Cozy Up to a Digital Fireplace All Winter Long

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).

Digital coziness. via

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!

Oh the possibilities. via

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!


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Whitney is a lover of food, books, comic books and journals made for left-handed people. She is a Ph.D. student at Northwestern University, where she studies video games and new media. She is also a graphic designer, writer and editor who has worked for places like Opium Magazine, Literary Death Match, Publishers Weekly and The Feminist Press. Check out her blog at and follow her on Twitter @whitneypow.

Whitney has written 52 articles for us.


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