11 Housewarming Gifts for the Dedicated Gamer

Since we brought you The Retro Fun and Games House, I've found a lot more products that will make serious gamers feel right at home in their own homes. Some are for sale; others are handcrafted, so you may have to plan ahead for a special occasion.

1. Space Invaders Bath Towels

These Space Invaders bath towels come in two colors and three designs to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the game (which was last year). Don't worry about whether it will match your bathroom's decor; the colors are black and white. The same outlet also has a Space Invaders Pillow.

2. Gamer Soap


DigitalSoaps makes bars of soap in the shape of game controllers! Xbox, NES, and PlayStation contoller-shaped soaps are available, as well as soaps shaped like cell phones, calculators, and Space Invaders. They even have Mountain Dew shampoo for the diehard geek.

3. Iceblox


Iceblox is an ice cube tray that gives you ice in the shape of game pieces we all know and love. You can amplify the effect of serving drinks by using Koolade to make your ice in bright colors. Designed by Martin Zampach. If you prefer, another ice tray called Ice Invaders gives you the shape of yet more familiar game icons.

4. PacMan Oven Mitt


Every kitchen needs oven mitts and pot holders. Only a special kitchen has one shaped like Pac-Man!

5. Mario Table


This Mario tabletop is a one-of-a-kind, so you can't go buy one, but you could make your own. Aaron used ceramic tiles to cover a stained table with an 8-bit Mario design.

6. Tic Tac Toast


No need to stop playing games just because you're eating breakfast! Just $3.99 will get you a stamp that puts a tic-tac-toe grid on your toast. It can also be used on your lunch sandwich.

7. Rubik's Cube Salt and Pepper Mills


These Rubik's cube salt and pepper mills are the exact size of a playable Rubik's cube, except that only one row rotates, and that row will grind salt or pepper. One cube of the set comes with a white turning row, the other with a red turning row. If that's too hard to keep straight, remember the pepper mill is the one that pepper comes out of. Add a real Rubik's cube to your table setting to further confuse your guests.

8. Rubik's Cube Clock


Like the salt and pepper mills, you can only turn the top row on this Rubik's cube clock. When you do, the display shifts from time to date to alarm, and even temperature! Also like the salt and pepper mills, it is the same size as a standard Rubik's cube.

9. Red Ring of Death Coasters


With Red Ring of Death coasters, your gamer friends familiar with the Xbox 360 warning will laugh, while your other guests will think they are just nice coasters. I believe these were handmade, though I can see how a manufacturer could be inspired.

10. Mario Quilt


This Mario quilt was handcrafted by Brian's wife out of two-inch squares (or pixels, if you will) in 16 colors. See more pictures here. See more gamer quilts in a previous post.

11. Crocheted Nintendo Blanket


Craftster member NerdyCrochetGal made this awesome Nintendo blanket out of crocheted squares featuring various Nintendo game icons. Even the border between the pictures is made of Tetris blocks!

See also: 8 Awesome Video Game Quilts and The Retro Fun and Games House.

Clemens Bilan, AFP/Getty Images
Purchased a PlayStation 3 Between 2006 and 2010? You May Be Entitled to $65
Clemens Bilan, AFP/Getty Images
Clemens Bilan, AFP/Getty Images

All that time you spent playing video games in the late aughts could finally pay off: According to Polygon, if you purchased an original-style "fat" PlayStation 3 between November 1, 2006 and April 1, 2010, you're eligible to receive a $65 check. You have until April 15 to file your claim.

PS3 owners first qualified to receive compensation from Sony following the settlement of a lawsuit in 2016. That case dealt with the "OtherOS" feature that came with the console when it debuted. With OtherOS, Sony promised a new PlayStation that would operate like a computer, allowing users to partition their hard drive and install third-party operating systems like the open-source Linux software.

OtherOS was included in the PlayStation 3 until April 2010, when Sony removed the feature due to security concerns. This angered enough PS3 owners to fuel a lawsuit, and Sony, facing accusations of false advertisement and breach of warranty, agreed to settle in October 2016.

PlayStation 3 owners were initially told they'd be receiving $55 each from the settlement, but that number has since grown to $65. To claim your piece of the $3.75 million settlement, you must first confirm that you're qualified to receive it. The PlayStation 3 you purchased needs to be a 20 GB, 40 GB, 60 GB or 80 GB model. If that checks out, visit this website and submit either your "fat" PS3 serial number or the PlayStation network sign-in ID or online ID associated with the console.

[h/t Polygon]

Barbie Is Now Giving Coding Lessons

Mattel wants to help 10 million kids learn to code by 2020, and the toy giant is enlisting one of its most career-focused assets: Barbie. According to Engadget, Mattel is working with the coding education company Tynker to make seven Barbie-themed computer programming lessons.

Barbie has been a pilot, an architect, the president, and a computer engineer, so there may be no better character to teach kids the joys of coding. The lessons, arriving in summer 2018, will be designed for youngsters in kindergarten and up, and will teach Barbie-lovers more than just how to make apps. They’ll use Barbie’s many careers—which also included veterinarian, robotics engineer, and astronaut—as a way to guide kids through programming concepts.

An illustration depicts Barbie and her friends surrounded by cats and dogs and reads 'Barbie: Pet Vet.'

A screenshot of a Barbie coding lesson features a vet's office full of pets.

There are plenty of new initiatives that aim to teach kids how to code, from a Fisher-Price caterpillar toy to online games featuring Rey from Star Wars. This is the third partnership between Mattel and Tynker, who have already produced programming lessons using Hot Wheels and Monster High.

Kindergarten may seem a little soon to set kids on a career path as a computer programmer, but coding has been called “the most important job skill of the future,” and you don’t need to work for Google or Facebook to make learning it worthwhile. Coding can give you a leg up in applying for jobs in healthcare, finance, and other careers outside of Silicon Valley. More importantly for kids, coding games are fun. Who wouldn’t want to play Robotics Engineer Barbie?

[h/t Engadget]

All images by Tynker


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