Pop-Up Pong Game Promotes Storefront Interaction
NYU pop-up space features a larger-than-life pong game that encourages users to make real-time connections
New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) has partnered with experiential design agency Urban Matter Inc. to develop an interactive storefront based on the classic 80s arcade game Pong. The project, titled Play Array, allows users to interact with a larger-than-life pong display hosted in a storefront pop-up space and aims to encourage participation in a public space.
Prompted to connect to the domain Playpong.me, any passerby can interact with the game by using their personal smartphone—in a motion that mimics that of driving a car—to control the game’s iconic paddles and defeat a passing by opponent. Each player is assigned “green” or “purple” as reflected in the LED colors, and is allotted five misses before it’s GAME OVER. The game’s LED-lit bulbs are made from polyethylene and are held in place by low budget milk crates.
Beyond the more practical urban studies, the game is representative of the increasingly large industry of videogames and e-sports. As gaming at large continues to permeate our culture, artists and creators will continue to push the envelope, accelerating advancements in this technology, and exploring different ways to merge online gaming with real-time experiences.