Most people have experienced what suffering from motion sickness looks like. Be it a flight, a bus ride on a rocky road or a boat trip, this kind of sickness is one of the most uncomfortable feelings a human can have. It occurs as a consequence of a discrepancy between the sense of movement felt by the vestibular system and the movement perceived by our eyes. With the development of virtual reality and its gaming implementation, a rising number of people feel similar problems when they spend too much time playing video games. Let’s learn more about this problem and ways how to deal with it.
When exposed to the simulation of motion, people react in different ways. However, the rule of thumb is that you should stop playing a game when you start feeling nauseous, dizzy, exhausted, or when you simply start feeling sick in your stomach. Exposing your eyes to demanding and fast-changing images and frames is harmful for several reasons. Simply put, it is not a natural environment for the eyes, so the optic nerve launches a rebellion. The brain brings the body in an alert state and causes the aforementioned symptoms to warn the owner of the body to stop with that unpleasant action.
While some people can play for hours without before the rebellion is sparked off, others can barely spend a half an hour playing video games; The Guardian has published an interesting piece on those extremely sensitive players.
How to fight VR sickness
Now that more and more gamers use the Oculus Rift, the issue of virtual-reality motion sickness has put those devices into the public spotlight. On one side, technological innovations provide new gaming options.
On the other side, however, VR-devices that are still being developed certainly have some imperfections that can affect the gaming experience. This is why players should take care of their condition on their own, so to avoid getting motion sickness. The first thing you should do is reduce the speed at which they move their characters. That way you will be able to play longer.
Also, you should close your eyes when you are not using your head to direct the camera. It will give the brain some time to take a rest.
In addition, always make sure that the VR-device you are using is adjusted, i.e. calibrated for your eyes; read more about calibration here.
Challenges for VR-creators
Although gamers can try to improve their VR user experience, their effort will be in vain if manufacturers of VR-devices do not do their share of work. The progress has already been made in comparison with the devices we used a couple of years ago since today headsets display a low level of latency.
The common goal of manufacturers of video games and their VR-headset colleagues is to reduce latency to zero. To achieve this goal, creators are trying to limit the spinning features, as well as to reduce the number of sudden movements to a minimum level. Moreover, manufacturers label VR-devices with special warnings about the problems that gamers might experience, together with tips what to do in case they start feeling sick.
Although the issue of physical discomfort caused by playing video games has already been tackled, new immersive gaming technologies cause new problems. Thanks to the faster development of technology, creators are coming up with smart solutions that are expected to reduce the number of such difficulties and give players an immaculate VR-experience.