Games that Smell

This will be 100% written in Engrish.

I’m sure that you all know that marketing department checks also what the customer’s nose will think regarding a product. The smell is just one of the features for something that must be sold and must be easy to recognize.Â

I’m sure that you’ve noticed the different smells of games and manuals. E.G. I believe that Neo Geo carts have a stronger smell than others. (Your Atari 2600 carts and Intellivision ones may have scents similar to rot due to aging.)

Sometimes this feature goes far beyond the usual.
Gran Turismo 2 for PSX had a funny feature: rub the surface of the blue disc (gently, please) and your nose will be thrown at a pit lane with a nice scent of petroleum and burnt rubber! Beware, don’t try to scrach your cheap Platinum game. You’ll have to buy something like this, as instructed by the official website

Let’s go one step further.
In 1960 the movie Scent of Mistery has been shown with the “Smell-o-Vision” feature: the theatre had an equipment that gave off odours in synch with the film. In 1981 John Waters, the King of Trash, published Polyester with the Odorama: basically you had a piece of paper with numbered spots that had to be scratched and sniffed when the corresponding number was shown on the screen. A trashy effort (with gas and feces’ scents) meant to improve the experience.

Want something similar regarding games? Buy Leather Goddess of Phobos for your home computer of choice (Amiga, IBM PC, Apple II, Apple Macintosh, Atari ST or Commodore 64) and you’ll have a cardboard with seven spots ready to be scratched and sniffed. Infocom’s first interactive sexy fiction was then followed by the smells of Larry’s CyberSniff 2000

I’m sorry: I’m not going to talk about the Scratch and Sniff cards that came bundled with EarthBound. I’m a bit tired due to a strong cold. I can’t feel any smell today: that’s what gave me the idea to write this entire post!

Written by Nicola

Nicola, the Italian search engine over eBay...collects videogames from 1992.

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