Your chance to play Pong on the side of a huge building

Better brush up on your Pong skills. Later this month, people will have a shot at playing one of the world's largest video games on the 83,360-square-foot face of a Philadelphia building.

Cira Centre
The Cira Centre will soon host a battle of the Pong paddles. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Frank Lee is a man with a dream. The co-founder and co-director of the Game Design Program at Drexel University has been staring longingly at the Cira Centre in Philadelphia, a massive building with a matrix of LED lights on the exterior. He imagined turning it into one of the world's biggest video games. Later this month, that bold dream will come true.

Lee's 4-year-long quest will culminate on April 19 and April 24 when he hands the controls of a giant Pong game over to Philly residents. Due to time constraints, fewer than 100 lucky gamers will get a chance to play. Certain student groups are already in line to participate, but other players will be selected via lottery.

The 29-story Cira Centre will become a 83,360-square-foot monitor. Players will be situated across the river from the building to get a good view of the action. The game will run thanks to a custom software program that will control the LED lights. Lee and his colleagues have already successfully tested the concept.

"I can't tell you how excited I was to see a single light come up in the middle, and it began moving around in our version of the game Snake," Lee says in a Drexel announcement on the project. "The idea and the vision of the game has been in my mind for so long and to finally be able to see it on the building was a thrill."

Lee hopes the giant Pong will inspire all who behold it. "I hope this project will help people look at gaming in a more positive light, as a way to bring people together both young and old," he says. You still have time to put your name in the lottery. Let us know if you win a place at the Pong paddle.

 

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