As a game developer, I make games because I like to play. I guess people do what they do because the like doing it. There are things that we don't enjoy doing but we just have to to do it. But I'm not going to discuss that here.
I like delicious foods because I like to eat. When I see foods that I recognise, It immediately triggers an emotional response. Foods that I have never eaten, triggers that sense of curiosity especially if it looks really appetizing.
I also like to cook and bake. It gives me a sense of focus. It is somewhat therapeutic. It unleashes my creativity. It makes me happy.
I think this graphic can sum it up nicely.
Playing games, eating and cooking make me happy. I derive joy in doing these activities.
The part that gets interesting is when cooking foods becomes or is the theme of a game.
I create computer games that are mostly about cooking. These games are mostly on mobile devices where players get to poke at the screen to give commands. Computer games simulate the cooking activities. It evokes memories of joy from the player's previous experience with foods and/or with cooking.
The player may not be doing the actual cooking activity, but for them to use their thumbs and fingers to touch graphical representations of food/cooking items on the screen is most likely the closest/best thing they can ever get to doing the real thing in a non-threatening (risk-averse) environment. Players are able to immerse themselves in their own imaginative world where they can be the best cook ever inside the game. That ability in itself is a wondrous feeling.
A compelling game that is based on memories of joy and itself a joy to play is the perfect combination for anyone seeking to spend a few minutes to lose themselves in the game and be the best cook/chef in their own minds.
I think this applies for any kinds of computer games. And that will be the topic for another post.