New videogames lure players into the kitchen

Thu Dec 4, 2008 3:11pm EST
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By Lisa Baertlein

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A new crop of videogames is encouraging fans to ignore their parents' advice and play with their food.

Fans slice, dice and feel the heat of the kitchen with a new crop of foodie games that includes Atari's "What's Cooking? With Jamie Oliver," Majesco's "Cooking Mama World Kitchen," Ubisoft's "Hell's Kitchen: The Video Game" and Nintendo's "Personal Trainer: Cooking."

Jamie Oliver, television's "Naked Chef," sees his new title for the hand-held Nintendo DS as an interactive cookbook with games.

"I'm looking at this as a digital book with a game rather than a game with a digital book," said Oliver, who has published about a dozen cookbooks and is an active campaigner to improve school meals in Britain.

Oliver's video game title, which hit shelves in October, includes more than 100 mostly exclusive recipes accompanied by mouth-watering images from food photographer David Loftus. It also features games that allow players to "cook" some of the recipes.

"What's Cooking?" players can really get their hands dirty because voice recognition technology on the DS lets them move forward or backward through a recipe's steps.

The game also includes a shopping list creator and recipe storing and swapping capabilities.

Oliver, a father of two, said his 6-year-old daughter is already pro at the game.   Continued...

<p>A screengrab from Ubisoft's "Hell's Kitchen: The Video Game." A new crop of video games is encouraging fans to ignore their parents' advice and play with their food. REUTERS/Ubisoft/Handout</p>