Bits & Bytes: Snacks

What are the snacks that you like to eat while you play? Let’s talk games and food!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 12/12/2021 23:55 Comment on this     ShareThis

Bits & Bytes is a weekly column where Editor-in-Chief Robert shares his thoughts about video games and the industry on a lazy Sunday. Light reading for a day of rest, Bits & Bytes is short, to the point, and something to read with a nice drink.

I’m currently eating a sandwich as I write this week’s Bits & Bytes. It’s a roll I bought at a Quick Stop along with a small bag of Funyuns and a bottle of Arizona Herbal Tonic Energy tea. My PlayStation 4 (I know, how terrible of me) is updating in the background with the eerie, somber dashboard music that the system is known for playing quietly and making me melancholy (I’m trying to ignore it and am too lazy to lower the stereo down). My odd mix of food and drink has me thinking about the sort of snacks I typically have with me when I play games.

It’s never anything really consistent, frankly. I’m a heavy guy, but I’m not a big snacker. Still, there are different items that make an appearance now and then. Sandwiches are one. Popcorn. Chips and salsa. TV dinners. And always, always a cold drink. Soda is my biggest weakness, but really anything in ice is going to be tempting. Pepsi, some Arizona Fruit Punch, iced tea, some Crystal Light when I’m trying to behave myself. I think my favorite pairing with a good game session is fast food.

It was, I think, the guilty pleasure of my aunt when she would bring my sister, cousins, and I fast food during summer vacation. I spent many an afternoon with a couple of Jack in the Box tacos and fries by my side while stomping around the Mushroom Kingdom. McDonald’s chicken nuggets. A Dave’s Triple. Burger King double cheeseburgers. A healthy stack of Taco Bell tacos. I was schooled in the fine cuisine of fast food from a young age and to this day will still indulge.

Many, many cans of these mini Shasta Mario sodas were consumed in my childhood.

It’s weird how food and games coexist so closely, but particularly the image of the rotund, bloated gamer snarfing down unhealthy treats and snacks. It’s not the fairest description, plenty of gamers are healthy after all, but the naughty foods tend to pair best with our pastime. In my case, I’ll eat sometimes as I play my games, but more often than not it’s a drink by my side, not food. For a lot of other people, though, I think eating is commonplace while playing because gaming can consume so many consecutive hours of play.

Many of you reading this likely sit down for play sessions that can easily stretch from one hour into four, five, six, and even higher. When Harvest Moon 64 launched back in the day and we played it for the first time, my sister and I went from 7:30 in the morning until about eight o’clock that night. Gaming can become very consuming, and when it’s such a constant yes, food is very likely to become a necessity—but not one that has to derail playing. Why not? If we can munch on food while watching movies, games shouldn’t be any different!

Holidays are another big eating and gaming opportunity. Many a New Year’s Eve has been spent playing games with tamales on a paper plate in our household. This time of year, many of you are likely preparing for holiday gatherings where the food will be plentiful and the games equally so. What do you like to eat while you play games? I’d love to know what we’re all snacking on, especially if it’s something kind of odd. Sound off in the comments while I finish up this sandwich.

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