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10 Envy-inducing Video Game Bathrooms

The stereotype of the serious video gamer living in his parent's basement, sitting in the dark covered in Cheeto dust only covers a small portion of gamers. Many have grown up with video games and eventually bought their own homes. Owning a home means you can surround yourself with decor that reminds you of your favorite things. However, there are also spouses who will veto your wildest ideas. But many will compromise and the bathroom is a good, mostly private place to let your imagination run wild. Therefore, the video game bathroom was born.

1. Mario

The most recognizable video game character ever is a plumber -how appropriate is that? Lawyer, Lego artist and redditor Kueeny put together this Mario bathroom with her own painting skills and items she found on the internet. See more pictures in an online album.

2. World of Warcraft

Paul and Gloria are serious World of Warcraft players, and so renovated their bathroom to accommodate the Horde. There are weapons galore, potions, dragons for light fixtures, and a death raven perched over the toilet. They did all the work themselves! They also posted pictures of the project before, during, and after.

3. Space Invaders #1

The great thing about 8-bit video games, or any pixel-based art form, is that you can recreate it with squares in projects such as quilts or bathroom tiles. In a Hong Kong apartment decorated by the firm OneByNine, Space Invaders drop from the sky embedded in the shower tiles -complete with explosions and errors. The rest of the home is thoroughly adult.

4. Space Invaders #2

We are geeks

Liz’s bathroom renovation included a custom shower featuring Space Invader tiling. She said she and her husband are “both huge geeks” and designed the invaders, player ship, and mothership. The pixel mosaic is composed of glass and travertine tile. The remodel was done by R.A. Stacy. See more pictures of the finished work in her Flicker set.

5. Portal

Animation director James Farr produced a Portal bathroom for his son, Vector. It was an adjunct to his completely Portal-themed bedroom!

6-8. Tetris

The idea of converting pixel design to bathroom tiles makes a Tetris shower stall very tempting. The rare person who is not familiar with the game would think these are just clever designs. Mad Martha laid out shower tiles in a Tetris pattern for her sons' bathroom ten years ago.

This black and white Tetris shower stall could even pass for a random design, especially since its condition makes it seem very old.

This bathroom that fits all the shapes together was featured here years ago, but no one knows who constructed it.

If you want to try this in your bathroom, a tile supplier in England makes bathroom tiles in Tetris shapes. For faster installation, they also offer sheets of small square tiles laid out in preset Tetris patterns. If money is no object, you could even get yourself a Tetris-tile-shaped faucet, although the company that makes these calls them "basin mixers."

9. Nintendo

Gregory Pinzone didn't want to limit his bathroom to one video game, so he designed it around several classic Nintendo games: Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and Pac-Man! Notice the mirror frame incorporates all these together. See more pictures in his project album.

10. Star Wars

Yeah, I know Star Wars was a movie series, but there are plenty of Star Wars video games, too, and this pixelated Star Wars character bath enclosure is too cool to NOT include. May the Force of the water pressure be with you!

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Cahoots Malone
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Revisit Your Favorite '90s Screensaver With This Free Game
Cahoots Malone
Cahoots Malone

In the '90s, a significant amount of computing power was devoted to generating endless brick mazes on Windows 95. The screensaver has since become iconic, and now nostalgic Microsoft fans can relive it in a whole new way. As Motherboard reports, the animation has been re-imagined into a video game called Screensaver Subterfuge.

Instead of watching passively as your computer weaves through the maze, you’re leading the journey this time around. You play as a kid hacker who’s been charged with retrieving sensitive data hidden in the screensaver of Windows 95 before devious infomancers can get to it first. The gameplay is pretty simple: Use the arrow keys to navigate the halls and press Q and click the mouse to change their design. Finding a giant smiley face takes you to level two, and finding the briefcase icon ends the game. There are also lots of giant rats in this version of the screensaver.

Screensaver Subterfuge was designed by Cahoots Malone as part of the PROCJAM 2017 generative software showcase. You can download it for free for Windows, macOS, and Linux from his website, or if playing a game sounds like too much work, you can always watch videos of the old screensaver on a loop.

[h/t Motherboard]

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Brain Training Could Help Combat Hearing Loss, Study Suggests
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iStock

Contrary to what you might think, the hearing loss that accompanies getting older isn't entirely about your ears. Studies have found that as people get older, the parts of their brain that process speech slow down, and it becomes especially difficult to isolate one voice in a noisy environment. New research suggests there may be a way to help older people hear better: brain training.

The Verge reports that a new double-blind study published in Current Biology suggests that a video game could help older people improve their hearing ability. Though the study was too small to be conclusive, the results are notable in the wake of several large studies in the past few years that found that the brain-training games on apps like Luminosity don't improve cognitive skills in the real world. Most research on brain training games has found that while you might get better at the game, you probably won't be able to translate that skill to your real life.

In the current study, the researchers recruited 24 older adults, all of whom were long-term hearing-aid users, for eight weeks of video game training. The average age was 70. Musical training has been associated with stronger audio perception, so half of the participants were asked to play a game that asked them to identify subtle changes in tones—like you would hear in a piece of music—in order to piece together a puzzle, and the other half played a placebo game designed to test their memory. In the former, as the levels got more difficult, the background noise got louder. The researchers compare the task to a violinist tuning out the rest of the orchestra in order to listen to just their own instrument.

After eight weeks of playing their respective games around three-and-a-half hours a week, the group that played the placebo memory game didn't perform any better on a speech perception test that asked participants to identify sentences or words amid competing voices. But those who played the tone-changing puzzle game saw significant improvement in their ability to process speech in noise conditions close to what you'd hear in an average restaurant. The tone puzzle group were able to accurately identify 25 percent more words against loud background noise than before their training.

The training was more successful for some participants than others, and since this is only one small study, it's possible that as this kind of research progresses, researchers might find a more effective game design for this purpose. But the study shows that in specific instances, brain training games can benefit users. This kind of game can't eliminate the need for hearing aids, but it can help improve speech recognition in situations where hearing aids often fail (e.g., when there is more than one voice speaking). However, once the participants stopped playing the game for a few months, their gains disappeared, indicating that it would have to be a regular practice.

[h/t The Verge]

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