In response to "Mama to the Rescue" from The Escapist forum: I really enjoyed this! Food is probably one of my main passions in life: Eating and cooking are pleasures to be shared with loved ones, and I feel like this column really gets at that. Plus, as someone that rarely uses recipes and just sort of throws together flavors and techniques he enjoys, I can empathize with the wonder at just how much greater the whole is when compared to its parts.

- Byrn Stuff

I have to say, this was my favourite article of the week week. It was funny, it was dramatic, and even a little inspiring. I particularly enjoyed your life lessons - the first two were hilarious, the last one rather touching. That being said, my one experience playing Cooking Mama involved me screwing up literally anything I tried to cook (probably due to my consumption of some distinctly poor-quality gin). But hey, maybe that food would have tasted amazing as well.

- SonicKoala

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In response to "A Gamer in the Kitchen" from The Escapist forum: I work in a smorgasbord-type restaurant, and one of the highlights of my time there is discussing various videogames with the cooks downstairs. Not all the chefs play videogames, but the ones who do are quite passionate about them, and prove to be very knowledgable (except for Phil, to whom I recommended Fallout 3, which he played for under a week before returning it, complaining about it's lack of action...), each in different aspects of videogaming (ie. modern games, older games, different genres, etc).

It's interesting to hear someone make an valid connection between gaming and cooking, and the similar mindset between them.

- Andronicus

I love cooking! My college dorm is severely lacking in kitchen facilities, but once I get my own place, I plan to cook all the time. Many of my friends are content to subsist on frozen foods that taste as bland as the packaging they come in, but I cry: "No, sir! No! Try really making something for once and taste just how much better it is!"

I will admit I take a few shortcuts here and there (buying tomato sauce for pizza, spaghetti, etc), but that's more due to my shortage of funds than anything.

I've also often thought about the overlap between the patience and persistence gaming takes compared to cooking. It was great to see this explored in greater detail. Wonderful article!

- Vimbert

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In response to "Wizards and Weight Watchers" from The Escapist forum: What I find most interesting about this article is how the player faces no consequence whatsoever if they happen to be fat. As you pointed out, they are still just as physically capable as their muscular, vegetable-eating counterparts. What I wonder is whether or not this was a mechanic purposefully inserted into "Fable 2" as a means of conveying the idea that image isn't everything, and that people who have issues with their weight need not feel constrained by the numerous societal pressures placed upon them. If this was indeed the case, I think that's really cool. As the article emphasises, video games are an escape from reality; the freedom to eat as much as you want and be as big as you want, while at the same time not having to deal with any of the consequences of these actions, is as good an escape as any.

But oh, how society has trained our impressionable minds to flinch at the slightest signs of imperfection. Even in something such as a video game, we just can't help but critique and try to "improve" our digital-selves, trying to conform to a notion that doesn't even exist within the game itself. I remember feeling the exact same way with San Andreas - every time I started a new game, one of the FIRST things I'd do is go to the gym and workout until my character was an ├╝ber masculine he-man. CJ's twig-like physique at the beginning of the game was something I simply couldn't associate with his gangster image.

I really enjoyed the article, and although it was light-hearted, it certaintly brings up a number of complex issues inherent in both video games, and our society in general.

- SonicKoala

Susan Arendt:

I certainly don't hold people in real life to the same standards I do my avatars.

But that's the whole point: Videogames aren't supposed to be real life.

I put it to you that the problem here is one you brought in with you. You hint at this yourself in the article: there is no reason for your protagonist's size to be a negative thing. But it is, because you perceive it as such.

This may seem like a bit of a shallow point to make in the context of a videogame, but it's particularly relevant here precisely because we cannot as easily make the same point in real life. I have yet to talk to a single person dieting and not have them mention diabetes, heart disease, mobility or simply just not fitting into their old clothes as a motivation. And yet give people a game where none of these factors apply and they still diet.

Maybe it's not what the players of Fable 2 precisely wanted, or even what the designers intended, but as an instance of videogame-delivers-message it hits pretty hard. We live in a very sizeist society.

(And because some people reading the thread will unfortunately think it matters: no, I'm not fat. I eat what I like and don't put on weight. One day nutritional science will catch up to reality.)

- Dom Camus

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In response to "Press B to Serve" from The Escapist forum: I enjoyed reading your article and am glad someone experimented with all these recipes. Game designers put a lot of effort designing their worlds to be immersive and a can of Nuka-Cola on the ground is no trash it's a gem. It's flattering seeing a fan gave the same amount of effort.

And for a heads up, ignoring the recipe from GlaDOS (which contains inedible and toxic ingredients) the cake featured at the end is a Black Forest Cake. I finally had one last year and it may have been the best thing I have ever put in my mouth.

The model for the cake came from this bakery.

- The Youth Counselor

One time my brothers and I tried to make that soup from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. We mixed canned pumpkin and salmon, and used cream instead of the cheese. I didn't think it was that bad, actually, although the salmon and the pumpkin didn't blend very well.

It was more funny than anything :)

- Bellerophone

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