The Largest Game Of Tetris On A 29-Story Skyscraper

Philly Tech Week started with a bang by featuring two competing winners playing Tetris on the sides of a 29-story skyscraper.

Philadelphia's revered Philly Tech Week began with a memorable spectacle celebrating Tetris' 30th anniversary. The largest Tetris game ever played is now a record-breaking 100,000 square feet on opposite sides of a 29-story Philadelphia skyscraper. 

So, What's Going On?

Frank Lee, an associate professor of digital media at Drexel University, is already recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for creating the world's largest game of Pong last year (also on the side of the Cira Centre building). 

This year, he continued his "personal love letter to the games that [he] loved when [he] was a child" by dedicating his expertise to creating the world's largest scaled Tetris game. 


Who Got To Play?

Core challengers included Frank Lee and Hank Rogers, Tetris company president. 

City residents were able to sign up for the competition via lottery. The rest stood in line patiently for his/her turn while cheering exuberantly when competitors succeeded and muttering obscene remarks when the contestant at bat made a wrong move. 

A blog detailing the chronological events of the night quoted insults such as 

“This guy should be ashamed of himself.”
“You’re in a tailspin, buddy. Just die already.” 
“This moron has to be looking at the wrong building.”
“Is that where you put a f—king square? Jackass.”
“I’m losing faith in humanity by the minute.”

The Everlasting Game

Rogers commented during the event that "he can't believe the longevity of Tetris." The puzzle game, designed and programmed by Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, has stood the test of time by still holding significant weight decades later. 

"If a game lasts a year, that's amazing," said Rogers, now managing director of The Tetris Co. "They usually go out of style very quickly." -Yahoo! News

It's no secret that in the world of technology and adaptation, it's a difficult task to capture someone's attention, even harder to keep it. The fact that Tetris's impact is still steamrolling the gaming scene, and doing it well, is an incredible, inspiring accomplishment 

Uniting The City Through One Game

"While gaming crowds are known to be fairly civilized, Philadelphia crowds are not," wrote Abdullah Saeed, a blogger who got the privilege to compete in the Tetris festivities. 

However, with dramatic uproar among the streets of Philadelphia, inhabitants were camping out, standing in massive lines, and together a part of a monumental social event. 

Lee can happily admit to silencing many of the video game naysayers by uniting a community through a shared love of one block-dropping enterprise.

Isn't that what games are about? 

Published Apr. 7th 2014
View Comments
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    That is absolutely awesome!
  • Fathoms_4209
    Featured Columnist
    It's undoubtedly one of the coolest things EVER.

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