Video games use all kinds of techniques to evoke a response from players. Often, it’s an appeal to the senses: a jumpscare, a vibrating controller, evocative music. But pixels have a hard time representing smell and taste. Plenty of video games feature food nonetheless, whether that means pizza as a power-up (think the arcade classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time) or as a gift to gain the affection of a game character, à la Stardew Valley. With some exceptions (such as the painstakingly rendered dishes in Final Fantasy XV,) food in video games is often
Images of food in video games are not new. But often, developers tends to skew towards Western influences (think pizza, cake, candy) and historically don’t go much further beyond that. But this Atlas Obscura piece goes in depth into upcoming independent video games that tackle subjects like love, diaspora, and immigration, all brought together by food. As a video game lover who rediscovered my love for video games during the pandemic, I’m excited to see what they have in store for us.