SVG version of the screenshot found at Image:E...

Classic Tetris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadephia’s ‘Tech Week‘ started its fun and games over the weekend; literally, in fact, with a high rise game of Tetris played on the side of the city’s Cira Center.

The city’s 29-story tower, which stands 437 feet tall, hosted an impressively grand tournament of the classic video game for hundreds of fans attending the nine day event.

Take a look at the video below to watch some hardy gamers braving the cold night to patiently wait for those long thin pieces that make all the difference!

The game was certainly a celebration of the fun technology brings, but it also embraces the wider concept of using public spaces and city buildings for art and entertainment.

Frank Lee, an artist and programmer at Philly’s Drexel University spearheaded the initiative and gives the city one up on established electronic attractions in neighboring New York City. The Empire State Building, for example, has its own constantly changing light show (not to mention a dedicated Twitter account to tell us what that night’s lights represent) and Times Square is a well known mecca for visitors seeking a dazzling visual display. But as far as we know, neither have been turned into a giant video game!

English: Times Square

English: Times Square (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Artists often envisage these spaces in ways that most of us cannot and technology is increasingly being used to help them share those visions with the rest of us.

Another example comes from the Art Everywhere project, which this summer will bring a number of famous works by dozens of American artists to public spaces and displays across the country. In addition to advancing technology, private commerce also feeds into this initiative, as an advertising trade group has put up substantial funds to share the work across billboards, electronic ads, and various other display spaces that would typically be used to generate revenue rather than cultural reverie.

So on your next commute or trip downtown, take time to look up and around. You might just get an opportunity to view a piece of high art… or at least a chance to beat someone’s high score!

Enhanced by Zemanta