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Giant Tetris Game Lights up the Shell Building from Jubilee Gardens


On Thursday 11th December 2014, the riverside windows of the Shell Centre in London’s South Bank were transformed – live and unannounced - into a giant computer game using hundreds of light bulbs. The Tetris-style game was the spectacular finale to the first programme in a demonstration packed  CHRISTMAS LECTURES series called ‘Sparks will fly: How to hack your home’ filmed at the Royal Institution of Great Britain and due to air on UK TV this Christmas.

A volunteer from the live audience, Harrison Wood, age 14, from Brighton was selected at random on the night and whisked from the Royal Institution theatre in Mayfair to Jubilee Gardens on the South Bank to take control of the game as a surprise pre-Christmas treat for tourists and visitors on the South Bank.

The project is the brainchild of Professor Danielle George, an electrical engineer from The University of Manchester. The entire demonstration was created using only affordable everyday items such as desktop lamps, connected LED light bulbs and baking paper stuck on the windows to diffuse the light. The child’s handheld controller was made from intelligent putty called Sugru and a Makey Makey board communicated the child’s instructions to a laptop. The laptop then sent the instructions to the lights using WiFi.

The demonstration was made possible with the help of a fantastic collaboration of organisations and individuals including Shell, B&Q, Philips Hue, South Bank Employers’ Group, Jubilee Gardens Trust, and London Hackspace.

‘The Light Bulb Moment’ will be broadcast on BBC FOUR on 29 December 2014 at 8 p.m. Find out more about full programme for the The Royal Institution 2014 CHRISTMAS LECTURES here

Tetris Game on Jubilee Gardens South Bank London - Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 2014