When it comes to gaming culture, I noticed that I don't see many people talking about the relationship between food and video games. Yes, there are games about food and cooking, and many games have famous foods and treats in their lore. But what about what we eat while we game?

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Thinking about it, finding the right gaming snack is less straightforward than you would think. Every game has unique needs, whether mentally, physically, or both. Even on a thematic level, different games have different vibes. For instance, I would feel weird eating lollipops while playing a dark game like Resident Evil. So, I've decided to get creative and marry some snack and game pairings of my own.

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8/8 Street Fighter With Coffee

A cup of coffee in front of an illustration of the Street Fighter 6 roster. Custom image for TG.

As a fighting game fanatic, I can endorse pairing Street Fighter, or any fighting game for that matter, with a full cup of coffee (or energy drink, if that's your jam). Unfortunately, I rarely have time to snack when spamming quarter-circle motions and countering opponents. However, I have time to take a sip of go-go bean water between bouts.

Caffeine is excellent for your reflexes and thinking skills in a match. Maybe I can't say that scientifically, but I think it helps. If anything, it gives me that extra jolt of energy to yell at my TV screen when the boss does something cheap. Believe me, I've bitched at many a fighting game boss in the past.

7/8 The Quarry With Popcorn

A bowl of popcorn in front of the dark depiction of the characters of The Quarry. Custom image for TG.

I've not played The Quarry myself, but I love watching others stream The Quarry. This bizarre werewolf saga is a hell of a time to experience. With so many twists, turns, and disgusting dismemberment, The Quarry stands its ground amongst the horror classics it draws inspiration from.

I love the classic combination of movies and popcorn. Horror movies and popcorn are an incredibly symbiotic pair since you can hide behind the bag of popcorn when you feel a scary moment is coming. And in a game like The Quarry, outside of quick time events and exploring environments, you don't have to use your controller too much. This availability gives one plenty of time to snack on some fluffy popping corn (or drop it on the floor after a terrible jump scare).

6/8 Halo With A Green Smoothie

A green smoothie sits in front of two Halo soldiers playing Co-Op. Custom image for TG.

I don't play much Halo, but I imagine that any FPS requires plenty of situational awareness and communication with your teammates. Therefore, your hands should be available for most of your playtime. So, for this suggestion, my mind was drawn to options with straws.

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Therefore, I recommend a Green Smoothie while playing Halo. Why green? You could say it's for nutritional purposes. But honestly, I chose it because it is Master Chief-themed. But, if you're looking to treat yourself, a mint-chocolate ice cream milkshake is a valid alternative. Mmmmmm, now I want a milkshake.

5/8 Animal Crossing With Apples And Peanut Butter

A plate of apples and peanut butter sits in front of the cast of Animal Crossing, including famous franchise faces like Tom Nook and Isabelle.

Animal Crossing is a lovely laid-back experience that feels wholesome to the core. Whenever I care for my fledgling village, I feel I have accomplished something significant. But in a game where you care for others, you should also take care of yourself. So, a nutritious snack is perfect for any Animal Crossing session.

Apples with peanut butter are a staple snack and completely on-brand for Animal Crossing. For one, an apple tree is one of the plants you can grow on your island. Furthermore, this kindergarten nosh fits the cute and cuddly aesthetic of the game to a T. Cutting up the apples may take a little prep time, but you can take your time when playing a game like Animal Crossing.

4/8 The Sims With Tea And Cookies

The Sims dance and mingle at a party near a fresh cup of coffee. Custom image for TG.

The Sims is another game that does not require advanced reflexes and quick thinking. However, caring for a Sim is a lot of work. For example, have you ever had a Sim wet themselves because they got stuck on their way to the bathroom? (For God's sake, Betty, move the damn kitchen chair! It's not that hard!) In short, caring for a simulated human is stressful work.

A stressful game like The Sims requires a calming snack. Therefore, I recommend a blissful herbal tea and a plate of your favorite cookies/biscuits. Milk and Oreos also work if you're not a caffeine person. Even if your Sims still can't control their bowels, you can enjoy a tranquil chamomile tea while burning their corpse to death in a closed-in death room.

3/8 Civilization With Cheez-Its

A box of Cheez-Its sits in front of a map from Civilization 6. Custom image for TG.

Civilization is a game of strategy, diplomacy, and influence. Therefore, each decision requires careful planning and consideration. Furthermore, Civilization games can take hours, days, or even months to play through. So, this game's snack pairing needs to be something you can munch on mindlessly for hours.

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In my mind, Cheez-Its are a good Civilization snack. Of course, Cheez-Its is a biased take since they're one of my favorite snacks. Still, you can get much munching time out of a Family Size box. Plus, it's an easy snack to grab and nibble on without having to take attention off of your empire-planning. Lastly, if you want to snack methodically, you can take a Cheez-It cracker and nibble it by the edges like a squirrel with a nut.

2/8 Elden Ring With Takis Fuego

A red hot bag of Takis Fuego sits in front of a boss from Elden Ring. Custom image for TG.

For my snack pairings so far, I focused on snacks that can easily accompany their respective game. But Elden Ring is not about accommodations. If you can't figure out how to snack while taking down enemies, you don't deserve to eat. Elden Ring is all about challenges. So its snack pairing has to become an obstacle rather than an amenity​​​​.

Therefore, I am picking one of the most dangerous snacks you'll find in a grocery store: Takis Fuego. These powdery, greasy rolled-up corn chips will make your controller a sticky tacky mess. Plus, a bag of these hot bowel-bombers will give you the unique sweats that only come with a bad case of the runs. So if you thought fighting Malenia was tough before, wait 'til you're holding in sharts while clumsily sliding your fingers on a greasy Dualshock 4. Sounds too hard? Guess that means you have to git good.

You can sub in Takis with the Paqui One Chip Challenge if you really hate yourself.

1/8 Mario Party With Sour Jelly Stars

Princess Peach rolls a die next to a pile of colorful sour jelly stars. Custom image for TG.

I'll be candid. When I thought of this idea, I felt ridiculously clever. Furthermore, I think I will try this idea at my next game night.

Okay, here's my idea! In Mario Party, you win by gaining stars. However, besides the rush of shoving your new star in your friends' faces, collecting stars can feel shallow. But, suppose you won a star in real life as well? I propose that the next time you play Mario Party, you reward Sour Jelly Stars whenever someone gets a star in the game. Not a sour candy person? That's okay! Any star-shaped snack will do, like star-shaped cookies or star-shaped chocolates.

Plus, if you're the person who brought the star-shaped candies to Mario Party night, everyone will love you much more than the underhanded bastard who wins.

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