We don’t always comment on marketing, but this occasion warrants a very special mention. In order to advertise for upcoming MMO The Elder Scrolls Online, publisher Bethesda and publishing giant Future US are planning a food truck tour of America. They’re stopping at all of the major gaming media events – SXSW, PAX, E3, as well as a number of bigger universities.
What I really want to know is what they’ll be serving. Fake mead? Goofily named burritos? Smoked turkey legs? Probably the turkey legs.
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There are more than a few good ideas in Gus Mustrapa’s Things I Ate in Skyrim, published right here in these very digital pages. Somehow, I doubt a food truck parked outside the carnival of a major game convention/busy university will be able to convey the charming, ludicrous nature of say, Uncooked potato and cabbage.
It is raining by the time I get to Rorikstead, a small weatherbeaten farm on the far end of the tundra. Small plots are ringed in by a low wicker fence. An uptight woman works her crops of potato, wheat, and cabbage. “We're honest, hard-working folk here and we don't suffer beggars or thieves,” she says. I pick all of her crops and sell them back to her, saving one of each to taste for myself. The wheat is edible but unappealing.
All of this talk about food in games necessitates a long, hungry scroll through the delightful Games and Food tumblr, devoted as it is to any and all depictions of food in gaming. The better to get you ready for your Skyrim-themed turkey legs.
In all seriousness, the mixing of games and more – edible - pleasures makes a great deal of sense. Arguably, no media does immersion better than a well-constructed gameworld. Ambitious, culinary-talented gamers could do well to pair up gaming session with appropriate meals.