BioShock, video game, box art, Big Daddy, Little Sister

Home improvement, the BioShock way

As mentioned during last week’s editorial post, my other-half and I have had problems with house renovations since buying our home back in October last year. We’ve been focusing on changing the layout of the ground floor – merging the dining room and kitchen, and changing the location of a few doors – and, despite our builder originally advising that it’d take up to four weeks, we’re still living in a building site three months later.

Fortunately though, the work is almost complete and we should hopefully have a fully-working kitchen within the next several days, if not a completely-decorated one. But that’s the fun part: adding paint and those other finishing touches to turn it into something uniquely ours. We’re both long-time gamers so it’s pretty much a given that most rooms in the house will feature something subtle (or not so subtle) to do with video games.

Last month we visited the Battlesbridge Antiques & Crafts Centre with the intention of finding some furniture. I love this place: an old granary and surrounding buildings that are full of curious and beautiful things. We bought ourselves a table that’s in the process of being made (if you’re looking for one yourself, check out Mr and Mrs Smith because they’re so helpful). But we also came home with something a little more… well, unexpected.

While browsing though the various rooms, making our way past old armoires, delicate vases and frightened-looking stuffed animals, we came across one laid out with the accessories of an old office: green velvet, an old desk, lamps, book shelves and sherry glasses. On a bureau in the corner stood a beaten-up diving helmet perched on a hand-stand, and our conversation went something like this.

Me: “Look at that…”
Pete: “It kind of reminds me of BioShock.”
Me: “Yeah, I was about to say the same thing.”
Pete: “I want to try it on and be a Big Daddy.”
Me: “Shall we buy it?”
Pete: “Yeah, go on then.”

And so that explains how we came away from Battlesbridge with a diving helmet – and more importantly, why my other-half ended up trying it on. This has now set the tone for how we’re going to decorate the kitchen and dining area in our home; the aim is to have our gamer-friends walk in and recognise the BioShock references instantly while others will simply assume we’ve gone for a vaguely-nautical theme, which seems to be everywhere in interior-design nowadays.

We’ve purchased a few other items for the house too, including several from Gametee: their lovely mana and health potion candles, along with this ‘respawn point’ tin sign. It’s a shame there aren’t more places like this which cater for people who’d like to have something geeky in their home decor without it being too ‘in your face’ (if you know of good online shop, please let me know!).

Gamers are able to see video game references everywhere, including in a random room at an antiques centre in the middle of Essex. How do your gaming preferences influence the way you decorate your home?

12 thoughts on “Home improvement, the BioShock way

  1. Love those old diving helmets. They definitely creep me out a bit, picturing old found footage from dives gone bad back in the day, something about them was always unsettling. Bioshock cemented that unsettling characteristic for me!

    My future wife isn’t a gamer so it doesn’t influence much. I like to keep my stuff game-centric but not so much in the rest of the house. Typically, keeping it to my office / game room. Of course I do away with all subtlety and turned it into a gaming lair, of sorts. Complete with handheld console stands, shelves of games, posters, you name it!

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    1. There’s a large hallway in our house with a big free space underneath an open staircase, so that’s being earmarked for our gaming area. Unfortunately it does mean that non-gamers will be hit with it as soon as they walk through the front-door! 😉

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  2. I am moving in with my boyfriend soon and most of our decor ideas are game themed. Between the two of us we have about 10 game themed posters and we have some things like a huge Snorlax beanbag bookmarked to buy. I love that shop you shared a link to! They have some amazing stuff I’ll definitely be getting some things from them! Hope your house gets finished soon and you can put all these things in it!

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    1. Gametee is great: every time they have a stand at an expo, I end up coming away with something. We need pictures of the Snorlax once you get him! 😉

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  3. I love the idea of having an old diving helmet as decor! As much as my husband and I are into games, our house is relatively devoid of gaming things, save for a stray figure or poster. At best, we’re “eclectic,” haha.

    I feel for your renovation situation, and I hope things start looking up soon. We’re currently redoing one of our bathrooms, and it turned up a whole host of problems that have slowed down the process. We’re going the DIY route, which is good and bad. Good because we can make our own schedule. And bad because…we can make our own schedule. 😉

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    1. ‘Eclectic’ is a good word… my other-half goes for things which are ultra-modern while I prefer stuff which looks more ‘comfortable’. So other than the gaming items in our house, the rest of it looks as though it has a split-personality. 😉

      The majority of our budget has been spent on structural works we couldn’t have done ourselves, and we’re now moving into the DIY phase too. Good luck with the bathroom – and schedule!

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  4. My front door was replaced two years ago. It’s now a deep blue colour. Much like a certain time travelling box from a popular science fiction show.

    Also, the doormat is designed to have the same colours as Tom Baker’s iconic scarf.

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  5. My wife doesn’t really game but my kids and I have been able to bring some Star Wars influence into and throughout the house, especially at Christmas where we set up a special tree to just be Star Wars related.

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  6. That is SO DAMN COOL. My wife and I also just purchased a house, and have been perusing flea markets, fairs and garage sales every chance we get. Now I’ll secretly be hoping I come across some gaming relics come-to-life…

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    1. I’m pretty lucky that my other-half is a gamer also so I can get away with having such things in our house! If your wife isn’t into gaming, the trick is to look for objects subtle enough that she’ll just think it’s a design choice… 😉

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