Videospiele haben viele Eigenschaften mit Kino, Literatur und Musik gemeinsam. Eine der wichtigsten ist wahrscheinlich die des Eskapismus. Die Möglichkeit, sich für eine gute Handvoll Stunden in einer Geschichte zu verlieren und den Alltag zu vergessen, wenn auch nur für eine Weile, ist etwas Kostbares und Notwendiges.

Vor drei Jahrzehnten waren Videospiele eine Ansammlung von Pixeln auf einem Bildschirm. Zu Zeiten des Atari 2600 brauchten die Spieler mehr als nur Geschicklichkeit, um ein Spiel zu spielen. Sie mussten ihre Vorstellungskraft einsetzen, um das Spiel zu genießen, denn die Grafiken auf dem Bildschirm waren sehr einfach. Die meiste Zeit über wurden Formen in grüner Farbe auf schwarzem Grund dargestellt. Man konnte ein Dreieck haben, das war das Raumschiff. Ein Quadrat oder ein Rechteck konnte ein Haus oder eine Basis sein. In dem berühmten Spiel Asteroiden waren zufällige Formen die Asteroiden. Die Details waren minimal, und wie wir schon sagten, ist alles der Fantasie überlassen. 

On the other hand, cinema was the bread and butter of amazing things. In those times, movie directors were becoming creative and achieving new levels of reality. People could see incredible stories come to life attending the movie theaters. 

The 90s was a decade when video games and movies advanced a lot. In the field of the videogames, technology progressed to the point that the videogames had more colors on the screen, and 3D became mainstream when the first consoles were released that offered native support for it, with the original PlayStation and the Nintendo 64 fighting hand in hand for market domination. 

Fast forward to the decade 2000

With the establishment of 3D, the world where players were playing became even more immersive. Players were no longer limited to a predetermined course. Now they could explore in real-time a vast world with a lot of things to discover. At this time, cinema began to influence the narrative of the videogames to make them more immersive. In the ’80s and even the ’90s, the story was usually ignored. Now you were in control of the lead actor in a story – immersion at its finest. 

4DX and Virtual Reality

The movie industry did not stop either. They introduced 3D and 4D, and then came a new way of going to the movie theaters called 4DX. This synchronized on-screen visuals with motions seats and different effects like water, wind, fog, and scents to enhance the audience’s immersion while watching a movie. A 4DX room pulls you into the screen and puts you right into the action. 

Back in the videogames industry, the premise is the same: making the player more involved with the story. That’s why virtual reality has been something so big in these past years, and it puts the player into the videogame, making it feel as closer to the story as possible so far. 

Going Beyond

What if we could take some things from the 4DX cinemas and bring them into 3D and virtual reality games to make them more immersive. When playing a VR game, you are using 3 of your five senses. You see the action, and you hear the movement. You can “touch” the action? what if you could also smell?

Using a diffuser that can sync with the game and spread a relatable smell in the room that matches the aroma that the character could be experiencing in the environment in the game will expand the sensory experience, making the action more intense. 

Imagine playing a game like Red Dead Redemption, and you are walking through the town and then entering the tavern. At that moment, the diffuser can spread a smell that’s a combination of liquor and tobacco that will make you feel like you are in an authentic tavern. Or another sandbox game like The Elder Scrolls, certain smells can be released to increase the sensation of being in the swamp when you walk into a swamp. 

What about if you visit a restaurant in the game? As soon as you enter the restaurant, the diffuser could spread some food smells, making you feel really at the restaurant.

The Metaverse

We can’t forget the Metaverse and the possible implications a device like this could have. The Metaverse aims to bring a virtual world into existence, where there will be virtual houses, virtual work, a virtual currency, and the possibility to live “virtually” there using unique VR gadgets. 

Bringing the sense of smell into the equation could elevate the level of immersion that you could experience in the Metaverse. You could have 

the virtual home that you will be able to decorate as you wish, but you will also be able to make it smell exactly as you want.

Imagine other people visiting your place and telling you how awesome it smells, just like real life.

The possibilities of bringing the sense of smell can create many applications for videogames and the Metaverse, in the same way as it was when it was introduced in the movies through 4DX technology.