fb-pixel Skip to main content
Students could play “Tetris” on the side of the Green Building on MIT’s campus.
Students could play “Tetris” on the side of the Green Building on MIT’s campus.Steve Annear/Globe Staff

Tetris, anyone?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was at it again this weekend with a colorful display of innovation: a giant game of Tetris that could be played on the side of the school’s Green Building.

Students and others passing through part of the school’s campus were greeted Friday and Saturday nights with the puzzle game, which lit up the building's windows and could be seen from the Boston side of the Charles River.

A control board consisting of four buttons embedded into a lectern was positioned in front of Building 54, or the Green Building, as it’s also known, allowing people to move the brightly-colored blocks into position. The blocks crawled along the structure’s large windows, which served as the grid for the game.


If someone lost, all of the stacked blocks would appear to fall to the bottom of the building, in a cascade of neon colors.

The interactive “hack” was set up during MIT’s “Campus Preview Weekend,” an annual event that gives accepted students a chance to wander the school’s expansive Cambridge campus and see what the institution has to offer.

The Green Building, which has a total of 153 windows that the game is played on, faces the Back Bay area. It is home to the schools earth and planetary sciences department.

The “hack” was first pulled off in 2012, according to The Tech, MIT’s student newspaper. The publication said that displaying the game on the building was “the culmination of over four-and-a-half years of work by an undisclosed number of hackers.”

According to a history of the “hack,” wirelessly-controlled LED boards were installed onto each of the window sills of the building, creating the display.

The original hackers made arrangements with the department to keep the boards in place so Tetris could be enjoyed by future potential students.


Steve Annear can be reached at steve.annear@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.