Tetris game

People can and will argue unendingly about how governments should spend their citizens’ money. One idea we could absolutely get on board with? Turning sprawling government buildings into giant makeshift gaming monitors.

That’s what recently happened in Israel, where last week a giant Tetris tournament was held on the side of the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality building — designed to mark the upcoming DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival, scheduled for later this month.

Related Videos

“Last year we installed 480 LED lights, which created a 3,000 square meter screen,” Mira Marcus, international press director for Tel Aviv Global, told Digital Trends. “For the last few months we have used the screen for advertising matters — as an example, we lit it up with a huge rainbow flag during Pride Week. A few weeks ago, we decided to transform the municipality into a gaming screen. Gil Teichman, an Israeli lighting expert, was involved in the process. We placed two huge joysticks at Rabin Square and invited residents and visitors to play against each other.”

The event was enormously successful, with a long line of gamers queuing up to play until midnight.

Other titles playable on the building-sized screen include Snake, the game popularized by Nokia cellphones in the 1990s, and the first-ever sports arcade game, Pong. “We chose Tetris, Snake, and Pong as games that are familiar to the wide public, easy to play, and the screen has the technical capability to display,” Marcus said.

And don’t be sad if you’re planning a trip to Israel but are afraid of missing the Tetris tournament. The giant screen will be made available every Thursday evening after dark for the public to play and enjoy.

Now we just need to start an online petition to persuade our own government to bring a similar innovation over here. We can’t imagine they’ll be a shortage of signatures.

Editors' Recommendations

Alexey Pajitnov still hasn’t mastered Tetris, the game he invented 35 years ago
tetris gameboy

Tetris first fell into the hands of players in 1984. Created by Alexey Pajitnov, a Russian software developer living in Moscow at the time, Tetris still has the attention of players almost 35 years later.

It's a simple game with a complex history. Tetris was inspired by a puzzle board game called “Pentominos” which featured wooden shapes comprised of five blocks. Two to three players place the wooden shapes on a board with the goal of being the last player to set a piece down. Tetris tweaked the idea to create the puzzle game players have enjoyed for 35 years.

Read more
Snapchat could soon let you play games in between your selfies

You may have dozens of games installed on your mobile device already, but Snapchat wants to have fun without ever leaving the app. If a new report is accurate, the Snapchat app will launch an integrated gaming platform in April.

According to Cheddar, the mobile gaming platform called "Project Cognac" will allow Snapchat users to play games from directly in the app. The games will be developed by outside companies rather than Snap Inc. itself, and it's unclear exactly which games will be available when the platform launches. It will apparently be announced during a content and development partners summit on April 4, which will take place in Los Angeles.

Read more
Reader Poll: Build your own gaming desktop, or let someone else take care of it?
Installing RAM in a desktop PC.

Gaming desktops come in all shapes and sizes. From the pint-sized powerhouses to the giant machines built for storage and stability, there are too many ways to put it all together, and while some choices are wacky, few are outright wrong, if they fit the user. Which brings us to our weekly reader poll. When it comes to gaming desktops, do you like to build your own, pick one up off the shelf, or pay a bit more for something custom-tailored for you and assembled by a professional?

Read more