Study Shows A Distressing Number Of You Eat While Gaming

Study Shows A Distressing Number Of You Eat While Gaming
Photo: Three Lions / Stringer, Getty

A recent study from analytics firm Newzoo claims that at least 80 per cent of video game fans eat or drink something while they sell turnips in Animal Crossing and demolish demonic hordes in Doom Eternal. Assuming I didn’t already hate gamers, this is all it would take to push me over the edge.

Newzoo’s findings, which were made available earlier today, are pretty clear cut. No matter their location or gender, gamers are extremely likely to munch or slurp during any given gaming session. In the 21-35 age group, American men are the most likely at 91 per cent, but the least-likely group, European women, aren’t that far behind at 78 per cent. Looking at countries overall, India and Indonesia top the consuming-while-gaming scales at 94 per cent and 93 per cent, respectively.

“It’s important to highlight that these gamers typically play more often and for longer, giving them more opportunities to eat and drink while gaming,” Newzoo says.

Newzoo" loading="lazy" > Graphic: Newzoo

OK, so, those numbers are actually a little deceptive. Some of that 80 per cent are merely sipping water or tea, which is a far cry from plunging hands wrist-deep into tubs of Cheez Balls between rounds of Smash Bros. Luckily, the study also includes some meatier findings (no pun intended).

Salty treats are popular gaming snacks in every worldwide demographic, for instance, with just over half of the people surveyed in Asian and Oceanian countries eating them while gaming. That number increases to 58 per cent when looking specifically at Chinese gamers and 60 per cent for gamers aged 10-15 in America.

I can’t imagine having anything other than water on hand while I play video games. If I need something to nosh I’ll take a break. Sure, I’m a compulsive hand-washer, but how do you go from eating a snack to handling a controller or touching your keyboard without at least a quick rinse in the sink? There’s a whole meme mocking people like this! When did it become the statistical norm?

Please stop eating while you game. Walk away if you need a handful of chips to get through the next few minutes. Look out the window or, heck, even step outside with your orange slices. Ponder the meaning of life while you munch on some pretzels. Just… anything but going directly from eating a snack to putting your wet, sticky, greasy, crumb-encrusted fingers back on those Joy-Cons.


  • The worst thing is when you’re playing multiplayer and somebody is eating chips or something similarly crunchy so you’re hearing it on the chat.

    I generally don’t eat while gaming, although I will sometimes drink.

  • Salty treats are popular gaming snacks in every worldwide demographic,Who doesn’t love a cup of hot, salty noob tears when playing a game?

  • You can pry my Twisties from my cold, dead, orange hands!

    Realistically though, yes, I’m a snacker but I always wipe my hands clean on a nearby cloth before I return them to my controller. And you’ve gotta mute yourself if you’re eating online, that’s just common courtesy.

    • I can’t stand people who don’t use push to talk all the time, I don’t need to hear you having a domestic while I am trying to shoot people in the face.

      I don’t know if push to talk is a thing on consoles?

  • While I’ll not touch the controller with dirty, food encrusted hands (nor will I let my kids do so), I don’t see an issue with eating while playing. I have 3 kids and my PS4 controllers are the cleanest gaming devices in my house – including my phone.

  • Pro Tip: If you run out of chips, you can just dip the grip of your Playstation controller in the hummus and lick it off.

    • yep failing to see any way drinking (any drink, water, tea, alcoholic doesnt matter) while gaming can be a bad thing. the nature of liquids is they must be contained within a vessel. unless youre in the habit of sticking your hands INTO your drink while gaming, or youre a child that doesnt know how to not spill things, no worries.

      food though? im sure ive snacked on something while gaming, but id never eat something that leaves residue to be transferred to gaming hardware or that didnt involve cutlery. i pretty much save all my eating exclusively for watching a movie / tv show.

  • Of course absolutely nothing wrong with having a glass of something to sip while gaming. But eating? F*** that, disgusting for starters, and completely hampers your ability to, you know, actually play the game!

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