MIT students turn whole building into huge game of Tetris

By Paul Ridden

The two-hundred and ninety-five feet (ninety meter) tall Building 54 on MIT’s Cambridge campus has become the canvas for a number of carefully planned and daringly executed visual displays over the years, not strictly allowed by the administration but often looked upon with some appreciation. The building is home to the Institute’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science (EAPS) and has a host of meteorological instruments and radio communications equipment on its roof – but its the grid-like windows to the front that have become the main attraction to hackers, as they are known. The latest hack is the successful realization of a long-standing challenge, a huge playable game of Tetris.

No doubt most readers are familiar with Tetris. First developed in Russia, the ubiquitous tile-matching video game has players rotate and move random geometrically-shaped blocks as they fall from the top of the screen to try and make gap-free horizontal lines at the bottom. When a full line is created, it disappears from the matrix playing area but lines containing gaps remain onscreen until there’s no more room for the blocks to fall and the game is lost.

All photos courtesy of Erik Nygren.

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