According to an Australian study, wandering through the virtual reality forest in “Resident Evil 7” can be enhanced by being able to smell the forest. The investigators invited participants to perform the virtual reality game with and without fragrances tailored to mimic game elements such as the smell of woods, smoke, something rotten, and dank aromas. They discovered that adding odors dramatically boosted people’s sense of presence in the gaming setting. One of the most important goals of most video games is to create an environment that serves as a convincing foundation for a player’s sentiments and behaviors. This is particularly important in horror movies that aim at gamers instilled with fear, and the Resident Evil series has started working well since its commencement by trying to restrict the camera and controlling the characters as if they were in danger, but the newest season of the series takes a totally different approach.
Overall, the results reveal that adding scents to a VR world had a substantial influence on both the psychological and physiological experience, demonstrating that adding scents enriched the VR environment.’ The odors created by an olfactometer, which released aroma volatiles through a soft plastic tube attached to a participant’s nose, were added to the game as they participated. Not only is the viewpoint updated for VR, but interacting with the environment and the game’s various puzzles now requires actual motions using the Touch controllers. Similarly, picking up your firearms and reloading them is done physically, as is using your knife and tossing grenades, and it’s all monitored precisely, so there’s no dissatisfaction.
“Virtual reality (VR) headsets provide immersive audio-visual experiences for users, but usually neglect to provide olfactory cues that can provide additional information about our environment in the real world,” the paper says. VR can already imitate sight, sound, and movement, but integrating scent can assist in sparking recollections, feelings, and experiences, rendering the virtual world even more realistic as it happened in Resident Evil 7.
The study has been published here.