i’ve been meaning to post about this for a while. and although this is about video games, it is somewhat food related (and i know winnie’s been playing her sister’s DS) so i thought i’d post it here. for those who haven’t heard, nintendo has proven that innovation can succeed, with their fairly recently released handheld the DS (now available in a “lite” version). the DS uses two screens, but more importantly it uses a touch screen/stylus interface (and a microphone for voice recognition components). their games brain age (simple activities to exercise your brain) and nintendogs (keep a pet dog; like ye olde tamagotchi toys but on a whole new level) have been huge hits worldwide.
which brings me to the food-related portion of this post: one of their latest quirky offerings and a sleeper hit is cooking mama. there are other video games like this that consist of “mini-games” that are usu. fairly straightforward tasks such as tapping the screen or moving your stylus in a certain way. in this case, cooking mama takes you through a whole slew of actual recipes, from simple tasks of making rice or a sandwich to more complex tasks such as making fried wontons (and you have to do the plating as well haha). lively animation and music are the major draws here (although one drawback is it’ll make you hungry!), and although experienced cooks may not get a whole lot out of it, if you have friends or relatives who know nothing about cooking, this might get them started on the right track.
here’s the US trailer:
and here’s a video of someone going through one of the recipes: tenderizing meat, breading it, and then throwing it into the deep-fryer:
the newest thing nintendo has come up with is the wii (pronounced “we”), due out in the US in a week. like the DS, the focus here is on innovation rather than horsepower. here the controller is motion sensitive, so instead of pushing buttons you move the controller around. this japanese commercial will give you some idea of what possibilities this interface provides in terms of games. nintendo’s promo videos, in which they got regular people from different countries to try it out, are hypnotic to watch. someone has compiled the first few and put them on youtube (below) but the originals are much higher quality and can be found here. be sure to check out the one w/ the older japanese couple playing golf and the japanese family playing baseball.
it’s not too surprising that a wii version of cooking mama is in the works. here’s a video from france from a gaming convention where someone tries out a demo.
people have been endlessly debating about whether or not the wii will succeed ever since it was announced, esp. in its attempt to draw the attention of more casual gamers. the DS’s success is promising, although nintendo already had a huge share of the handheld market. they’re far behind in the home console market, but this could very well be a gamble that pays off. looks like we’ll find out soon though.