Cooking With Cooking Mama Beta

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,

Kirkwood, K (2014) “Tasting but not Tasting: MasterChef Australia and Vicarious Consumption” M/C Journal, Vol.17, No.1, doi: 10.5204/mcj.761

11 thoughts on “Cooking With Cooking Mama Beta

  1. paige sutton October 20, 2020 / 11:25 pm

    Hi Bella! I actually follow your project on an older DA account and it was so cool to see your stuff come up on my Instagram! The progression into TikTok seems like a really wise and natural move and already has awesome results.

    I am glad that my sports paper recommendation helped, there is definitely a lack of cooking game academic research so taking applicable concepts from other research is the right way to go. The idea of vicarious consumption actually reminded me of a little bit of the mass of video gameplay videos. There is actually a science behind why watching others play is so popular, this article talks about mimicry and learning from watching – which I think fits with the success of the project quite well (

    For your overall analysis, this paper ‘An Analysis of a Video Game on Cognitive Abilities: A Study to Enhance Psychomotor Skills via Game-Play’ would be good to read through ( If you still want to focus on the area of skill improvement, it reads “many researchers argue that game elements can be used to solve real-life issues in support of automatic responses, attention, eye-hand coordination, and other cognitive skills”. Cooking can be an area where you need to think on your feet and hand-eye coordination is fundamental to the process – so it would be interesting to see if Cooking Mama could improve the response time to a cooking disaster rather than just being able to make what is on the screen.

    The Week 8 lecture where Chris discusses Joost Raessens’ chapter, ‘Computer Games as Participatory Media Culture’ would be an interesting application to this project. The ontology of participation that goes over multimediality, virtuality, interactivity, and connectivity, especially interactivity, would be good to consider when building upon your framework.

    Good luck with the rest of your project! 🙂


  2. weng, yidi October 21, 2020 / 12:20 pm

    Hi! Bella! I find that your game project is getting clearer. Posting videos on TikTiok is a great thing, because more viewers will follow to you and make corresponding suggestions. There is an “award system” in many games, and cooking games also have this system. I think that many players have a certain sense of satisfaction when they gradually gain awards while playing the game, and they will even drive themselves to get more or even all the awards. So, I agree with your final point. After using games to gain experience and watching videos, you can gain experience and confidence. My suggestion is that you can turn your cooking video into level mode, let the audience choose the recipe (in the game recipe), then you can make it. And get rewards through interactive voting content.In this way, you can get more audience interaction, and you can also get a sense of achievement.


  3. ashlanrose October 22, 2020 / 9:49 am

    Hi Bella!

    I grew up obsessing over the game cooking with Mama, so I absolutely love this idea for a DA!
 Great choice of turning to TikTok as another platform to share your content. I believe the cooking community is quite large on the platform (I follow a fair few cooking accounts myself).

    Tiktok is still a relatively new and emerging platform so users haven’t quite figured out how to nail the algorithm. I found this article which explores the best ways to create engagement on TikTok.

    Günel lists the top ways to become more seen on the “FYP”.

    Günel suggests users to:
    – Encouraging other users to pause your videos
    – Implement a share button
    – Create mysterious/teaser videos
    – Share BTS videos
    – Be consistent

    Chris shares a reading from the week 9 lecture: LaRell Anderson, Sky 2017. Watching people is not a game: interactive online corporeality,, and videogame streams. Game studies.
    Since your DA involves remaking the game as your own version, this article could be incorporated in your final DA contextual essay. The article explores the human element of gaming, meaning the text focuses on the embodied experience of playing games “through a study of character representations of player behaviours.

    Can’t wait to see your DA continually progress over the coming weeks, good luck!


  4. Josephine Doyle October 22, 2020 / 11:28 pm

    Hi Bella! This is such an impressive game media analysis. Note that there is a small grammatical error in the first sentence of your blog post which instead of “your are” should be “you’re”- an easy fix! Firstly, it’s great that your IGTV’s fill up a whole phone screen as people are more likely to engage with it and also mimicking the split screen of a DS is an awesome paratext. Software company AgoraPulse have a useful blog post discussing the best sizes for Instagram posts for engagement and ease of sharing the post to other platforms which I recommend reading TikTok is definitely an ideal platform for your content which you are already seeing in the increased engagement on your videos. As a TikTok user myself, my fyp often features a lot of videos about nostalgic things such as old tv shows, toys and games. Have you done much research into other people making similar content to get some inspiration? I know for my DA,, I found looking at other colour aesthetic accounts such as really beneficial for iterations in my project! Raphael Gomes is a successful YouTuber who posted this video recreating a Cooking Mama recipe which has over 3 million views and 7000 comments. Many of the comments are users giving a star rating on his cooking, mimicking the Cooking Mama game. It is possible that to increase the engagement in your posts you could ask your audience to leave a comment with their own star rating of your cooking creation! The analytical framework guiding your analysis is really strong. I found it interesting to read about vicarious consumption as I had never heard of this before. I did a bit of research to learn more about it and I came across this 2015 article which supports the notion that a first person perspective immerses the player into the game as it allows the player to “perceive the game through the eyes of the character, observing the world around them up close, giving a clear view of the scenery in front of them” (Cairns & Denisova, 2015, pp. 1). Great work Bella, I look forward to seeing more of the progress of your project!


  5. aliciamcfadden October 23, 2020 / 12:29 am

    Hi Bella, wow your DA is looking so good! Your TikTok and Instagram Reel videos with the side by side shots are cool and give me so much nostalgia. I agree with you that it does remind me of a DS with the split-screen aspect, and I think that that is part of the reason for the nostalgic vibes that your videos are giving me and I’m sure many other viewers.

    I am glad to see that my comment on your pitch, which included this paper on simulation games, was helpful and useful to you. I remember it being quite hard to source academic sources on cooking games specifically. I feel that it might be useful for you to look at more simulation game articles instead if you are struggling to find cooking ones specifically. I found this one which I think might also interest you, it talks about the effectiveness of simulation games as learning environments, which I feel relates to you trying to learn the recipes out of the game.

    I feel that your project would tie in nicely with Joost Raessens’, ‘Computer Games as Participatory Media Culture’, which was discussed in week 8’s lecture because you are demonstrating in your project participation across multimedia platforms all about one game.

    Overall, excited about your project and love how it is looking, keep up the great work!


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