Pong gets bigger than ever (literally)

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Last week Friday saw classic Atari game Pong reach heights it has never seen before, thanks to a team from Drexel University in Philadelphia. The team has converted Pong into a game that can be played on the side of a building using its lights, in this case the Cira Centre which resides near the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Getting the game working involved essentially hacking the LED lights used by the Cira Centre. Each of the centre’s lights have their own IP address and can be operated independently via the building’s private network. Drexel University computer science professor Frank Lee, who came up with the monster video game, said of getting the game working “If I could figure out what the commands, the packets, were that were being fed to the lights, then I could interactively turn them on and off, which is basically the basis for any game.”

Part of the work needed to code the building-sized game was already done, thanks to an open-source project on GitHub, and the team was able to get the game running relatively easily as a result. The game is played using a joystick connected to a MacBook Pro, which also holds all of the game files. The MacBook connects to the building via VPN and commands are transmitted to the building wirelessly over 4G.

Ars Technica’s Andrew Cunningham has posted a video to YouTube of the massive Pong game in action.

Source: Ars Technica

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