Well, militaries across the world may soon have a new war game to their arsenal, and it could have a trickle down effect to retail games — British researchers have come up with a game system that incorporates a 'smell box,' in an attempt to see if they can make training stick better. In what sounds like an unpleasant experience, various smells are triggered as users 'take an authentic walk' around hostile areas. If it's determined this is making training more useful, it could be rolled out next year and be used in training actual soldiers:
Prof Stone said: "If our research proves that it works come 2009 we will start trying it out on real soldiers. "It could be rolled out across all the services. It would be Brit soldiers who would benefit." He explained: "In very basic layman's terms it is a computer game with smell. "The smell system we are currently conducting research into is very new. "We are looking into whether it is worth doing, to introduce smell into our games training. We need to make sure it is going to help troops and is not just a gimmick. The scientists are also looking into defence mental health, with Prof Stone adding: "Smell is so closely linked to emotion and memory, it's something that we need to take seriously. "We have got a number of virtual environments already in place and are now adding smells to it to see what effect it has on training." Prof Stone also thinks the device could be up for sale for the general public in a number of years.
As Kieron Gillen of Rock, Paper, Shotgun noted, we can hope this technology makes its way to a wider audience, "if only as it’ll allow us to claim that a game stinks in a more literal sense." British soldiers could be trained on a computer game with smell [The Telegraph via Rock, Paper, Shotgun