The lights are on
Over the years there has been an inordinate number of articles written about the consumption of Japanese food on video game blogs. What is the mysterious connection between food, video games, and Japan? This enigma has confounded scientists and food eaters for years. In order to get to the heart of one of this industry’s deepest secrets, this reporter packed his bags and traveled to Japan.
First off, a few facts: Food is one of Japan’s primary consumables. Everyone in the country eats it – often multiple times a day. Food was first introduced to the Japanese in 1576 when Dutch sailors crash-landed at Godzilla bay with barrels full of chicken and biscuits. Since then the food industry has grown from a cottage industry into a much bigger kind of industry.
Games on the other hand, are a form of entertainment. Instead of being ingested through the mouth (I’m referring to food there), games are processed by our eyes and ears. These facts are incredibly important. Do not get food and games confused! They are not they same thing…as far as I know.
Food is a kind of energy that is inserted into the body through the mouth. Video games are essentially a form of energy stored as 1s and 0s on shiny discs. The similarities are almost eerie.
Food products are advertized on TV. But so are games! Coincidence? I suspect not. But to get to the truth, I’m going to have to do some hard-hitting journalism.
As I tour Japan, I discover plush toys based on food from games. Games devoted to some of Japan’s most cherished culinary arts and others starring talking mushrooms. Restaurants devoted to Japanese game companies. And game companies are named after salad dressings.
I’m getting close to the truth, I can feel it. Unfortunately, after spending a whole day on the TGS show floor, sticking video game peripherals into my mouth, I’m starting to feel ill. Has someone poisoned me? Am I getting too close to uncovering answers that someone would prefer stayed buried? I can feel eyes glaring at me from every direction. The crowds are closing in. I’m getting too close to this story. Someone doesn’t want me to probe any deeper. I have to get out of this country while I still can.
I notice an armed guard in front of a nearby restaurant; he guards the door with his arms, but also his gun. Does that restaurant hold the truth to the connection between food and games?
As I approach the guard gives me a look. It’s a look of confusion, but I see a hint of hatred. As if he’s saying, “You're looking for forbidden fruit, but you can't handle the truth. You flew too close to the sun, son. You poked a hornet’s nest. Now you have to live with the consequences. You have to sleep in the bed you made – a bed of hornets.”
My world is spinning. I feel sicker than ever. I know now that I shouldn’t have eaten that green cheese. Just because a dog ate some doesn’t mean it was good.
I must return home. I have cats back home that depend on me. I can't go yet!
So, it is with a heavy heart that this reporter boards his plane to return to the US – a country where the line between food and games has been clearly drawn. The mysterious connection between two of the greatest spices of life will have to remain a mystery…for now.
I may be poorer in spirit, but I have plenty of food for thought.
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