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Towering Game of 'Tetris' Highlights Drexel Involvement in Philly Tech Week

Cira Tetris

March 31, 2014

A 29-story game of “Tetris” will be the star of the show this Friday as the fourth annual Philly Tech Week gets underway, but a number of Dragons will take part in the weeklong celebration of technology and innovation in Philadelphia. 

Frank Lee, PhD, an associate professor in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and director of Drexel’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio, is bringing the skyscraper-sized rendition of the arcade classic to the sides of Brandywine Realty Trust’s Cira Centre office building.

More than 100 people will get the opportunity to setup up to the joystick for a game of Cira Centre “Tetris” in honor of the game’s 30th anniversary. Celebrity players will include Mayor Michael Nutter, Tetris Company founder Henk Rogers and Brandywine Realty Trust Executive Vice President Jeff DeVuono. For a chance to play, sign up for the online lottery here.

In addition to the massive video game, Friday’s Arcade at the Oval event, which will run from 7-10 p.m. at Eakins Oval, will feature locally made video games and other technology to test out. Among the local gaming companies on display is Dumb and Fat Games, a mobile game startup founded by Drexel undergraduate Greg Lobanov.

Earlier in the day on April 4, the Philadelphia Robotics Expo will take place at the University of Pennsylvania. The annual expo and competition features exhibits and scrimmages by local FIRST Robotics teams, as well as tours of robotics labs at Drexel and Penn.

On Saturday, April 5 Drexel will host a workshop for machinists and makers or anyone interested in learning the fundamentals of computer numerical control (CNC) manufacturing and prototyping. Engineers from Carbide Labs will present on computer-aided drawing and machining from 4-6 p.m. in the Mechanical Engineering Seminar Room (Randell Hall, Room 162).

For those who missed Friday night’s “Tetris” spectacle, or in case the event is rained out, Sunday, April 6, will be a second chance to play the giant video game at Eakins Oval from 8-10 p.m. All players will be chosen at random. Sign up here for a chance to play.

Also on campus, on Thursday, April 10, a discussion of “The State of Arts & Tech in Philadelphia” will feature Neville Vaccaria, an assistant professor and research director in Westphal College, as a panelist. The discussion will look at the concurrent growth of technology and the arts, the challenges they face and the benefits this growth will have for Philadelphia. The panel discussion will be in the URBN Center from 7-9 p.m. 

Friday, April 11, is College of Computing & Informatics Day at Tech Week. Visitors to Behrakis Grand Hall in the Creese Student Center can learn about Drexel’s newest college and get a hands-on look at some of the exciting research taking place at the CCI.

To check out the full schedule of Philly Tech Week’s 110 technology-focused events. visit www.phillytechweek.com.