Monday, November 9, 2009

Gaming and food - a memory of trolls

When you think of gaming, do you think of food? At most gaming tables, snacks will be consumed. The availability of snacks are even codified in many rule books, which state what equipment you need to play the game. Eating and gaming go hand in hand.

I've read that in order for a memory to get stuck in your brain, it helps to have many different senses involved. Just imagine when you take down that big monster, and the pizza you were eating at the time. Big monsters always makes you think of mushrooms. I also have a memory of food and gaming, but not food I've ever eaten.

Back when I was a teenager we didn't eat that much while gaming. Usually we did take a break for some food, but snacks at the table were scarcer. Now when I have gotten older and my metabolism is getting slower, it's far more common with some eating. I figure I'm doing it wrong.

But, I don't have any specific relationship between food and gaming, no must-have snack. I haven't even ever used the pizza matrix on my excellent D&D screen from Kenzer Co! Maybe one of these days. But, I do think of eggs when trolls are mentioned.

Lodged in my memory is an encounter with a troll, when I was far younger than today, at the beginning of my career in dungeon delving. Tingling with anticipation I had bough the Fighting Fantasy solo game book The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and I was taking the first steps as a novice adventurer. I explored caverns deep beneath the earth and marvelled at the wonders found underground. There was a troll in one room, and he had a larder. When I had dispatched him, I no longer remember how many tries it took, I searched his storage and found eggs.

Eggs are nothing special, I eat a few every week. But, there was something highly mystical about these eggs. They were pickled. To my young mind nothing could be more exotic and weird than pickled eggs. Are they uncooked? Are they still in their shells? I tried to imagine how and why. Among the food I ate with my family, there were no such things as pickled eggs. They were purely in the realms of fantasy. The wonder of eggs.

Many times have I read about sense of wonder, which in science fiction is that sense that you're not in Kansas anymore and that wide vistas of possibilities opens up in your mind. I still like a good book giving me that feeling. In all the literature of the fantastic that "sensawunda" can be found if you are lucky, and for me the most wondrous thing fighting monsters under a volcano was pickled eggs.

Imagine my surprise when I decades later one day visit my local Loblaws supermarket and found a jar of pickled eggs! I just stared at them, barely believing that they existed. It almost made me want to buy them, go home and start digging a dungeon! Naturally I couldn't buy them. Pickled eggs are Fantasy, and only available as treasure after fighting trolls.


  1. Pickled Eggs taste wonderful. They truely are a fantasy food ;)

  2. Meanwhile Kirsten and Troy and Wes and I are starting to game again, fooling around with stuff we haven't played before, and I'm wondering what kind of food will go with a space game? Freeze-dried foods, nutrient bars, spirulina? :)

    Obviously if we play Mouse Guard we have to eat cheese, nuts and seeds and stuff. And if we do Burning Wheel orcs it should be lots of meat jerky - Troy would have a problem in that game, I think XD Maybe he can play a vegetarian orc?

  3. I wish I could get in that game!

    Earl Gray is supposed to be possible in space...

    Troy maybe can find some tofu jerky? ;)


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