What foods do you eat while gaming?

Left: bag of Doritos; Right: Nintendo 64 console
Graphic: Karl Gustafson, Photo: Joe Raedle/Newsmakers/Getty Images, SOPA Images/Getty Images

Welcome to Gamer Week, in which The Takeout will be celebrating the edible side of video games all week long.

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In an article about video game length on The Ringer, game designer Frank Lantz estimates that “the standard, canonical video game consumer product” takes about 50 hours to play through. (The example provided was Witcher 3.) From a numbers standpoint, that amount of gameplay is likely to cause you to plow through a lot of mealtimes you might have otherwise spent at your kitchen table. So, which foods pair best with the adrenaline rush of your favorite video games? We asked our friends, the gaming experts at Kotaku, for their input. And we want to hear your favorite gaming snacks as well.


You’ve no doubt heard the gags about gamers and Cheetos, or gamers and Cheez Doodles, or gamers and some other unsavory, unhealthy snack that leaves orange residue on your fingertips and orange residue on anything those fingertips touch. In order to preserve the unblemished powder-snow plastic of my PlayStation 5 controller (yes, that was a not-so-humble brag), I gravitate toward a different type of snack. It’s still orange, like all good gamer snacks, and crunchy too, but it leaves no mess. I’m talking, of course, about baby carrots. Bonus: They also sharpen my eyesight, so I can see better while absolutely destroying other players in—oh, what? That’s a myth? Darn. Guess I’m switching to Cheez-Its. —Ari Notis, staff writer, Kotaku


I’m not a fan of eating and gaming at the same time. I hate watching my pristine controllers get covered in cheese or chocolate. However, I’m still a human being and that sadly means I must sometimes eat food when I would rather be playing a game. In those instances, the food I tend to go for must share a few qualities: Not messy. Easy to eat with hands. No utensils needs. And preferably something I can pop in my mouth easily, without needing to look at it or think too much.

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What I’m saying is that I often heat up some pizza rolls in the microwave using a special method that I wrote about once. (I leave them in the microwave and heat them up a few mins later. Shh. Don’t tell anyone.) These pizza rolls aren’t super messy and they make me feel sad as I eat them because I feel like a walking cliche. The gamer who eats pizza rolls. I often wash it down with an energy drink. I hate myself. I’m going to stop writing and drink some water. Leave me alone. Zack Zwiezen, weekend editor, Kotaku


I don’t play many different video games (I have a rotation of about five that I bounce between), but when I do, it’s a lot like going to the movies—primarily an excuse to pair a cinematic experience with my snack. When I buy a ticket to see Knives Out at the AMC, I’m really just buying a comfy seat in which to down some Sour Patch Kids and Dr. Pepper, and when I head to the living room to unwind with some Red Dead Redemption II, in reality I’m just looking to unwind with Cheez-Its and a citrusy IPA. This salty-sweet combo isn’t as ruinous to my controller as many other snack chips would be; Cheez-Its don’t leave any residue behind besides a very slight greasiness that I can pretend is from the natural oils of my hands, and a beer koozie prevents condensation. The only issue? If my IPA is above 6% ABV, suddenly sharpshooter Arthur Morgan can’t aim worth a damn. —Marnie Shure, editor in chief

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I’ve been playing so many video games during this pandemic that I should be an honorary member of the Kotaku staff. A member that plays games but doesn’t do the work of writing about them. Here’s what I eat whenever I play video games: Nothing. I have never had the experience where the food I’m eating doesn’t get on the controllers. I already suspect that I’m kind of a disgusting person, and I don’t want to risk spreading my disgustingness to my sacred, sacred video game controllers. —Dennis Lee, staff writer/disgusting person

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I sometimes eat popcorn when I do the crossword puzzle online. Does that count? —Aimee Levitt, associate editor

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Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

Associate editor of The Takeout. Chicagoan. Owned by dog.

Staff writer at The Takeout. Also: Saveur Humor Blog Award Winner, professional pizza maker, and insufferable troublemaker.

DISCUSSION

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Canned Laughter

Trader Joe’s/Aldi’s peanut butter pretzels; sweet and salty, no mess, infinitely snackable, and goes great with rye on the rocks.