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[ARTICLE] I Will Eat You and Everything You Love
There’s something deeply satisfying about consumption in videogames. From Pac Man toWe Love Katamari, eating mechanics send hooks right down into the centre of your lizard brain – right down into your stomach – and tug at something crucial there. I have played System Shock 2 but once, in demo form some time in the hinterland of the 90s, but what I remember more than anything is the crisp, full, crunching sound that played when its snacks were consumed. Because we depend for our sustenance on cramming other organic matter down our maw-tubes and swilling it about in our turbulent acid-bags, we cannot help but regard the activity as central to our emotional being; “you are what you eat.” When games tie that process to clear gains and losses in the player avatar’s size and capability, it acutely strengthens her identification with her player character.
Perhaps for that reason, eating in MGS3 feels personal, feels powerful.  I cannot explain the libidinous pleasure I get from my gourmand escapades. My gustatory zeal is never exhausted: birds, fish, snakes, I consume; mangos, mushrooms, spiders and scorpions feed me; beeswax, goats and frogs are my fodder. For all my gluttony, I never fall to sloth (though I have eaten one). It’s aggressive self service, Bear Grylls’ 3-Michelin-starred bear grill. (Read more →)
New article up at the Brindle Brothers online weblogging blog: John writes about eating mechanics in Metal Gear Solid 3 & other games
Posted on 8 April
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