Inexplicable Videogame Phenomenon #1

February 10, 2010

For a medium that (for the most part) strives continually for realism, for larger-than-life interactive storytelling, it is amusing to note that sometimes an utterly bizarre videogaming mechanic, that has no basis in real-world logic, will be added and repeated without the gaming public even batting an eyelid. In this, the first of an ongoing irregular series, infinitecontinues examines the curious case of…

Cure-all Food

Imagine, if you will, that you have just been struck over the bonce with the business end of an extremely heavy iron pipe. Factor in several probable knife stabbings and an unending barrage of punchs and kicks. The sliver of health bar remaining indicates that you are within an inch of death, and little wonder; you probably have a fractured skull, massive brain damage, and are bleeding profusely from several stab wounds. What do you need in this situation? A team of the best surgeons in the world, probably, and several months of rehabilitation under careful monitoring. What do you get? A fucking apple. And the apple HEALS YOU!

Although we’ve all heard that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, the developers of gaming classic Streets Of Rage were obviously hearing ‘an apple a day cures all mortal wounds.’ I’m sure Streets Of Rage wasn’t the first videogame to introduce the bizarre notion that food is a cure-all restorative that staves off impending death, and it certainly wasn’t the last (this morning, I healed myself in Bioshock 2 – a game released just yesterday – by eating potato chips), but it’s certainly one of the most memorable.

As illogical as it is for an apple to keep you alive, console yourself with the fact that fruit is, in fact, a healthy snack in the real world. Explain then, why another of Streets Of Rage’s most well-known healing foodstuffs, is a full roast chicken? Ignore the brow-furrowing fact that somebody has left a full roast chicken out on the street in an iffy neighbourhood, and instead focus on the fact that, at a stroke, all that careful propaganda from dieting companies was brought tumbling down by the assertion that chowing down on fatty poultry was the best thing for you.

Cure-all food then – if only it was as beneficial in life as it is in videogames.


4 Responses to “Inexplicable Videogame Phenomenon #1”

  1. teeny Says:

    I love this feature!

    Ash, have you played Disaster: Day of Crisis on the Wii? Its the only game that has made me really stop and think “why?” when it comes to food as restorative items.

    At about the two minute mark, you witness Ray eating a cheese burger bigger than his head in about a second, flat.

    Food as health just doesnt make sense, but I hope it never goes away 😀

  2. Noobcake Says:

    Don’t forget the little bunches of cherries Pacman could scoff on his way around the maze that made him invincible for a short time! Pretty sure Mario has eaten his fair share of weird foods, mushrooms and such like too.

    Perhaps having a variety of strange foods makes for more enjoyable gaming than a plain white box with a First Aid cross on the side. If I were transported to the gaming world I’d rather be crunching an apple or chicken or burger everytime my brains were hanging out than a dull First Aid pack.

    I have fond memories of feeding an endless supply of coins into the machine playing Streets of Rage in the arcade, that and Power Drift – the sit down version, super cool…well at the time anyway!

    • I’d rather be munching on apple and chicken than first aid kits too, Noobcake. This series is designed to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, so take it with a pinch of salt 🙂

      Teeny – nice vid. Might have to add the game to my pile of unplayed titles 😉

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