Game hardware

I Want To Use This AI Smell Machine To Sniff Cloud Strife's Spiky Head

GameScent — for better or worse — is a real device designed to let you smell your favorite games.

GameScent smell box for smelling video games.

You ever play a game and think, damn I wish I could smell that...

Me neither! But this is 2024 and AI is here to make the unimaginable into the impractical. So, in service of that mission, we now have GameScent: an AI device with the sole goal of helping you smell things inside video games and weirdly push the boundaries of video games’ olfactory immersion.

Buckle up kids, things are going to get smelly.

GameScent: Scents For Your Games

I can’t stress enough that GameScent, an odd-shaped box loaded with various smell cartridges, is actually a real product you can buy right now.

The conceit of GameScent is actually pretty simple: You plug the box into your console or PC and (with the help of sound-analyzing AI) it disperses scents dependent on your in-game action. That means, for example, if you’re squealing your tires in a racing game, you get some burned rubber smell, or if you’re firing off some rounds in a shooting game, you’ll get a nice little blast of gun smoke.

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Why exactly would you want your humble abode to smell like burned rubber or hot gun violence? Well, in the name of immersion, of course. A nearly $4,000 Vision Pro might help, but even VR can only get you so far in terms of feeling like you’re fully transported. For that, you need to stink up your tiny apartment with weird gamer smells.

Speaking of weird gamer smells, GameScent has several currently available, including gunfire, explosion, forest, clean air, storm, racing cars, blood, ocean, sports arena, and fresh-cut grass. I have a lot of questions; for example, what does a sports arena smell like? Hot dogs? Beer? Toxic masculinity? Or blood for that matter. Can you identify, off the top of your head, what a pool of blood smells like? If so, please give me your name and address so I can call the authorities.

*Breathes deeply*

Square Enix

Admittedly, that’s a pretty decent roster of starting game scents — fairly safe, broad choices that apply to lots of different games. But what if I — a weirdo and connoisseur — want to really dig in? What if I want to, for example, imagine what it’s like to gently take Cloud Strife by the noggin and bury my nose into his perfectly silky smooth locks as to finally ascertain which brand of shampoo he uses? I bet it smells like wildflowers. It’s probably just Head & Shoulders, though. Titilating! Or disappointing. But something either way.

All I’m saying is: There’s room to get weird here and if we’re going to do this thing, then... let’s do it. GamerScent, if you’re reading, you know what to do...

How many Gamer Cents for GamerScent?

As I mentioned, GamerScent is a real product you can buy right freaking, now. If you feel that smelling the verdant pastures of Hyrule is the missing link to enjoying Tears of the Kingdom, you can buy GameScent on Amazon for $150. Extra scents, of course, will cost extra.

That’s not a horrible ask, especially if you feel like smelling pixels is the future — besides, can you really put a price on pissing off all your roommates with a constant stream of gunfire and explosives? I think not.

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