The time-consuming and mundane chore of laundry could soon be banished to history, with an invention that harnesses the power of our own competitiveness.
Lee Wei Chen, a 27-year-old student at Kingston University, London, has invented a fiendishly clever combination of a video game and a washing machine.
Housed in the classic arcade-game cabinet, the top half is a challenging coin-operated driving game, while the bottom half is a front-loading washer.
Even if it was just a novel way to pass the time as the washing machine ran through it's yle, Mr Chen's idea would be a worthy one.
But wait, as advertisers say, there's more.
Mr Chen, originally from Taiwan, has linked the circuitry of the two machines, so the washing cycle is dependent on the proficiency of the gamer.
Nail the game's various levels, with a decent score and without losing precious lives, and the laundry will be done in no time at all.
Washing away a chore: Lee Wei Chen, 27, a student at Kingston University, London, hopes his invention lands him a design job in the UK
But, if you stink at the game, your clothes will stink too.
The washing machine will stop wherever it is in it's cycle, and it will refuse to start up again until the gamer adds more money and continues to play.
The idea came to Mr Chen after he realised he had been wasting a good portion of his 27 years playing video games.
He said: 'I realised that the skills I had developed in the virtual world were useless in the real world. I wanted to make them useful.'
The gaming element of the machine might also be a clever away around the fact that, by his own admission, Mr Chen has no idea how to use a modern washing machine's programmes.
Despite its novelty value, Mr Chen takes his playable washing machine seriously, hoping it will snag him a job as a designer or engineer in the UK.
Colin Holden, Mr Chen's design course leader at Kingston, said: 'This is a big and original idea, examining the possibility of transporting the enjoyment and skills of electronic gaming into the more mundane world of practical electronic devices.
'He’s chosen two instantly recognisable objects - a washing machine and an arcade game - to illustrate this idea. Together the two objects produce a striking new electronic device.
'It’s an extremely well-executed design concept.'
Parents may have difficulty getting their children out of the laundry - but at least their clothes will be very clean.