Pairing Recommendations for Games and Leisure

What are your favorite things to pair with gaming or other forms of entertainment?

Please post your answers here and we'll read them on an upcoming show!

Trachalio's The Gaming Epicurian is one of the more recent posts I'd found for pairing videogames and food, and it seems 2005 was peak year for various video games food/drink pairings, as well. Russ Pitt's Drinking and Gaming: The Dynamic Duo kicked it off in January of that year. In Search of Sustenance, Part One followed a few months after from Lobo, and The Sound of one Hand Eating by Duckideva came along a few months later with some recipes for gaming-friendly foods that still look interesting to try out!

In 2017, a wider selection of areas have legalized cannabis for recreation, so TheMostRad's Reefer Pairing Menu touched on games and cannabis pairings that people preferred together, as well.

I'm sure there's plenty more out there that I've missed, but my goal here was to gather and update, and then highlight it in an upcoming podcast episode and share with the world at large! If you find a particular thread in the forums that relates to this, I'd love to see it, and will update it in the OP.

We haven't even touched on confections and candies, yet. I'm going to say this will be one of the things I'm going to talk at length about on the show, so please feel free to share the sweets you like to engage in when you're being entertained! This also goes for reading books, watching movies, or even playing tabletop boardgames or rpg's with friends.

Thanks again, I'm really looking forward to what you folks have to share! I can't wait.

I would say that I have both nostalgia pairings and what I snack on now.

One pairing that brings me sense memories every time I have it is Diet Redbull and Goldfish. I used to buy it at the PX (on base store) so that I didn't have to go to crappy chowhall and I'd stay in the barracks and play games while eating/drinking.

Now I'll usually have club crackers, string cheese and salami slices: a poor man's charcuterie. We have a soda stream so I'll make my own seltzer.

I have a weak spot for sugar, which I'm trying to mostly remove from my diet, at least overt sugar products. But for gaming, when I indulge, it's either Brookstone chocolate covered fruit candies, or Wockenfuss cordials, the little chocolate balls with a sugar and liquid center. Both can be eaten slowly, not requiring much movement to grab one, and both have a serious sugar hit. With chocolate. Because chocolate.

More commonly, I'll have Lily's Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces. It's stevia sweetened, not suger, but still has caffeine in it, so I can't have much in a day. (For the curious, one third of a bar is around 35-40mg of caffeine, meaning a cup of coffee, so if you're avoiding caffeine for your heart, this is not a good thing to over-indulge. On the other hand, it's about 110 calories for 1/3 of a bar, so... Not bad for that!)

A big pitcher-sized mug of coffee (with unsweetened heavy cream) and cheese. Cheddar squares? String cheese? Those little baybel wax things? The lil Skinmy Cow soft cheese wedges wrapped in foil? Who cares, gimme ur cheese.

Besides the coffee, a big bottle of water and sometimes 2 other beverages, 1 of them probably alcoholic. My desk gets crowded.

Any answer I come up with is so boring... Firstly, because I hate getting dirty fingers when I play, so that rules out most crisps, snacks, chocolates, sweets, etc. And secondly, because I think that if I'm sitting down to play for a while, that's a great time to make sure I'm well hydrated after a busy day.

So my answer is water... Gaming goes great with water... Yay!

I'm not sure why but I don't snack while gaming, maybe some cashews or almonds on the rare occasion. Reading the comments here I can't help feeling I'm missing out! I sip on LaCroix, coffee with whipped cream, rooibos tea, water, hot chocolate with lashings of clotted cream, the occaisional whiskey ... but never ever snacks. I think it's got something to do with not wanting to get my controllers gooped up with foodstuffs!
I guess bevvies' of various flavours are my snacks!

merrypetal wrote:

I'm not sure why but I don't snack while gaming, maybe some cashews or almonds on the rare occasion. Reading the comments here I can't help feeling I'm missing out! I sip on LaCroix, coffee with whipped cream, rooibos tea, water, hot chocolate with lashings of clotted cream, the occaisional whiskey ... but never ever snacks. I think it's got something to do with not wanting to get my controllers gooped up with foodstuffs!
I guess bevvies' of various flavours are my snacks!

I'm with you; can't have goopy controllers!

I find that emulated SNES and GBA games on my phone pair well with waiting in line.

Stevintendo wrote:
merrypetal wrote:

I'm not sure why but I don't snack while gaming, maybe some cashews or almonds on the rare occasion. Reading the comments here I can't help feeling I'm missing out! I sip on LaCroix, coffee with whipped cream, rooibos tea, water, hot chocolate with lashings of clotted cream, the occaisional whiskey ... but never ever snacks. I think it's got something to do with not wanting to get my controllers gooped up with foodstuffs!
I guess bevvies' of various flavours are my snacks!

I'm with you; can't have goopy controllers!

If I'm going to snack when I game, I'll put the salty/greasy stuff in a coffee mug so I don't have to touch it. I can't stand a greasy controller, you should see the decontamination process I perform after the kids' friends have been using my controller.

Running Man wrote:
Stevintendo wrote:
merrypetal wrote:

I'm not sure why but I don't snack while gaming, maybe some cashews or almonds on the rare occasion. Reading the comments here I can't help feeling I'm missing out! I sip on LaCroix, coffee with whipped cream, rooibos tea, water, hot chocolate with lashings of clotted cream, the occaisional whiskey ... but never ever snacks. I think it's got something to do with not wanting to get my controllers gooped up with foodstuffs!
I guess bevvies' of various flavours are my snacks!

I'm with you; can't have goopy controllers!

If I'm going to snack when I game, I'll put the salty/greasy stuff in a coffee mug so I don't have to touch it. I can't stand a greasy controller, you should see the decontamination process I perform after the kids' friends have been using my controller.

Are you telling me these barbarians show up without their own controllers?!!

Beer

Peanut Butter Pretzels

I'm good

Friends!

Who needs food when you’re laughing and smiling with a bunch of great people?

But on topic: I have a bottle of scotch that’s specifically reserved for DnD night. Or a nice Riesling and some aged cheddar is perfect and non messy for a Friday night!

Running Man wrote:
Stevintendo wrote:
merrypetal wrote:

I'm not sure why but I don't snack while gaming, maybe some cashews or almonds on the rare occasion. Reading the comments here I can't help feeling I'm missing out! I sip on LaCroix, coffee with whipped cream, rooibos tea, water, hot chocolate with lashings of clotted cream, the occaisional whiskey ... but never ever snacks. I think it's got something to do with not wanting to get my controllers gooped up with foodstuffs!
I guess bevvies' of various flavours are my snacks!

I'm with you; can't have goopy controllers!

If I'm going to snack when I game, I'll put the salty/greasy stuff in a coffee mug so I don't have to touch it. I can't stand a greasy controller, you should see the decontamination process I perform after the kids' friends have been using my controller.

Buddy of mine uses chopsticks for his cheesy puffs while playing tabletop games for exactly this reason. No orange dusty hands!

Personally, I have some Red Bird mints I enjoy (the crunchy/smooshy mints that are in the bowl by the cash register of a diner).

When I'm in a drinking mood, and since I play a ton of Overwatch, I like to keep a nice glass of scotch nearby like an Ardbeg or something similarly peaty.

Thus began - Overscotch.

Minotaar wrote:
Running Man wrote:

If I'm going to snack when I game, I'll put the salty/greasy stuff in a coffee mug so I don't have to touch it. I can't stand a greasy controller, you should see the decontamination process I perform after the kids' friends have been using my controller.

Buddy of mine uses chopsticks for his cheesy puffs while playing tabletop games for exactly this reason. No orange dusty hands!

It's a serious issue! I must try the coffee mug idea; I'd imagine I lack the dexterity for chopsticks.

IMAGE(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51tYXUw-ZyL.jpg)

^ absolutely delicious but still dusty/greasy

Minotaar wrote:
Running Man wrote:
Stevintendo wrote:
merrypetal wrote:

I'm not sure why but I don't snack while gaming, maybe some cashews or almonds on the rare occasion. Reading the comments here I can't help feeling I'm missing out! I sip on LaCroix, coffee with whipped cream, rooibos tea, water, hot chocolate with lashings of clotted cream, the occaisional whiskey ... but never ever snacks. I think it's got something to do with not wanting to get my controllers gooped up with foodstuffs!
I guess bevvies' of various flavours are my snacks!

I'm with you; can't have goopy controllers!

If I'm going to snack when I game, I'll put the salty/greasy stuff in a coffee mug so I don't have to touch it. I can't stand a greasy controller, you should see the decontamination process I perform after the kids' friends have been using my controller.

Buddy of mine uses chopsticks for his cheesy puffs while playing tabletop games for exactly this reason. No orange dusty hands!

That's pretty neat, but I have to think there's an element of showmanship to it. Would he bother with them if he's alone, playing online?

Minotaar wrote:

^ absolutely delicious but still dusty/greasy

Indeed. I'm more of a pause game, grab bite, take a sip, use napkin, kinda guy or I snack during cut scenes.

When I played Mass Effect I often missed the interrupts that would pop up during conversations because I kept putting the controller down to snack!

PaladinTom's game snack setup.
IMAGE(https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.fitneass.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F06%2FFancy-Dinner.jpg&f=1)

Usually just a splash of bourbon to sip for me, though when the nighttime temp finally drops below 70 regularly (i.e. January) I'll sometimes do up some stove-popped popcorn with minimal oil/butter to minimize the grease factor. Dark chocolate is also great, but given the caffeine factor and the lateness of the hour when I'm usually indulging, I don't go out of my way to have it on hand. Ideally I'd finely grate some dark chocolate and orange zest into the popcorn, but that's more suitable for a movie as it can get hands messy quick.

I fondly remember that back in high school, on our sacrosanct adventure game nights, my sister and I had a nigh-ceremonial snack of Bob's Texas Style Habanero chips with thin slices of monterey jack to take the edge off. If you got a good bag, the heat was intense enough that you really had to savor one chip at a time, and it would definitely wake you up if you were feeling a bit groggy. Sadly they don't make those chips anymore, though it's probably to the benefit of my digestive tract that I can't revisit the past in that particular way.

I've never liked getting my hands dirty so a lot of messier finger foods are out. Dry Apple Cinnamon Cheerios are my go-to but I need to have a napkin because they're a bit sticky. If have carrot and celery sticks in the fridge they would jump ahead of the Cheerios in preference but I don't prepare them ahead of time as much as I should. The white chocolate mini Reese's are my occasional indulgence.

The problem I run into is I often lose myself in a game and the food just sits there - my tea gets cold (or if I start playing before removing the tea bag I forget about removing it before it's too late), the apple slices start turning brown, or all the ice in my water has melted. I need to keep my food and beverages non-perishable.

I've gotten myself addicted to sunflower seeds over the last year or so. I love the saltiness! I've trained myself to much on them a single kernel at a time, which sometimes helps me avoid eating other, less healthy, foods.

I usually wait on alcohol until after I'm done gaming, especially with multiplayer games. I don't want to let my team down because I can't aim as well or I'm missing heals. I still remember how my guild's main tank used to drink heavily back in Molten Core... But I think we ran it so long and so many times that it may have the only way we could keep him with us week after week.

Rocketman574 wrote:

I usually wait on alcohol until after I'm done gaming, especially with multiplayer games. I don't want to let my team down because I can't aim as well or I'm missing heals. I still remember how my guild's main tank used to drink heavily back in Molten Core... But I think we ran it so long and so many times that it may have the only way we could keep him with us week after week.

I think I ran with that guy. In my WoW days our kids were little and I didn't play games around them, which meant I had limited time at night to go raiding. It was endlessly frustrating to have a group lined up for Friday night, then have it ruined by some jackass drunk going Leroy Jenkins and wiping us out over and over. By a guy who probably has all day to play WoW.

Oh thank God I never drank while raiding in WoW. I was too nervous. We had healing coordination to keep track of and it was a challenge while dead sober.

I have definately accidentally gotten too tipsy to finish an evening of Overwatch though (never Competitive), and I'll say something to the group to gauge if I should bounce. Should it happen again I certainly hope someone says something to me.

The "drinking while gaming" thing is not something I have to do, or do often/everytime, but... as a working parent with a long worday and long commute, I will have a drink to speed up the process of shaking off the workday from time to time, and tryin to dual task that and gaming is usually the result of being limited on free time. :/

3or4monsters wrote:

I have definately accidentally gotten too tipsy to finish an evening of Overwatch though (never Competitive), and I'll say something to the group to gauge if I should bounce. Should it happen again I certainly hope someone says something to me.

Yeah I think a friendly warning should be enough for most -not all- folks to get the message and pace themselves.

I sort of rationalized our Leeroy as karma from my college days. In the 90's our D&D group got together at the girls' dormitory for gaming sessions. Somebody always brought beer, and after we'd had a few our DM would get mildly annoyed because the guys and girls were too busy socializing to get anything done in game. She was pretty cool about it though haha. I miss college!