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Playing video games on a handheld console is fun, but wouldn't it be even more so on the wall of a giant 29-story skyscraper with thousands of people joining in? That's exactly what Drexel University's Professor Frank Lee had in mind when he organized 'The Grandest Game of Pong on the Planet', to kick off Philadelphia'stech week, earlier this year.
While the gaming event that took place over two days on April 19th and April 24th, was a big success, it took the folks at Guinness Book of World Records a few months to verify if it was the biggest ever played. On November 15th, 2013, they finally declared it to be the 'Largest architectural video game display in the world.'
This recognition is particularly gratifying given that it took the professor, who is also the director of the school's game development program, five years to fulfill his dream. Mr. Lee says that he first thought of the idea whilst driving by the beautiful building in 2008, when for some reason the sparkling lights flickering around, made him think of early video games like Tetris and Pong.
But it was not until 2013, that he was able to convince the building and city officials, and transform the 430ft-tall wall into a 60,000 square-foot screen with hundreds of embedded LED lights replicating the familiar balls and paddles all controlled by a joystick that was situated a mile away.
In case you are wondering, Pong is the first successful commercial video game to ever come to market. Introduced by Atari about 41 years ago, it marked the beginning of today's multi-billion dollar gaming industry, as well as, the billions of obsessed video game fans!