Whitney’s Team Pick:
Feeling chilly? No chimney or fireplace in your tiny, wind-blown, damp-ass apartment? How about a cozy pixelated digital fire to cuddle up to today? No logs or matches necessary — and it’s safe for the exceptionally flammable people in your life (meaning you won’t be able to accidentally pull a Miss Havisham if you know what I mean).
Ted Martens, an indie video game designer and artist, designed Fireplace Beta, a computerized fireplace that works on both Windows and Mac OSX. The great part is that the application is interactive — with a few typed one-word commands, you can roast marshmallows, make s’mores, throw some fireworks into your fire, douse your fire with a bucket of water or burn angsty memories of your most recent ex-lover by pitching photos into the inferno. Each digital log you place in your fireplace lasts about 30 minutes, too, so you’ll get the opportunity to rekindle your fire once it burns out.
While Martens mentions you should try a few key words like “hotdog” or “paper,” I think there are a few hidden commands you can use on the application, too — if you put your marshmallow into the fire for too long, its sets on fire, and you can type “blow” to blow the fire out. Who knows what you’ll find!
Martens also has a Flickr collection of Fireplace users’ photos, so you can get a sense of what you can do with the app and then send in your own additions — you can project your pixel-y fire on the wall in your house, set Fireplace up on your big-screen TV, or just play it on your laptop at the foot of your bed. Commence the winter snuggling!