The image of a hardcore gamer subsisting on Cheetos and a Mountain Dew may need an update. Example A: this how-to for carving the Mario Bros. 1-UP mushroom out of a radish.
Food culture and design are leaching into video-game junkies' virtual and offline worlds. Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, allows you to have food and beverages delivered to your seats via the Nintendo Fan Network -- a wireless network at the stadium that works with the hand-held Nintendo DS.
Nintendo seems to be leading the charge among game developers. Last year, Personal Trainer: Cooking,
a digital cookbook, introduced the idea that a video game system could
help in the kitchen. In a series of advertisements, Friends star Lisa
Kudrow learns to cook
from a friendly automated voice that instructs her and her niece on
making Kung Pao Chicken. Surreal doesn't even begin to describe the
But the world of video games and food has always intersected in interesting ways. Cooking Mama
-- a game that requires you to "cook" using the controllers according
to the "recipes" shown on the screen -- was a suprise hit on the
Nintendo Wii when it was released in 2007. You chop and stir, and have
to monitor your food so it doesn't get burned, earning points for a
well-prepared dish. And while this game might not help you develop the
skills of an actual chef (similar to Guitar Hero and guitar players),
puts you at the helm of a fast food joint asking you to raise cattle,
slaughter them and then hire workers to sell the burgers.
If you're a gamer still craving junk food, Clever Cupcakes out of Montreal, Canada, will make and ship you a baked good version of your favorite video game character.