Playing video games and doing laundry are two activities that don't go well together at all, unless you're Kingston University design student Lee Wei Chen, who has used his magical powers to combine to join the two tasks in unholy matrimony.
In my household, laundry day generally works like this: Put in a load of laundry, play a video game as it goes through, and get so caught up in said game that when I finally get back to the laundry it needs to go through again to lose that mildewy scent. It's a far-from-perfect method of not getting the job done, and one of the main reasons I spend so much time hiding inside my apartment.
Chen, realising gaming is a giant time sink, decide to not only join laundry and gaming in one machine, but to entwine the success of one with the other. The laundry cycle lasts as long as the player of the game. Should the player die before the cycle ends he or she will have to insert coins to continue. What a glorious idea.
Chen's course leader, Colin Holden, says, ‘He's chosen two instantly recognisable objects — a washing machine and an arcade game — to illustrate this idea. Together the two objects produce a striking new electronic device. It's an extremely well-executed design concept.'
Not only does the machine let you do your laundry while gaming, if you perform particularly well at whatever game is involved you're actually kicking your laundry's arse. I approve of this.
This machine and others will be on display at the London Design Festival at Tent, the Truman Brewery, from September 22-25. If you're in the area, I highly suggest you do whatever you can to keep me from making a "give it a spin" joke.