Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Post!

Check out Tumblr for some weird cat games, courtesy of Japan. While I'm at it, here's a picture of my Espurr. Effing thing keeps stealing my candy.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

INTERVIEW: Gourmet Gaming on Bringing the Pixels to the Plate

Daniella Zelli is the creator of Gourmet Gaming, a Tumblr devoted to recreating video game food in real life. Not only is she an avid video gamer and chef; she is an artist. If there's a delicacy in your favorite game, chances are she's made it. Sinner's Sandwich from Deadly Premonition? Check. Some delicious Chateau Romani? Check. Some Old Gateau to go with your Belle Classic Tea? Double-check!
While she has been featured on such things like Kotaku and my beloved Nintendo Power, she took some time to chat with me and fill me in on what she's been doing lately. Let's see what's cookin'! (That was a bad joke; I apologize for that.)

So.... who exactly are you?
My name is Daniella and I'm a test analyst and graphic artist. I used to work in the games industry. Basically, I'm just a long time videogame fan who really likes to eat good food.

Why did you decide to make Gourmet Gaming?
I was unemployed and needed a project to keep my mind focused. I'd been playing Deadly Premonition and the Sinners Sandwich inspired me. It got me thinking about all the other iconic foods in games. When I made the Sinners Sandwiches for my friends for a playthrough party, I realised more people might be interested in eating food from games.

Were you surprised by the popularity of Gourmet Gaming?
I was totally surprised. It wasn't long after I started the blog that it got featured on Kotaku and took off, which was after I made the Minecraft cake. It's such a niche concept, but I guess it had a wide appeal when you think about it.

What was it like when Nintendo Power (among other websites and magazines) reached out to you?
It was really flattering, it still is, when people want to talk to me about my work and what I've done. Having photographers come to my house for national newspapers, and Wired was a surreal experience. But it's very exciting that I've gotten to share my work in that way, that other people think it's important to share.

What kinds of games did you play when you were young? Which were your favorites? 
I had a Sega MegaDrive as my first console and I was, still am, obsessed with Mickey's Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion. They were the first games that really sparked my love of games, and the first games I completed. It was a passion from then on. I was very fortunate that my mom loved games too and played with me and encouraged me to play. She saw them as a positive in my life.

What is the absolute worst abomination of a game you have ever played?

This is a very good question, and one I've never been asked! Although as I've gotten older and have worked in the industry, I find it harder to be negative because I'm aware of the seriously hard work and dedication that goes into each game, even if I haven't enjoyed it. I like to think there's always something redeeming in the design or gameplay to find. Even if I'm not particularly enjoying a game I will try my best to finish it - as for specifics, I'd rather keep quiet and encourage others to seek a more thoughtful analysis or why they didn't enjoy a game, rather than declaring it "awful".