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Antoinette J. Citizen

When Gamers Decorate: 7 Awesome Video Game Rooms

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Antoinette J. Citizen

When I say "video game rooms," I'm not talking about arcades or basement rec rooms, but each is a room in a home that is decorated around the theme of one video game. The attention to detail in these rooms is fantastic; in fact they involved so much more than buying stickers or printed bedding and accessories. They are all labors of love.

1. Yoshi's Island Nursery

Wes decorated his daughter's nursery in the theme of the game Yoshi's Island. The walls were covered in murals, which took four months to accomplish, and the awesome mobile took another few months.

The mobile is a real labor of love.

The Mobile consists of a Lakitu made from Sculpey brand modeling clay with wire/foil armature and then painted using acrylic paints. The circuitry is comprised of an Arduino Duemilanove, wave shield with a LCD screen, re-purposed SNES controller (the shoulder buttons where already bad), and a small motor to drive the baby Yoshis.

2. Legend of Zelda Nursery

Cole Bradburn and his friend Wes (who did the above nursery) spent three months creating the perfect nursery for his son with a Legend of Zelda theme. Murals with scenes from the game were painted on all the walls! Take a video tour of the finished nursery, plus a making-of sequence at his blog. Yes, they got it done before the baby arrived!

3. Super Mario Room

This room doesn't just have Mario decorations and accessories, no, this room puts you inside Super Mario World! It's a creation of artist Antoinette J. Citizen, who designed it as the game itself from the perspective of not the player, but the operative character. Jump for your own coins and boxes -there are even sound effects!

4. Donkey Kong Game Room

Maximus_Clean has a dedicated room for playing video games -the kind everyone would like to have. To organize the library, an entire wall is dedicated to not only storage, but to the game Donkey Kong (the design of which lends itself well to shelving). See Mario climb the multi-level shelves to rescue Princess Peach!

5. Super Mario Bros. Nursery

Jessica is a self-described nerd. When her first child was on the way, she and her husband designed a nursery around a Super Mario Bros. theme. Here you see the changing table and supply cabinet in the colors of a piranha plant. At her website, you'll see the other side with the baby's crib and other murals and decorations.

6. Zelda Toddler Room

When Jessica found out baby number two was on the way, they decided to put him in their existing Mario-themed nursery. So the family moved their 18-month-old daughter to a new "big girl" bedroom all made up as the Legend of Zelda! There are stairs to the upper bunk level you see here, and murals all around. There are plenty more pictures at Jessica's post about the room, with explanations of the many details.

7. Portal Bedroom

Lauren is an accountant, a gamer, and a decorator. Her Portal Bedroom was such a sensation that she dedicated an entire website to it. She was initially inspired by an infinity mirror, which she assumed she could not afford. She filled the room with appropriate artwork, purchased Portal guns, and painted motifs from the game. Then for the portals, she made her own custom oval-shaped infinity mirrors!

The effect is especially cool at night. Lauren's site takes you through the process of building the mirrors and decorating the room.

See also: 10 Ways to Game Up Your Home, Video Game Furnishings for Your Home, The Retro Fun and Games House, 8 Awesome Videogame Quilts, and 11 Housewarming Gifts for the Dedicated Gamer.

Can you out-fact the Facts Machine? Go to this post and leave a comment with your own amazing video game fact. If your fact is deemed sufficiently Amazing, you could win the mental_floss t-shirt of your choice.

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fun
Dungeons & Dragons Gets a Digital Makeover
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iStock

Since the 1970s, players have been constructing elaborate campaigns in Dungeons & Dragons using nothing but paper, pencils, rule books, and 20-sided dice. That simple formula has made D&D the quintessential role-playing game, but the game's publisher thinks it can be improved with a few 21st-century updates. As The Verge reports, Wizards of the Coast is launching a digital toolset meant to enhance the gaming experience.

The tool, called D&D Beyond, isn’t meant to be a replacement for face-to-face gameplay. Rather, it’s designed to save players time and energy that could be better spent developing characters or battling orcs. The resource includes a fifth-edition rule book users can search by keyword. At the start of a new campaign, they can build monsters and characters within the program. And players don’t need to worry about forgetting to bring their notes to a quest—D&D Beyond keeps track of information like items and spells in one convenient location.

"D&D Beyond speaks to the way gamers are able to blend digital tools with the fun of storytelling around the table with your friends,” Nathan Stewart, senior director of Dungeons & Dragons, said in a statement when the concept was first announced. "These tools represent a way forward for D&D.”

This isn’t the first attempt to bring D&D into the digital age; videogames inspired by the fictional world have been produced since the 1980s. Unlike those titles, though, D&D Beyond will still highlight the imagination-fueled role-playing aspect of the game when it launches August 15.

[h/t The Verge]

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Pop Culture
Can You Spot Fake News? A New Game Puts Your Knowledge to the Test
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Bryn Dunbar

In 2017, misinformation is easier than ever to access. During the 2016 election, scammers—including hordes of Macedonian teens—raked in serious money by churning out deliberately fake stories about U.S. politics, with a very real impact. In a December 2016 Pew Research Center survey, 64 percent of U.S. adults said that fabricated news was sowing "a great deal of confusion" about current events.

It can be hard to determine what’s real and what’s fake in the viral news world. A new game—expected to launch for iPhone on July 10—will test your skills. Fake News, designed by the creative agency ISL, asks players to distinguish between headlines found on true stories and headlines drawn from fake news sites (as determined by fact-checking sites like Snopes, Politifact, FactCheck.org).

The simple, arcade-style game for iPhone asks you to swipe left on fake headlines and swipe right on true ones. You have 100 seconds to sort through as many headlines as you can, competing for the highest score with other users. For instance, did Arby’s really get its name because “RB” is another way of saying roast beef? (No, RB stands for Raffel Brothers, the founders.) Does Jeff Goldblum really have a food truck named Chef Goldblum’s? (Kind of. It was a film promotion stunt.)

Fake News also exists as a physical arcade game. The creators installed a table-top arcade game in a D.C. bar on July 5, and may install it elsewhere depending on demand.

The game is harder than you’d expect, even if you think of yourself as fairly well-informed. As research has found, viral stories require two things: limited attention spans and a network already overwhelmed with information. In other words, our daily Internet lives. The more information we try to handle at one time, the more likely it is that we’ll fall for fake news.

Scientists found in a recent study that warning people that political groups try to spread misinformation about certain issues (like climate change) can help people sort through dubious claims. While that’s good to remember, it’s not always useful in real-life situations. It certainly won’t help you win this game.

One of the reasons Fake News is so hard, even if you keep abreast of everyday news, is that it doesn’t tell you where the headlines are from. Checking the source is often the easiest way to determine the veracity of a story—although it’s not a foolproof system.

Need help finding those sources? This Chrome plug-in will flag news from troublesome sources in your Facebook feed.

Update: The game is available for iOS here.

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