Philadelphia is getting ready for a supersized game of “Pong” – on the side of a skyscraper.
The classic Atari video game will be re-created later this month on the facade of the 29-story Cira Centre, where hundreds of embedded LED lights will replicate the familiar paddles and ball.
Organizers expect hundreds of onlookers as gaming enthusiasts use giant, table-mounted joysticks to play from afar. The players will be standing on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a site that offers an unobstructed view of the office building from across the Schuylkill River.
“‘Pong’ is a cultural icon, cultural milestone,” said Frank Lee, the Drexel University game-design professor behind the concept. “This is my love letter to the wonders of technology as seen through the eyes of my childhood.”
Despite the buzz the idea has received since being announced Wednesday, Lee said it took five years to find people willing to make it happen. He eventually met kindred spirits at Brandywine Realty Trust, which owns the Cira Centre, and at the online news site Technically Philly.
Now, what might be the world’s largest “Pong” game will be played April 19 and 24 as part of Philly Tech Week, the news website’s annual series of events, seminars and workshops spotlighting the city’s technology and innovation communities.