Giant Monopoly in the Square

Last weekend my sister and I took the chance to go to Trafalgar Square to play Monopoly – a giant version of the game, that is. The Giant board was installed for a short-term by the London Games Festival team to promote the festival over the week, and also get some of the public to join in with the fun.

Although the board wasn’t as huge as I expected (I expected it to be literally the same size as the square!) it was still a fun idea and people could still play the game by downloading the game app on their phone or with the game organisers. There also weren’t many pieces (just the cat and the racing car, no top hat which is always my piece!) they made nice pieces for display.

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We were able to have a quick round on the board before it got really busy – there were a lot of tourists who loved the idea! I also liked that fact that the colours and the ‘properties’ were put together pretty well, but as a game version rather than road names.

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It was a pretty sunny day out so perfect for some gaming, and afterwards my sister and I climbed up the lions next to Nelson’s Column (which was scary because my shoes were not climbing shoes!) and took in the view of the Square.

You can see more pictures here on my sister’s blog as well – let me know what you think : )

Weekly Badass Princesses Links

It’s time for weekly links again, and as ever, I’ve been collating some good ones for you (and some stupid ones, naturally!) – here they are, so enjoy!

Find the Invisible Cow. Seriously. Make sure you have your sound on for this one.

If you’re into cool stories about Princesses (like me) then this will be up your street – Rejected Princesses, which are stories from around the world about lesser known stories in fairy tales, history and myths with princesses who were, basically, badasses.

300 hours of work, millions of handmade dots and lines with Rotring Inkpens – I don’t think I’d have the patience, but what a beautiful piece is created at the end of it.

Ever wanted to see the worst of Youtube videos? (You probably don’t) – wonder no more with boootube.com Enjoy and cringe away.

Did you ever play the Oregan Trail in your childhood? (I sure as heck did, I’m surprised how many others there are out there as well!) Well, here’s a zombie version of the game to re-live your childhood memories.

Designer Seb Lester re-created famous brands and logos with a pen hand. I love stuff like this, it’s beautifully done and oddly satisfying to see a pen used so well.

A (very cool) father and daughter recreated Jurassic Park with $100,000 worth of Lego – you can watch the video here.

Feeling stressed? Have a rainy window. Makes everything better.

Ever wanted a designer handbag made of pancakes, or sandwiches, or bagels? Well now you can have some, courtesy of Chloe Wise and her foodie fashion bags. The only thing I’d be worried about is hungry passerbys and birds trying to eat your bag and make your lipsticks fall out.

Rocko, you look so…wild. If 90s cartoons were translated into real life, here’s how they would look. Very confusing.

The 8-Bit Movie Gifs by Dusan Cezak

I love seeing 8-bit interpretations of stuff (like this), so I really like these 8-bit gif by Slovakian animator Dusan Cezek, who took his love of movies and re-drew them as a gifs series called ‘Pixelwood‘. I adore all of these (although my favourite is quite possibly The Avengers one) – the movies are instantly recognisable, despite how concise and simple the gifs are. I really like seeing art like this – it’s cute, clever and shows a mix of two of my favourite things, art and film.

You can see more of Dusan Cezak’s 8-bit comic-themed gifs here and the rest of his work here.

The Big Lebowski8f21e8f4980827a3572f76a9932af3b5

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissouc01963390b3a97ce9a640fd80355ca46

Nacho Libre5748f5e7cfeb0747586e2a5249e38723

Clerksee8d012f63216a7585c307800b313baa

District 988e03b3c7dfddd3ab9085cbf13692919

Shaun of the Dead628a788fff49f7432351a561d9c529b1

Pulp Fiction777fb9a87154b06c4433515ee841d61a

Evil Deadedbea56254d9f3708b7cb8c2552eb82d

The Avengers8ea467520bbec472737b6aed05912d3e

The Fifth Elementce8476a5750ace5d19811c836fc45a9b

Fight Club293154e83ae32b10b478e85a679839ce

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Super Mario Bros’ London Underground Map

I kinda love this – a pixellated Super Mario-style London Underground designed by the amazing art pixies at Reddit, which shows all the tube lines and the River Thames as, well, square-y things. I’m one of those people who have to use the London Underground all the time, so things like this appeal to me because it’s a nice quirky way to see every day things being re-interpreted. And what better than with classic 80s and 90s gaming icons?

Somebody call TfL and let them know they need to put this on their walls, if only just to confuse tourists a little.

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Harlequin Oddities Found About Town: A Toy Boy

Here’s something which puts another spin on having a toy boy, a mannequin made of old 90s and 80s toys we used to have until we got too old for them and most of our childhood got distriubuted to the nearest lucky charity shop. It’s kinda a little bit like this Pill Head but made of, well, toys, and continues beyond the neck. The only thing I’m surprised about is why the Fisher Price telephone is not there, but it makes up for it with all the Power Ranger action figures on there.

If you look really closely on both of the arms, you can even see a Red Power Ranger and a Green one pretending to be hands, there’s a Black Power Ranger and Blue one pretending to be biceps, and we even spotted the awesome Yellow Ranger on the back.

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Google Maps Quest Mode – April Fools!

I managed to catch the latest giggler from the brains at Google, which was a fully functioning, 8-bit version of Google Maps complete with rocky mountains, square trees and cute castles. Thank god I printscreen’d earlier on in the day, it’s no longer on the Google Maps section anymore, although if any of you managed to catch it then I’m sure (like me) you ‘navigated’ for a good few minutes to see what everything looked like. I love the ole games like this (giant floppy disks being inserted into old computers come to mind) and anything like this is just pixel-art greatness!

Here’s the other April Fools jokes which other well-used websites and companies used too, I didn’t manage to spot all of them though! What a nice way to start the week, eh?

Modern TV Re-Imagined in Pixel Art

I love these series of pixel art created by designer Robert Penney from Penney Design, showing modern TV shows and films re-imagined as retro, old-fashiobed games. Take for example, the tv show Lost, which has been designed as a traditional point-and-click game, very strongly reminiscent of the Monkey Island game (they’re both on an island after all):

I also love the designer’s other pixelated interpretations of famous TV shows and popular films from the 21st century (click on the link to see more) my favourites are below and there’s also some great Transformer pizels which made me giggle:

I love the imagination of this designer, the overall effect is simple yet extremely realistic (I’d certainly buy a few of these games!). Plus in terms of giggle-factors, this ratches up a few notches in my funny-book : )

The images are also available to buy on print, this designer also does other images and commissions (have a browse, everything looks absolutely amazeable, and the designer seems like a terribly nice chap).

Machinarium: A Cute Robot on a Quest

Machinarium is a beautifully drawn, quirky game by relatively unknown company Aminita Design, and is the company’s first full-length computer game. Created and funded by the game designers themselves, this game has had its own cult success due to it’s kooky style and beautiful, hand-drawn imagery. What appealed to me most about this game is it’s haunting, yet beautifully detailed drawings in each scene. Looking at the company’s other games and artwork, there is a certain trademark style to their designs which shows a similarity in its detailed, dream-like landscapes, endearing characters and clever puzzle scenes.


The hero of Machinarium is a cute little robot called Josef, who goes on a quest to save his kidnapped girlfriend in a labyrinth maze of rooms, tunnels and unusual characters to interact with. And of course to go with all that lovely drawing is a melodious, quirky soundtrack in the back ground. The game itself is surprisingly elaborate, and well-crafted despite the fact that there is no written language in the whole game, and no speech communication, with clues being given in thought bubbles or picture images which in themselves need to be worked out. This is one game I would recommend to all, whether you are a gamer, a reader or just an observer of lovely thing; it’s great fun, and there’s numerous small details which will make you laugh or poke your tongue out in concentration.

Everything in Robotville is made of metal cogs, parts and and metal rubbish, turning the functions of many objects on their heads.
Similarly, even though the entire city’s cast is made up of robots (and mechanical animals), each have their own personality, cartoonish little figures which we can relate to. There are bullies, romantics, musicians and robots on weed, a whole society in its own world here and each discovery is something new to marvel at.

I also love the flexibility of this game, it allows you to fully explore the world without the worry of making a  mistake or suddenly dying – meaning you can tryto jump off a cliff or run in front of a baddie robot without risk, as you will only get stopped by our cute hero robot in a stern little worried way to avoid real danger. In this world, the robots are just as elaborately developed as the plot and the beautiful backgrounds, and almosts everything  has a function to explore.

There are several scenes which number among my favourite (the cute robot sitting on the toilet and the stoned prisoner robot are definitely among the top) and it’s these quirky little gems which keep the game interesting and draws on the imagination.

I would definitely recommend that you try out this game, or at least browse the lovely artwork by this company.

And if not for that, then certainly for the antics of our gutsy little hero who discovers this new world with us : )

All images from Machinarium, by Amanita Designs

Super Mario Themed Decor

There appears to be a lot of Super Marios fans around the globe (and the internet!) taking their love for their game a step further by decorating their living spaces to look like the game. I am surprised at the number of fans who have chosen to spruce up their rooms like this, as can be seen by the examples below:

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Not quite sure that I’ll be redecorating my house in this style anytime soon, but I do love the work that has gone into these, as most of these are personlised and home-made designs. It could also keep a lot children interested in staying in their room! What do you think of these styles? Anyone seen any other video-game inspired decor?

False Eyelashes Amock

SUCKER PUNCH (12A)
Directed by Zach Snyder

Sucker Punch is a very stylised action-slash-fantasy movie portraying a young girl (played by Emily Blunt) who has been forced into a mental institution by her stepfather following her sister’s accidental death. It is here that the film’s heroine dives heads-first into fantasy and adventure in order to ultimately escape her lobotomy destiny.
Throughout the film we see highly sexualised young women, who are depicted as commodities to benefit men, and we see that there is very much a traditional patriarchal system in play here. However at the same time, the heroines are fully aware of this objectification and take advantage of this for their own survival. The general portrayal of men are often shown as seedy and grasping, despite the fact that they seem to hold the cards in the institution. However this is not a film that focuses on the women’s emotions and the subtly hidden abuse, it is about women taking control despite their imprisonment.
The general effect of the film is very video-game like, and feels as if you are watching someone play a very sophisticated computer game – but this does not mean that this is not an enjoyable watch. This would appear very much a ‘boys’  film, with guns, explosions and beautiful women in scantily clad outfits who have suddenly acquired expert fighting skills, which very much epitomises the general male fantasy being played out.

The names given to the main characters – Babydoll, Blondie, Rocket, Sweetpea and Amber – are in fact very feminine and patronising, and we never do really find out their real names. Even Babydoll has few lines throughout the movie, and speaks very little, therefore her character is built through her expressions and her actions such as her ability to fight.
There are various alternative realities (or rather, fantasies) used throughout as methods of excape. With various scenes of a brothel, mental institution, theatre not to mention the actual fight scenes that play out whenever Babydoll begins to dances. This is really an interesting interpretation of mental illness or breakdown, as well as the exploration of the human mind and its coping mechanisms. The ‘adventures’ that Babydoll fantasises about are all very much quest-like and has reminisces of other scenes from other films. In one scene, for example, in which the girls must defeat a dragon, I was reminded of setting of Mordor, and Orcs from Lord Of The Rings. Similarly, the android robots fantasy gave off a feeling of ‘I, Robot’ and ‘Terminator’. That is not to say that Snyder has copied these ideas but rather has created the general feeling of the ‘adventures’  being a bit too manufactured and neatly imagined. Accordingly, even the colour scheme reflects the unrealness of the scenes, at times it is sedated to reflect the general grim mood of movie, yet becomes alive with colour and special effects during the actions and adventure scenes.

The soundtrack throughout the film is very fast-paced, but also very likeable. With  ‘Tainted Love’ being incorporated to blast open the movie, to ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Love Is the Drug’ to accompany slick moves and fight scenes. The film is rife with dramatic one-liners such as “Your survival begins here” and “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. The main issue here is not to take this film too seriously. This movie is very aesthetically pleasing, with beautiful scenes, women, costumes – and the focus is on this, rather than the emotional side. If you’re interested in cleverly shot video-game-like movies, then this is one to watch, complete with burlesque-clad mercenaries throughout.