E3! Food! Video Games!
Every year around the start of June, I discover the meaning of life. E3, or the Electronic Entertainment Expo, will be taking place in Los Angeles from June 15 – 18. During this conference I’m going to giggle like a schoolchild, scream wildly at my computer, and potentially wet myself out of excitement several times.
Food and video games might seem like two separate fields of interest to some, but for a fanatic of both it’s easy to see where they overlap. Food is prominent in many games, whether you’re showing off your cooking skills in Cooking Mama or scrounging around for a candy bar in The Last of Us. I built my first cake in Mario Party 2 (you know the mini game) and have spent hours building the most self-sustainable farm in the Harvest Moon series.
The fandom around video games is so pervasive into food culture that it surprised no one when my good friend has a Legend of Zelda themed wedding cake. And not to mention the existence of the exquisite Nerdache Cakes.
Given all of this, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the more memorable meals throughout the history of video games.
You’ve all heard the saying. Hell, it was even spray painted all around my college campus for the weeks surrounding the release of Portal 2. The cake might be the most well-known food to come out of recent video games, but who knows how it tastes? We never got a chance to try it.
Cake recurs in tons of games. It makes famous appearances in the Mario universe as both a plot device, a healing implement, and in the aforementioned minigames. The good thing about cake is that it never needs an excuse. It’s cake. It’s perfect in every game at every time.
The fact remains that most people don’t second guess the bizarre steroid mushrooms that grow in the Mushroom Kingdom. Mushrooms are to Mario as spinach is to Popeye, an apt comparison that we’ve all heard before. And the other joke about Peach in the bedroom, I suppose we’ve all heard that one too. Whether 2D, 3D, or PaperD, Mario always has those mushrooms handy to bring him to victory.
Herbs (Resident Evil)
What herb is it? That’s what I’ve always wondered. I like to think that there are different herbs for different characters. Maybe Claire Redfield is a mint kind of agent. Cool under pressure, this would be exactly what she needs to keep her breath fresh at all times. Her brother Chris, he’s more of a cilantro guy. He’s really great with certain meals, but some people really can’t stand him. And what about Leon Kennedy? Parsley. Leon is a palate cleanser. And you might need one after playing some of the most recent Resident Evils.
Flan (Final Fantasy)
I was a teenager before I found out that flan was a type of food and not a physically resistant monster. Some of us grew up with an emphasis on JRPGs and had to wait on the French cuisine education until later. Regardless, Flan has always been a curious name for an enemy. It’s like naming a monster “Ice Cream” or “Jello” or “Tiramisu.” Though to be fair, naming a group of enemies after desserts would feel right at home in the worlds of Square-Enix.
Just honey. All honey. Can you imagine trying to eat honey with furry hands? Let along trying to do that while defeating a wicked witch and carrying around a half-crazed bird. And thanks to the announcement at E3, we now know that a Rare collection will let Bear and Bird live again on the Xbox. But where’s Banjo Threeie? Come on, Microsoft. You’re trying so hard. I imagine Yooka-Laylie won’t have out for honey, but I like to think they’ll throw in a joke or two.
Chunko-Honey Candy Bar (Deus Ex)
Instead of having the augmented individuals pump themselves with gasoline, they tend to feed only on candy bars and rage. It’s a candy bar. No one cares if you didn’t ask for it. Your waistline is titanium. I don’t think chocolate is going to expand it very much.
Post by Ian Sims.