The PixelTron is a project Liz and I created for the 2012 Northern Spark outdoor lighting festival in Minneapolis. Originally called the PixelTron150, it is a 15 x 10 grid of pixels, each measuring 6” on a side, leading to an overall screen size of 7.5’ x 5’ x 8”, housed in a custom-built arcade cabinet that stood 8’ tall and 8’ wide, with a total depth of about 4’.
Each pixel is lit from behind by a single color-changing LED, similar to the kind used for the lights on the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.
The PixelTron accepts an arbitrary video signal and can be used to show absolutely any image, game, or video imaginable. However I created a custom game for the festival, a 3-player racing game called Low-Rez Racer that was designed specifically for a resolution of 15 pixels by 10 pixels.
As part of Northern Spark, the game was installed on the Minneapolis Riverwalk near the Stone Arch Bridge between sundown and sunup, and was played near-constantly the entire time by people aged 5 to 65 and of varying levels of sobriety, totaling about 2000 players in one night. We received kind words from many passers-by, including Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, representatives of the Walker Art Center, and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune.