As you peel, chop and boil your way through Cooking Mama you might start to wonder why you are enjoying the most tedious part of making food. Similarly with cooking videos, as although you have no desire to make a dish you still consume the content. This is called “vicarious consumption” and can be experienced in gameplay alone or by watching cooking videos such as my Cooking Mama recipe recreations.
Kirkwood explains “vicarious consumption” as the enjoyment of food media as a substitute for cooking that is expensive, time consuming, unhealthy or hard. Since the original utility for my cooking account was to provide recipes that were cheap, easy, nutrious and quick I have continued to follow this presence for my Cooking Mama videos. I hope this bridges the gap between the motives of watching my content, whether it is “vicarious consumption” or for the purpose of actually learning a new recipe, as the Cooking Mama recipes selected use skills, ingredients and equipment that reflect the original utility of the account.
Including “vicarious consumption” as a motive for interacting or watching my content is very important, not only to better the videos I create as I am able to understand what my audience likes, but it is also important when analysing the game. Cooking Mama’s paratext which includes the cookey simulation style, as the camera angle, character’s hands and interactions with Mama put the player in the first person experience as they are able to “consume with the eyes” in order to feel satisfied.
A case study that was I was recommended on my pitch video researched if playing sports video games predict increased involvement in real life sports. Adachi and Willoughby discuss “self-determination theory” which predicts that positive experiences that occur whilst playing a sports video game such as winning a level may enhance the players self-esteem as they feel more competent. This is then able to translate into real life as they feel more confident in participating in sports. I would argue that a similar theory may be able to be applied to my analytical framework surrounding playing Cooking Mama, as players are able to familiarise themselves with the processes and experience fulfilment when winning the mini games. This in combination with a real life video of cooking may help to build familiarity and therefore confidence when approaching cooking.
Adachi, P.J. & Willoughby, T (2015) “Does Playing Sports Video Games Predict Increased Involvement in Real-Life Sports Over Several Years Among Older Adolescents and Emerging Adults?” J Youth Adolescence 45, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-015-0312-2
Kirkwood, K (2014) “Tasting but not Tasting: MasterChef Australia and Vicarious Consumption” M/C Journal, Vol.17, No.1, doi: 10.5204/mcj.761