Guilty Smells

For LIKELIKE’s September 2019 exhibition Analog Pleasures, I collaborated with molleindustria to create the world’s smelliest dystopian video game. 

Gameplay Video Trailer for Guilty Smells

Created during a time in American history that has provided plentiful evidence of the ever-crueler government policies against immigrants and non-white residents, Guilty Smells imagines a time in the not-so-far future when all “foreign food” has been outlawed, and diners who foolishly choose felafel over french fries are subject to immediate and forceful arrest.

In this multi-sensory satire, you embody a police sniffing dog, trained to recognize the scents of patriotic American and illicit Foreign food.  Empowered only with a powerful bark, you hold every citizen’s fate in your paws.  You must sniff each person having lunch at the park, determine the type of food they are eating, and make your call whether or not to call in the SWAT team. Approaching a diner in the game triggers the connected smell hardware in the real world, which releases one of four possible food smells for you to identify and respond appropriately.  The material used in this project is small portions of real food (tacos, falafel, lo mein, and burgers), over which four separate streams of air can be triggered on command to blow the scent toward the player.

Guilty Smells was featured in exhibition at the inaugural Commisserate Chicago Festival in February 2020, and was selected for Alt-Ctrl-GDC Showcase 2020.  Though the event was cancelled due to the Coronavirus, we hope to show it again when we can get together again… and after everyone has recovered from their Covid-19 parosmia!

Read our Alt-Ctrl-GDC interview about Guilty Smells

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