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Captain's Log: Sights and Smells of Gaming

I've been thinking a lot lately about scents and tastes that I associate with specific gaming instances.Smell is, apparently, the sense that gets tied most strongly to memories so it makes sense that I have several such associations from my lifetime of gaming. Most of them come from recently, but as I really put my efforts to thinking about it, I realized that I have some from very earlychildhood that are just as strong as those I've made within the last year. So sit back, and enjoy a stroll down memory lane with me.

First and foremost, we have Tyson dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and Ren & Stimpy: Stimpy's Invention. This is one that I had forgotten about until fairly recently, when I happened upon a guy at work microwaving some Tyson chicken nuggets on his lunch break. Sure it's cheating a bit to say that it's only the dinosaur shaped ones that trigger the memory, as they all smell the same, but that's what I was eating in my memory so I'm going that way. The first time I ever beat Stimpy's Invention I was also eating Tyson dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, so those two are forever tied in my mind. Pretty tenuous, but it's there.


The next one I have is more of a system wide thing, but the smell of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers brings to mind Nintendo 64 games, particularly Mario Party and Perfect Dark. As a pre-driving age youth, I spent a lot of my time playing N64 at my cousin's house. 90% of the time, as we played, he would eat Goldfish crackers. Their aroma sat heavy in the basement of his house, and stuck to my nostrils like the stickiest of tack. Bonus memory association, he always got Goldfish grease all over my controllers. The absolute worst.

Once again, jump a few years ahead and we have my first taste exclusive association. We're moving into a dark point in my life, the depths of my Raisinet addiction. Yes, those wonderful Nestle chocolate covered raisins took up a lot of my snacking habits for a point in my teenage years. What else did I do with my free time then you ask? Make create-a-wrestlers (CAWs) in WWE Day of Reckoning 1 & 2. Any kind of chocolate/raisin combo now takes me back to my days spent copying huge lines of numbers to get the best CAWs from others, or tweaking the yaw of the eyebrows of my own latest creation. I was never the most prolific CAW maker, but I did make a pretty awesome Chris Sabin in my day.

Now we're getting to a point in which the ties come fast and heavy. The one that brought this thought to my forefront is the tie of Arc Rise Fantasia and Yankee Candle's Vineyard scented candles. I burned one of these beauties every time I played that game, a tradition I continue every time I play a game for an extended period of time to this day. After the 90+ hours of gameplay (apparently the Nintendo Channel has been shut down so I can't give you the exact time I spent on the game) the smell of Vineyard candles became the official smell of the world of Fulheim.

The next three are all tied to drinks, two of the three being teas so there's a smell and taste association, so I'll just group them all together. The first of the three is Bastion and Celestial Seasoning Madagascar Vanilla Rooibos tea. The second, again Celestial Tea, but this time it is the Lemon Zinger. What did I play during my Zinger kick you ask? Bioshock 2. And in keeping with the _Shock series, we come to the final association that I made. As I played Bioshock Infinite I drank a lot of Panera's iced coffee with Coffee-Mate dark chocolate fudge creamer. I will say, my relationship with the drink was a lot less rocky than my relationship with the game, but I've learned to like both in the long run.


So there you have it, a fairly comprehensive list of the smells and tastes that I associate with specific gaming memories. Feel free to share your own associations if you do have some, or just talk about the strange nature of memory.

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