Guest Post by Jamal Asskoumi

Hey guys – I’m off to America in a few days to visit my best friend, so I’m going on a two-week blog hiatus! USA has some amazing food, so I’ll tell you all about it when I’m back. In the meantime, here’s a guest post by an aspiring journalist! Hope you enjoy :)

 

Can Video Games Teach You How To Cook?

By Jamal Asskoumi

League of Trading

With all the technological advancements in the video game industry, it shouldn’t be long before we can see our games cooking food for us, I joke. A number of titles have been released on a number of consoles, where the main concept sees the player of the game as a chef, cook or parent cooking a meal, but I ask, can this really teach us to cook. While I see the answer being; probably not, but who am I to say it won’t.

The Nintendo DS title Personal Trainer: Cooking, really should not even be considered a game, the glorified cookbook which has been formatted for the handheld console, really will bring nothing to your cooking prowess, it’s not even a development on the age cookbook that can be found in every grandmothers house. Okay it was unfair to use a recipe collection, in the argument that games can teach us how to cook, however if we consider a game that has been created for the purpose of educating the public in their gourmet skills, I believe we get a similar answer. Gourmet Chef for the Nintendo Ds (yes, Nintendo seem to like cooking games), pits you as a French chef running a gourmet restaurant in the heart of France. And I believe this does as much for our cooking ability as anyone expected it would, a low budget game with awful gameplay– sorry for the nerd talk, food fans – it’s not even bearable to play let alone teach.

Now to the game that has been plastered all over the world, so you cannot forget it. Yes, it’s Cooking Mama, released on both the ds and the wii consoles, this game revolutionised the cooking video game industry, although there was not much to revolutionise to begin with. With the number of titles in the franchise, one would expect that it must have really benefited the cooking community, alas, this is not the case. It features a series of childish mini games which have quite frankly been created for the likes of toddler, although there are some realistic  elements in regard to the dishes that are made, it will never stack up to the real thing.

The final example I’d like to put forward for consideration, is the almighty Food Network’s Cook or be cooked. As you may imagine, high expectations rested on this game, both in financial gains and authenticity. And I can proudly say that it delivered, it is probably the most realistic cooking game available, aside from the corny narrations and a short story, I believe it is possible to learn a thing or two from this game.

Okay, my verdict, as you can probably tell by my pessimism at the very start of this piece, I was not a firm believer in the idea of video games being able to teach someone to cook, and I stand by my original thought. There is no game available which can compare to being in the kitchen yourself, this is not to say that there will not be in the future, at the rate technology is advancing I have no idea what is possible, but for the time being, it is not a reality.