CLOSE

8 Awesome Videogame Quilts

I love the concept of combining the old and the new. Quilting is an oh-so-useful craft that goes back hundreds of years. Recycling scraps of fabric to make a sturdy bedcover has been elevated to an art form. It seems anachronistic at first glance, but 8-bit pixelated arcade game icons lend themselves well to the design of patchwork quilts.

1. Galaga Quilt
435_galaga.jpg

Emily at Carolina Patchworks made this quilt depicting the arcade game Galaga. It's for sale at Etsy.

2. Quiltbert

435_qbert.jpg

Lenore at Evil Mad Scientist adapted the traditional "tumbling blocks" quilt pattern and made a pieced quilt based on the videogame Q*bert!

3. Mega Man

435_megaman.jpg

Mega Man is just one of Punzie's videogame designs for quilts and pillows. You can buy them through her Etsy store, Rapunzel's Tower, but she connot guarantee Christmas delivery on new orders now.

4. Pacman

435_pacman014lv.jpg

The maker of this Pacman quilt posted at Kotaku isn't identified, but you can click for a closer view at the site. It seems to be a counted cross-stitch project!

5. Super Mario

435_mario.jpg

Marie at DIY-namite made this Super Mario quilt from two-inch squares ...a lot of them. She shares the instructions in two parts, here and here. See more pictures of the project at Flickr.

6. Mario mushroom quilt

435_mushroom.jpg

Flickr user 3j0hn pieced together two-inch squares to make a Mario Mushroom quilt!

7. Space Invaders

435_spaceinvaders.jpg

Here you see Craftster rainbowmeow working on her Space Invaders quilt. It was her first quilt, and turned out wonderfully.

8. Zelda quilt

435_zelda-full-2.jpg

Quilters are not limited to 8-bit icons! This awesome Zelda Wind Waker wallhanging was quilted by AGiES' mother over several months. She even hand-dyed some of the fabrics!

If anyone knows of a World of Warcraft quilt, I'd like to see it!

nextArticle.image_alt|e
"American Mall," Bloomberg
arrow
fun
Unwinnable Video Game Challenges You to Keep a Shopping Mall in Business
"American Mall," Bloomberg
"American Mall," Bloomberg

Shopping malls, once the cultural hub of every suburb in America, have become a punchline in the e-commerce era. There are plenty of malls around today, but they tend to be money pits, considering the hundreds of "dead malls" haunting the landscape. Just how hard is it to keep a mall afloat in the current economy? American Mall, a new video game from Bloomberg, attempts to give an answer.

After choosing which tycoon character you want as your stand-in, you're thrown into a mall—rendered in 1980s-style graphics—already struggling to stay in business. The building is filled with rats and garbage you have to clean up if you want to keep shoppers happy. Every few seconds you're contacted by another store owner begging you to lower their rent, and you must either take the loss or risk them packing up for good. When stores are vacated, it's your job to fill them, but it turns out there aren't too many businesses interested in setting up shop in a dying mall.

You can try gimmicks like food trucks and indoor playgrounds to keep customers interested, but in the end your mall will bleed too much money to support itself. You can try playing the bleak game for yourself here—maybe it will put some of the retail casualties of the last decade into perspective.

[h/t Co.Design]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
Live Smarter
Why the Soundtracks to Games Like 'Mario' or 'The Sims' Can Help You Work
iStock
iStock

When I sat down to write this article, I was feeling a little distracted. My desk salad was calling me. I had new emails in my inbox to read. I had three different articles on my to-do list, and I couldn't decide which to start first. And then, I jumped over to Spotify and hit play on the theme to The Sims. As I listened to the upbeat, fast-paced, wordless music, my writing became faster and more fluid. I felt more “in the zone,” so to speak, than I had all morning. There's a perfectly good explanation: Video games provide the ideal productivity soundtrack. At Popular Science, Sara Chodosh explains why video game music can get you motivated and keep you focused while you work, especially if you're doing relatively menial tasks. It's baked into their composition.

There are several reasons to choose video game music over your favorite pop album. For one, they tend not to have lyrics. A 2012 study of more than 100 people found that playing background music with lyrics tended to distract participants while studying. The research suggested that lyric-less music would be more conducive to attention and performance in the workplace. Another study conducted in open-plan offices in Finland found that people were better at proofreading if there was some kind of continuous, speechless noise going on in the background. Video game music would fit that bill.

Plus, video game music is specifically made not to distract from the task at hand. The songs are meant to be listened to over and over again, fading into the background as you navigate Mario through the Mushroom Kingdom or help Link save Zelda. My friend Josie Brechner, a composer who has scored the music for video games like the recently released Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King, says that game music is definitely written with this in mind.

"Basically, successful video game music straddles the balance between being engaging and exciting, but also not wanting to make you tear your ears off after the 10th or 100th listen," Brechner says. Game music often has a lot of repetition, along with variation on musical themes, to keep the player engaged but still focused on what they're playing, "and that translates well to doing other work that requires focus and concentration."

If you're a particularly high-strung worker, you might want to tune into some relaxing classical music or turn on a song specifically designed to calm you. But if you want to finish those expense reports on a Monday morning, you're better off choosing a fast-tempo ditty designed for seemingly pointless activities like making your Sims eat and go to the toilet regularly. (It can help you with more exciting work responsibilities, too: Other research has found that moderate background noise can increase performance on creative tasks.)

These types of songs work so well that there are entire playlists online devoted just to songs from video game soundtracks that work well for studying. One, for instance, includes songs written for The Legend of Zelda, Skyrim, Super Smash Bros., and other popular games.

The effect of certain theme songs on your productivity may, however, depend on your particular preferences. A 2010 study of elementary school students found that while calming music could improve performance on math and memory tests, music perceived as aggressive or unpleasant distracted them. I was distracted by the deep-voiced chanting of the "Dragonborn Theme" from Skyrim, but felt charged up by the theme from Street Fighter II. There's plenty of variety in video game scores—after all, a battle scene doesn't call for the same type of music as a puzzle game. Not all of them are going to work for you, but by their nature, you probably don't need a lot of variation in your work music if you're using video game soundtracks. If you can play a game for days on end, you can surely listen to the same game soundtrack over and over again.

[h/t Popular Science]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios