Media Technology MSc

MSc Thesis


Bliff: Exploring Various Ways of Olfaction in Board Games


Oxalis Atindriyaratri




In board games, the sense of sight is usually the main sense that the players need. Sometimes other senses are needed but they often serve as an addition, or even, an “icing on the cake”. This also counts for the sense of smell, where board games that require the sense of smell most of the time use scents side by side with images.
This paper focuses on our research into the development of a board game in which olfaction forms the main sense required to advance through the game. It explores various approaches of challenging the players’ sense of smell. The research has been done both on the conceptual level of developing meaningful questions and on a practical level relating to the limitations of using smell in a game context.
The evaluation of the game was carried out in the form of sessions, to see whether players actually enjoy the game and to gather information on how to improve the game based on the players’ input and observations.

Full Reference

Oxalis Atindriyaratri, "Bliff: Exploring Various Ways of Olfaction in Board Games", Master's Thesis for the Media Technology programme, Leiden University (The Netherlands), 2011