Can A Video Game Teach You How to Cook

When I was a kid my mum would always shout at me if I was playing too many videogames. “Do your homework! Learn something!” she’d blast, or “Put that down and read something!” while I was hunched over in front of my TV.

But what if you turned around and told her “Mum, I am learning something. I’m learning to cook”? Well, in this day and age, that kind of retort is made possible by the huge amount of cooking videogames currently available on the market.

Far from being just a mindless time sink, could these little digital gems actually teach you how to cook up a real-world feast? Lets find out.

Cooking Mama

I just had to start with this title. Back in 2006, Cooking Mama was responsible for creating what is now a huge gaming genre in the U.S. For the uninitiated, this cute Nintendo DS cooking game lets you prepare numerous dishes under the watchful eye of Mama. Each task has a strict touch-centric time limit and at the end of the tasks you are awarded a gold, silver or bronze medal.

Cooking perfection or culinary nightmare? The important question – does this game teach you to cook? Well, yes and no. It won’t tell you how to BBQ a perfect sausage, or teach you how to cook steak on your smoker from the Find Top Rated Electric Smokers guide. Rather, with this game it’s all about food preparation. How to peel potatoes, dice carrots and finely cut onions.

What’s Cooking? with Jamie Oliver

You are browsing the SmokyGoodnessBBQ.com – Brisket advice on the advantages of smoking meat. Hungry, you reach for your new Jamie Oliver cookbook, intent on looking for some tasty BBQ recipes. But instead of just reading chef Oliver’s recipes, why not actually cook with him? Because you can in this title, which is a cross between a game and a digital cookbook, with the star chef’s narration over the top.

Cooking perfection or culinary nightmare? Sounds like a bad idea, right? Well, it is. As a cooking tips and recipe book, it’s fairly useful. But what’s the point when the thing is so damn boring to play? This will more likely scare you away from the kitchen with Oliver’s cockney voice in your head than inspire you.

Personal Trainer: Cooking

Inspired a little by Jamie Oliver’s take on a cooking game, this title goes further, and not only gives you recipes, hints and tips for cooking, but lets you digitally cook them in front of the game’s sentient-like robot chef.

Cooking perfection or culinary nightmare? This really will help those of us that suck in the kitchen. A few sessions with the expert guidance of the title’s digitized chef can yield some tasty dishes.