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GGJ Archives 2009-2012

Food

There are two main aspects of food during a jam: Getting food, and Eating food.

Getting Food
If you're a participant buying food:
Bring CASH for 3 days (not two), in small denominations... I cannot stress this enough!

If you are an organizer and not catering:
Designate a couple of local places that you'll support. Get menus before the day of the event so you know exactly what is available for people unfamiliar with the event's surroundings. Distribute these menus to the participants so they know what is available before hand.

Predetermine if you have a location that can feed you through the proceeding (day & night); also, find out if that one location features breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. Try to have volunteers that helps get the food.

Support your local businesses... you know? Think GLOBALLY, act LOCALLY. Try and talk to the owners or managers and tell them about this event, maybe they will offer a discount. It might come in handy in the future, while at the same time, spreading out the word of this very unique activity; something we ALL should feel cool and proud of.

If you're preparing to bring own food, prepare enough for both days (breakfast, lunch, and snacks). It adds to the morale to eat together, but if you must, then I would suggest to bring some snack to share with others. Save the time and avoid going back and forth to your house. The best thing you could do is get together with other participants and prepare your meals together. That way you can share more food, prepare more variety, have a reason to meet other teams, and possibly share ingredients. Also remember that people have different dietary needs; be respectful: There's no account for taste. If you're going to bring food for others, be mindful of preparing meals that can be shared by all, your best bet is something without meat; i.e. a candy, a desert, a snack, a bread, a dip, etc.

Keep in mind that your main strategy should be to avoid wasting time thinking about the food that you'll acquire. At the very least plan out your meals for the entire weekend. Share in the effort it takes to "hunt" down the food, help others "gather" it, and share as much of it as possible. In other words, don't let food get dramatic, difficult, or a waste of time. We mammals have learned to derive a lot of joy out of eating together; this activity is a good moment to experience that joy and our community.

Eating the food
The high energy environment of an activity like this, requires that you give your body the proper nutrition needed to stay alert and useful. By the time you'll start the activity, you may have already put in a long day of work into other activities. Therefore, it's recommended that the day of you eat a good breakfast and lunch, and allow yourself a light dinner that night; one that will likely contain lots of snacking.

Here are some tips to help cope with an activity like this:

Prepare adequately. Keep good, easy food, around you, and bring enough to share. Good easy foods are fruits, cereals, and water.

Avoid sloppy foods. Soup goes well it its cold... but it can be messy if it falls on the floor or on equipment. Your hosts need you to treat the space like home... any mess could make it more difficult to host you and your people next time.

Donuts: DO NOT GET POWDERED DONUTS. You should hide your tracks and white sugar is a tell all.

Get food that you can share with others and that you don't have to police. This will encourage you to contribute to one another, raising morale and camaraderie.

Listen to your body's needs.
If you yawn a lot, get "gassy", a mild headache (could be caffeine, it's probably also food), or the worst: you get cranky, you're probably needing a snack, or a drink...

Water is a LOT better than caffeine drinks (plain coffee not included) to stay awake. Yes, the initial caffeine buzz is jolting, but the caffeine drinks that contain sugar will make you crash harder; making you stay asleep past the "power nap", and making you tire more easily, and be awake, but without momentum.

In general
Use food as a tool for camaraderie, laughs, and morale. Keep your body like a well oiled machine, and you'll make better decisions that will in turn make for a cool game experience.

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