Scent of Art > Workshop by Mei Kei Lai

6 07 2008

This workshop challenges the participants to explore the boundaries of olfactory interface through the combination of art and gameplay.  

The sense of smell is powerful to us in daily life, though unconsciously. It is informative and affective. It warns us of danger and tells us the aroma of food. It also evokes our long lost memory in childhood. However, this powerful sensation is either underestimated or improperly used in the digital world. Could the sense of smell give us more possibilities to enhance the players’ experiences in the virtual environment? 

The participants will be challenged to create their own olfactory game scenarios. This workshop will introduce the background of olfactory gameplay and will discuss how smell is treated differently in various cultures. Then, the participants have to use their sense of smell to explore the scents in Singapore. At last, they will be guided to generate an interactive olfactory story by using various scents.  

# Preparation: Please bring THREE things with you, which can represent the scents of your home country/town. It can be anything, as long as it does not break the airport custom rules 😉 

# Tip 1: Make sure that the scents of the three things will stay long enough until 26th of July (the day of the workshop).  

# Tip 2: Be sure you do not get a cold before you come to the workshop. Otherwise, you will lose the fun of it.

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13 responses

7 07 2008
yvetteliang

These three things could be a disaster to me :D…
Ohhh… If there’s something can strongly represent the scents of Vietnam, i’m thinking of something but they are not very nice though… I’m just afraid i can not get over the airport …

^^!

Worrying….

7 07 2008
MeiKei

Hi, yvetteliang
you make me very look forward to “smelling” the scents of Vietnam. No worry. Just bring anything coming up with your mind. Wear perfume so that the staffs at custom won’t notice your three things ;p

8 07 2008
Bin

I guess the singapore smell is not that hard to find but my own sense of smell is quite retarded hahah. I have blocked nose quite often.

8 07 2008
varvarag

smell is one of our main senses. Obviously involving scents into a game could be a great fun. but into virtual game? how far i know this is one of the main concerns of ubiquitous and pervasive game developers – how to involve tasking and smelling senses?

anyway, i’m really curious about experiencing some new scents 😉

8 07 2008
jeroenstout

We’re going to have so many funny looks at customs.. although! Netherlands 🙂 we’re a bunch of stereotypes here – though I ‘m not sure wooden shoes smell like anything but dyed wood 😉

It’d be interesting how, suppose scent were very common in games, it would be adopted. Zylom and other Peggle-style companies would release a whisp of overly sweet perfume at every whim.. and I have no doubt that every brown-shaded bloomed-out shooter would make everything smell like dirt. WW2 games would have the smell of cheap firearms and death… Vietnam would… the joke is too evident. Crysis would have smells that my SmelProcessingUnit could not support without going into meltdown. Aw, and somehow I imagine that LocoRoco would smell like candy-floss.

Apart from touch (which will be there one day.. probably sooner, too), it would be of tremendous help in creating affectionate main characters wouldn’t it 🙂 everybody likes someone who smells particulary nice. It would give for interesting forum discussions, too; “I rather like Alyx, but she smells… funny.”

…what would famous characters smell like, anyway? I imagine Sonic would be really sweaty but in a good way and Mario would feature some tomato-pasta-smelling favours. By the gods: Peach would be worse than candy-floss.

9 07 2008
Fiona

I’ve thought about it. I think I will bring food. Plenty of food here. Yummy.

🙂

9 07 2008
thongyhod

Hi, everyone
thongyhod=Taviphut’s nickname.

I m worrying(like yvetteliang),i m not sure it can pass the airport immigration, or not. because the smell things that representd to Thai is not very easy-it could be a bad exotic for someone ,even me!55

60 scents,i can’t imagine what the smell likely within the workshop room.:-)
OH f u fu fu… what da “Fun” scent.

9 07 2008
MeiKei

hey, Fiona
If you are going to bring food here, you are very welcome to bring more than three things……hahaha. You remind me a very famous food called “Stinky Tofu” in HongKong. You can only taste it over there. very unforgetable. For those don’t know what it is, pls look up here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinky_tofu

9 07 2008
Fiona

Ewwwwwwwwwwww. chou tofu. 😦

Im bringing something much more pleasant than that.

10 07 2008
Bin

haha chou tofu is actually nice. It’s strange but people tend to have a thing for smelly things in asian. smelly tofu, smelly durian, what’s next.

I can forsee the tremendous potential of smell as an ambient ,affective and emotional agent in games , imagine you are playing resident evil and u smell something rotten but you just don’t know where it’s coming from? Pretty freaky hur.

But what would be more interesting is how smell can be an element of navigation and control of the game, which poses to be a real challenge.

How about a live cooking session for smell? haha. Let’s do some relational aesthetics inspired stuff .

10 07 2008
Dung Luong Tu

Here we come Chou Tofu… you remind me my brother terribly screamed out loud at the time he taste it ;))

14 07 2008
Monkee

Mei Kei, you know wt im going to bring? haha
must be sth u r familiar wth!

Things can represent Macau honestly i can juz think of food.
But I found sth interesting today which i would keep it a secret first:)

hopefully I wont bring my brother’s nasty sweater! haha!!

16 07 2008
MK

If your brother’s nasty sweater could represent the scent/smell of Macau in some way, then why not? hahah. but u have to make sure it lasts long until 26th ;p

guys, I wish I could capture all the smells you bring to the workshop. As I said, IT CAN BE ANYTHING. The workshop is not necessary to be a food party.

have fun. see you guys soon in S’pore.

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