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Student’s Design Links Coin-Op Wash Cycle to Gaming Ability

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Lee Wei Chen
Postgraduate student Lee Wei Chen said he wanted to find a productive use for the “wasted but enjoyable time” he spent gaming, so he designed a machine that combines gaming with doing the laundry. (Photo: Kingston University London Press Office)

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Lee Wei Chen' laundry video game
Players insert three coins, which gives them three “lives” and turns on the washer. If the player fails to progress beyond a certain level, the washer doesn’t move to the next stage in its cycle until more coins are added. (Photo: Kingston University London Press Office)

Bruce Beggs |

LONDON — It wouldn’t be unusual to see coin-op washers and arcade games in the same laundry, but what if they were one and the same?

Lee Wei Chen, an art design student attending Kingston University in London, has designed a video game that involves doing the laundry.

His “amusement washing machine” resembles an arcade-style video console, but the bottom half is a washer. Chen linked the circuitry of the two, so the washing cycle is dependent on the gamer’s progress.

Players insert three coins, which gives them three “lives” and turns on the washer. If the player fails to progress beyond a certain level, the washer doesn’t move to the next stage in its cycle until more coins are added.

Chen’s device was part of the university’s display during the London Design Festival over the weekend.

Do you think something like that would ever go over in the States? If so, parents might finally be able to take advantage of all that time their kids spend playing video games.

About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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