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'5th Ave. Frogger' adds gaming's deadliest enemy: New York drivers

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5th Ave. Frogger is a re-imagination of the classic arcade game using a camera and motion tracking software to reproduce the traffic on 5th Ave. inside the game.

5th ave frogger
5th ave frogger

Frogger — the video game with the frog that runs across a busy street — has been around for more than 30 years, but now it's being brought to new life (or rather, life is being brought to it) in New York City. 5th Ave. Frogger uses a classic arcade cabinet, a camera, and some motion tracking software to make the cars in the game a real-time reproduction of the chaos that is NYC traffic; the cars you dodge in the game are representations of the cars that are actually hurtling by on 5th Avenue.

The cabinet is original, but the game, motion tracking, and number crunching software all run on a PC stuffed into a hidden chamber in the base, tucked away from players. The game's culturally-minded creators Tyler DeAngelo, Renee Lee, and Ranjit Bhatnagar are trying to get their project featured in the Art of Video Games exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, something you can help with by bombarding the exhibit's Facebook site with comments. Also, if you're wondering what exactly goes into creating a real-life game of Frogger, be sure to check the blog link below for all the gritty details.