Geeks Hijack Olafur Eliasson’s Concert Hall for Giant PONG Game

A game of PONG begins on the exterior of the Harpa concert hall.
Photo: Via Levu.


A game of PONG unfolds on the exterior of the Harpa concert hall.
Photo: Via Levu.

All that was required of players to harness one of the giant paddles was a smart phone. Upon connecting to a wireless network at a chosen spot overlooking the concert hall, the phones served as controllers to manipulate their onscreen paddles.

The project, dubbed Harpa Pong, was a collaboration between Atli Bollason, a designer, and Owen Hindley, a programmer, and was sponsored by Harpa and cell phone giant Vodafone. “Today, computer games become sort of synonymous with solitude,” Bollason said. “So I thought it was interesting to have an open-air arcade, so to speak.” The project ran nightly from August 23–31, between 9:30 p.m. and 2 a.m.


The Harpa concert hall in Reykjavik.
Photo: Andreas Blome/Wikimedia Commons.

News of the King Kong-sized PONG game, naturally, reminds us of the great MIT Tetris hack of 2012, another ambitious architectural takeover in the name of gaming, albeit one that was not bankrolled by a telecommunications multinational—or even sanctioned by the university on whose campus it took place.

Watch footage of Harpa Pong in action:

[h/t Creators Project]

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