Every Gamer Should Read: Overwatch: The Official Cookbook (2019)


Overwatch: The Official Cookbook

You can’t spend 24 hours a day lobbing incendiary grenades at terrorists in CS:GO or waiting in vain for Fortnite’s long-delayed Season 3 to finally start. You’ve got to sleep, for one thing, not to mention eat—and no, chasing a fistful of Flintstones Gummies with a can of Monster Assault does not count as a meal. Reading is optional, of course, but if you can tear your eyes away from the screen for a few minutes, you’ll find that there are some pretty great books out there that even the most die-hard gamer can appreciate, covering topics from the history of video games to the bleeding edge of ESports.

This week’s pick:

Overwatch: The Official Cookbook

Two-page spread in Overwatch: The Official Cookbook (Simon & Schuster, 2019).

When it comes to the history of cooking in video games, things tend to fall into one of two categories. In the first category, you’ve got games that are all about food: think BurgerTime, ChefVille, and Hell’s Kitchen: The Game.

Then there are ones where, although it’s not the primary activity, food prep is vital to keep your character alive.

One of the more notable titles that falls into this latter category is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. BOTW contains enough recipes to spawn a cottage industry of cookbooks, hundreds of memes, and valiant attempts to actually make every one of them in the real world.

If you’ve ever played Overwatch, you have no doubt revelled in the process of crafting Orisa’s Sundae. Chocolate ice cream, banana, kiwi, and caramel sauce; yum.

And who hasn’t delighted in brewing up a Valkyrie’s Flight? You know, the tea-based cocktail made with chamomile, honey, elderflower liqueur, brandy, and lemon juice?

Yeah, no. None of that is actually in the game.

That didn’t stop Chelsea Monroe-Cassel from writing an Overwatch-themed cookbook including the above recipes, plus a bunch more. (Monroe-Cassel is the author of officially licensed titles inspired by Star Wars and World of Warcraft, among other pop-culture properties.)

A clever conceit

The admittedly clever conceit is that the book features food and drink selections inspired by each hero’s homeland. These come complete with step-by-step instructions, full-color photos, and pairing suggestions. 

Hence the 76, an all-American vanilla milkshake inspired by Jack “Soldier: 76” Morrison’s Bloomington, Indiana, upbringing

Those of us on the northern side of the 49th parallel, however, might prefer to mark Canada Day by whipping up some butter tarts in honour of Pharah’s childhood. (Should we even mention that no self-respecting Canuck would even think about eating a square butter tart? Probably not.)

It’s all good fun. If it inspires a few gamers to cook for themselves once in a while instead of telling Alexa to order two extra-large Meat Lovers? All the better. If you can look past the fact that its contents are only tangentially related to Overwatch, you might find yourself spending a little more time in the kitchen. And possibly a little less time with your eyes glued to the screen.

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I have done a lot of different things over the course of my life and professional career. I have interviewed Oscar and Grammy winners and written cover stories for glossy newsstand magazines. I have played guitar in a rock band on national TV and run an independent music label for which I wrote all of the PR and marketing materials. In my spare time, I sweated out a novel about a world where raccoons are kings and dragons are real.

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