Online Text Games or Food?

games versus food

By Lorna Cowie

As much as one can scoff (hah, pun!) at the title, text-based games can become so involving that there might be a time when you log in, tap away on your keyboard and before you know it, half the day is gone, you are starving hungry... yet knee deep in roleplay and hunting in your text game.

Now, a wise text games player would tell you this:
Have snacks with you by your computer.
However, your body would tell you this:
Don't do it! But if you have to, try and make them somewhat healthy.

Snacking whilst on a computer is a fast and sure way to gaining weight, let alone owning a greasy keyboard, so some consideration should be taken into account when you are having a full on text adventure game playing fest. Simple things like your crisps (chips to all you Americans) are baked and not fried, substituting a favourite snack for some pieces of carrot and cucumber (yes I know, they are vegetables, but only a few of them!) and instead of guzzling fizzy drinks, try a fruit cordial mixed with ice water. I have found that having a bag of boiled sweets (hard candy) to hand helps. It offers a burst of sugar when needed and keeps me occupied and off snacking before the screen while playing online text games.

Yes, everyone these days are telling you to watch your weight and the amount of rubbish you eat, and yes, your time before your favourite online text game is your own, and it is treasured and should be enjoyed... but cutting down a little will help a lot.

But you know... to be honest, there are just those times in your online text game playing life when only the best junk food will get you through that fifth hour of hunting and only a glass of fizzy drink will keep you awake, so clearly I vote gaming over eating. Irresponsible of me? Perhaps, but I love a full on text adventure game night once in a while, and it tastes better with my snacks.


Here are some hints to help:

- Take regular breaks (if you remember to!) and go drink a glass of water. Giving your eyes a rest from the text based RPG stops them from becoming strained and the water will help you remain hydrated.

- Allow yourself the occasional text games playing night. It is your own personal time so should be enjoyed.

- Keep a bag of boiled sweets close by to suck on while playing text adventure games, and do so sparingly so that you are less likely to nibble.

- Chose oven-baked crisps over deep-fried and have some pieces of apple, carrot and cucumber for when you know you will want to eat.

- Try and resist the call of having food delivered. It is convenient and tasty, but costly in both money and calories.


Lastly, don't forget there is a world outside of your text games. As much as we all enjoy them, sometimes a person has to do what a person has to do.
Be responsible. If you are hungry, eat. Forgetting to eat for too long is bad for your health and could lead to serious consequences. So don't do it.

Enjoy! I know I will... with a nice slice of chocolate cake.

All fueled up? Then prepare yourself for some of the most epic text RPGs out there.

Lorna Cowie is a text game enthusiast and currently plays games from Iron Realms.


Chips (crisps for all you Brits) are a vegetable. So HA!


actually, they're a starch... unless you're eating carrot/beet chips, etc. Potato isn't a veg.


potato wins, regardless!



Food is for the weak.


As is sleep.

Sleep? Food? What are those strange things?

Sleep? Food? What are those strange things?

They are what everyone needed before they hit level 80.

to hell with those, regardless.





I ate cheese


Ha, this.

I'd never remember to eat it if I was caught up in the game.

I think so too.

one of the few things I'll stop for, actually. :P

There are gyms too! I think it is very important to have a balanced life style. 

It is. I feel guilty that mine isn't.


Probably because of Achaea?

I have a tendancy to drink obscene amounts of tea while I play, also I have the occasional pit stop for a sandwich or three (brown bread, olive butter, and marmite; a winning mix). But the tea is what keeps me sharp and focused. Most of the time.  Also crisps (translation: see main text) are good, but I have always found that baked ones do not taste as good as fried, or perhaps that is just me.  Finally I like boiled sweets (translation: see main text) but I cannot suck them, I just chew them stright off the mark, again perhaps that is just me.
See you in the realms

Caffeine is indeed good for focus.


This post is a good way for someone to take a look at themselves and realize if you're maybe spending -too- much time online or crossing that line from 'fun hobby' to addiction. If you're weight gain can be directly attributed to just the fact that you play online games, I highly suggest (100% for health reasons) that you consider at least exercising a few times of week -- even if it just means a walk -- to get some fresh air, exercise, and vitamin D. Believe it or not this sort of stuff is really, really important.


Also, if you've gotta have soda and you drink more then one a day -- diet isn't that bad! You have Coke Zero etc and all those products now that don't have the diety taste either and with the lessened amounts of sugar and calories are much safer for people who have more seditary lifestyles. 


Learning when your body is hungry out of boredom and out of actual need is really important too.

Totes still agree with myself.

The xkcd comic comparing the sugar in soda to sugar in Cadbury creme eggs really put me off. Diet seems so much better.

I know the feeling.

Its really actually rather gross.

I feel guilty.

I like to eat sunflower seeds while gaming. I also enjoy coffie for those long hauls.

It is important finding something that will not mess w/ the keyboard.

Coffee is a must.  Was suprised to see a recommendation to drink water - who does that!

I tend to forget about eating when I'm involved in really tense gaming, like a war....

Toilet breaks too. 

I have no need to eat, I simply suck sustenance from anyone that walks by within arm's reach. Necromancy is a wonderful thing. But really, usually it's a 'eat when you start getting really hungry' thing. I don't really snack, but do make sure to take a break to do some stuff around the house and keep up with excercise. Kettlebells, FTW!

I am to lazy to go get food so I am fine with regard to my weight :P

Luckly living with a roomate help me eating regularly. When I'm alone and Im in hardplay mode there's no such a thing like "time", I do eat when I need, but I keep drinking all over.


Yeah, it goes both ways for me, I can easy go without food to play or if I do get hungry enough to notice then I get up and cook or make a snack.

Sometimes...sometimes. :P

Events are terrible for my eating and sleeping cycles. I'll just stay at the keys in case something happens, not risking or bothering to go and fetch food. Inevitably, when I get the RL-equivalent of the "Your need for sustenance is becoming serious" message, I'll go and grab a sandwich, and that's when stuff will start happening. And since I'm in the UK, all the interesting stuff goes down at around two in the morning. Which isn't great.

Given a choice between eating and anything interesting, I tend to forget about eating. (Like lunch today that I forgot about).

Sometimes I even choose Achaea over coffee.That takes a great deal more interest.


I tend to forget sleep... at 1am on a work night.

anyway, you can always have coffee -in- Achaea.

yaaaaaay PopChips! very good article. I usually eat a meal before logging in, or keep some popchips nearby (100cals per bag!)

Good idea

I suppose the fact that I can comment on the change in eating habits when I play illustrates that I do play a little too much. Or am a little obsessed, addicted, whatever you like to call it.


My tip would be to drink water, even if you don't like to eat while you play - keeps you hydrated with fluids, and kind of 'forces' you to go to the bathroom for a break once in a while. Its a break which is much needed - think of your eyes!

I usually forget when I've been going at it for a while, but it's never intentional! My body just learns to get used to being without food. 8( Least until I start shaking.

Pancakes for dinner at the pc today!

If you starve to death you can't game anymore so you may as well eat. 


I read a story once about a witch who was so enthralled by a magical scrying device she had found that she would do nothing but stare into it all the time. She would wet herself rather than miss one second of what was going on with that glam. "Such a pretty glam it was", she would say.


Sometimes I think of her when I have been playing too long. "Such a pretty game it was."

I like peanuts, not sure how healthy they are though.


Food > Games. Srsly.

at my computer desk not by habit, but by default. I had to use my small kitchen table as a computer desk several years ago when my computer desk fell apart. Never did have the money to get either a new computer desk or a new table. Eh, it works for me.

...what I do sometimes almost forget is going to the supermarket to obtain something edible, though. Stopped counting how often I had to leave because the supermarket wouldn't wait for me. Sometimes I even log out and cook something!


I tend to forget. I can also go loong times without eating and not really feel that hungry. :/ That's probably bad, but my stomach's shrinking, so feeding myself will be cheaper. Right?

But among the negative sides to that defense of the human body kicking in is that it becomes a touch overzealous about processing everything you do eat and drink. Since there's less of a regular cycle in the intake of food, the body's rudamentary prediction of what it needs to hold onto goes haywire and rather than passing some amount of the fats et. al. through, it stores every bit it can. This is also why diets that completely cut some form of food out work great for a short while, but rarely last long term.


Unsalted almonds or pretzels is good.


Stick to no caffeine after a certain time (say 1400) so you don't find yourself wide awake late at night


Similar to articles you read or hear, or shows you watch, when you're at work at a desk you should take regular breaks to get up, exercise, get fresh air, etc. Same with an eighteen hour xp gathering session!


Always great to make a break (or breaks) a sit down meal -- give your eyes and wrists a rest.



Although my cut off for tea or coffee is 7pm

It is sad to have to read this kind of articles.  It might be helpful to some, but it gives an impression that "text adventurers" are some kind of idiots without a slightest amount of basic common sense.

It may be common sense when you think about it, but it's articles like this that prompt you to think about it in the first place. Little nudges are helpful.

I admit...I eat at my computer alll the time.

.. as any who know me ought to expect, I admit nothing at all.


The water thing is pretty important imo - your brain just get way too hazy without proper hydration.

I'm a bit of a foodie, so I don't think I could end up not spending money on many good restaurants, so litlte income.

pizza is good texting food!!  Yummmmm!!!!!




I tried this once and spilled water AND vegetable soup on my keyboard. D:

food wins..

I eat my keyboard, then play text games via the process of digestion.

You sound just like my mother



Food comes first, IE: Boy hospitalized after playing MW3 for four days and doesn't eat or drink.

That kid was stupid. 

red bull, popcorn, and reps of exercises in between bashing zones!!

I always keep allot of food by my computer and eat it, but Cannot gain weight. I blame Achaea, I run and run and run or forge and forge and forge. I guess it's enough excersisse to not gain weight

What if you just turned your computer off for a little while and ate a meal, then turn it back on when you are done. Is that really so hard for people to do?

I'm one of those people that will eat at my computer or on a couch in front of the tv, etc. So that parts not really a problem for me. I also tend to not mind getting up to actually get food or cook food. I'll usually wait until I'm done to cook or get food if I'm in the middle of something that requires my full attention.

Hmm, pizza.





when someone makes a hat that holds a sandwich and a drink like tht hat that holds beer in baseball games... the mudding world would be better.

you can drink shakes while typing

Mmm... drinking yoghurt... Though not the healthiest option!

More ramen

food is dumb

seems like common sense.  Your body needs food and water.  The text world - fun as it is - is still just a game.

Whether online or offline, I'm pretty much always eating something. Got a lot of weight to gain back after being sick for a long while.

ISet the computer up in the kitchen


A PSA for text gamers. Gotta love it. The sad thing is I've had to be reminded a couple times in the past to take a break.

I hate hunger attacks.

its just a good reason to get to level 80 and be done with it

Psh. No question here, obviously... >.>

Yumm... food.

and I still burned the eggs.

burn them eggs!!

I just find a safe spot when the need to find food strikes and either logout or be afk for a minute or two.

I usually wait till my willpower has run out... go meditate and theeeen get up to go get something proper to eat... then I go back till my willpower runs out theeeen I go roll a j... and then I mean I go and make coffee and theeen I go back and hunt till my willpower runs out again while watching Lost and theeen I go to sleep when it is sleep time. Then of course I have my real life extra mural activities in between.

food of the gods.

Free bound credit :D

log out, then eat, then go outside.  You don't -need- to be in-game always.


It took me a bit to figure out what boiled sweets were.  I suppose it would help if I actually READ the entire article rather than skimming it.  :P

I kept thinking, I prefer baking my apples to boiling them... weird.

wait...there is food in online text games. Problem solved!

Guild Wars 2

I can eat healthy when I'm old!

Credit comment.

Just journal and go eat like a normal human being.

for text gaming could be weight control, Brilliant!


can't we have both?

I just hate braving the cold to get out to the kitchen/pantry. Living a classic students life so I've got a tiny room in the corner of the house + super old house with 0 insulation in a low lying area next to a big cold river. I wear 2+ layers of clothing + multiple blankets and have the laptop on my lap.

So for me, totally agree, snacks should stay by your side. Raw Vegetables + fruit are awesome!

Ah, college ramen (all the carbs you'll ever need) and lipton pre-sweetened Ice tea mix (half caffine-half glucose)

should work for gaming too 

The Best Days of my life!




Credit comment.

Definitely guilty of not eating, or snacking too much, drinking too much pop (soda for you southerners), and waiting til the bladder is near bursting before getting up from 'I'll just finish this area' or the like.

credits or food. Hmm

Free credit is free.