Virtual reality sickness in the gaming world

Virtual reality sickness in the gaming world

VicesJanuary 16, 2018

It could be ten minutes into your game or more, that feeling not unlike motion sickness that begins in the pit of your stomach and rises until you have to take your headset off, and worse still is the feeling stays with you, so much so, that it can put you off even thinking about putting on your head-set again.

VR sickness, which is also known as cyber-sickness can often happen when you are in a virtual environment, and the symptoms are very much like motion sickness, that feeling of discomfort, stomach churning awareness, sweating and disorientation. The difference between VR sickness and motion sickness is VR is caused by a moving image, not by the actual motion itself.

Studies into VR sickness has shown that the reasons behind it can vary from age, gender, experience and even ethnicity.

Motion sickness sufferers are usually between the ages of 2 –12, and then it tends to decrease until the age of about 21, after that it continues to decrease slowly. This could also apply to VR sickness, although studies have shown that adults over the age of 50 appear to be more susceptible to VR sickness than younger adults.

Being experienced with the system can de-sensitise users as they adapt, so persistence here is the key to combat VR sickness.

Studies have shown that Asiatic people, Chinese women, Northeast Indian, and Tibetans suffer from motion sickness more than African American women, Europeans, Americans and Caucasian people. As susceptibility to motion sickness can also point to a person who could suffer from VR sickness then it is supposed that these groups of people are also prone to VR sickness.

Personally, I am going to put down my VR headset for a time, I am fed up of feeling so ill when I play, and no matter how much I persist I have had a few days spoiled by feeling so ill, so much so, that I am beginning to wonder if it's worth it.

Virtual reality is definitely here to stay, it's just a shame that so many of us can't play because of the nauseous feelings it can produce.

On a positive note I still have my PS4, and the other games I play like PayPal bingo where I can catch up with my friends and family using the chat feature which has been full of me moaning about the VR sickness I have been suffering.

Games like bingo might not be VR but at least with a game of bingo I am enjoying the games, having a laugh with my friends, and taking advantage of some great bonus and promotional offers at the same time, and I can pick up a game on the move, something that is impossible with VR.