Scents Fused into VR Game - Resident Evil 7

by Guy Frum

Immersive games are all the rage in these tech-evolved times as everyone scampers to get a VR headset as soon as possible. So they can enjoy their favorite games.
New frontiers are made every day. How more immersive can a game get when it's like you're literally in the game?
How much more immersive when scents and smells are introduced into the game? Is anyone ready for this? Are you?

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

In this seventh installation of the Resident Evil Franchise, you are Ethan Winters, searching a derelict mansion for your missing wife. It was developed by Capcom and released in 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and other consoles.

This horror game is the first Resident Evil to feature a first-person view, and it also supports the PlayStation VR headset. Now, about the smell infusion into the game.

The research was carried out by the University of Sydney and CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, an Australian Government agency. In the study, 22 participants explored the In-game environment.13 of them previously had VR experience, and only three participants had no experience playing video games. However, of all the participants, only one had previously played Resident Evil 7.

As they played, the game was infused with various smells from an olfactometer which delivered the smells to the participants through a soft plastic tube fixed underneath their noses. The smells included intense smelling objects such as rotten food, smoke, and a rotten head, all from scenes within the game.

More Scent-Infused VR Games?

“Overall, the results indicate that the addition of scents to a VR environment had a significant effect on both psychological and physiological experience, showing that the addition of scent enhanced the VR environment.” The University and the agency concluded.

It was concluded that the addition of odors to the game significantly increased the sense of spatial presence for the participants compared to a VR environment with no odor. In addition, the VR appeared more realistic even though there was no emotional change in the participants, only psychological and physiological.

And not just about gaming; the results have broader applications for virtual training environments and VR exposure therapy.