The “Amusement Washing Machine” designed by a Kingston University student is designed to make the tiresome chore of washing clothes a little more pleasant, as long as you don’t suck at videogames.
Doing the laundry is kind of a drag and especially so, I would imagine, if you have no idea how to actually do it. But those folks who spent the first 30 or so years of their lives playing videogames while their moms washed their sweaty t-shirts for them can now breathe a little easier thanks to Kingston Universty student Lee Wei Chen and his “Amusement Washing Machine,” a hybrid appliance that promises to make the job a little easier for people whose life experiences tend to be on the unpractical side.
“I realized that the skills I had developed in the virtual world were useless in the real world. I wanted to make them useful,” Chen told Creative Boom. So he hooked up a washing machine to a stand-up arcade cabinet that gives players three lives in exchange for three one-pound coins, worth about $4.50 in total. As players complete the game’s stages, the washing machine progresses automatically through its cycles, but if they blow it, everything comes to a halt until they put in more money.
The actual nature of the game in the cabinet, whether it’s something Chen ported or designed and programmed himself, isn’t known, and although he said he hopes the design will help him secure a job in the U.K., the practical value of his creation is a little hazy too. “I don’t even know how to choose the program,” he admitted. Apparently in his world, it’s easier to integrate the circuitry of a Kenmore and a Q*Bert than it is to take a minute to figure out the difference between hot, cold and permanent press.
The “Amusement Washing Machine” and other works by Kingston University students will be on display at Tent London, running from September 22 to 25 at the Old Truman Brewery.