Virtual Reality offers so much excitement – the imagination flight can make players dizzy of fantastic possibilities in VR gaming. On the other hand, the very technology has a significant downside, causing physical dizziness for some players.
This motion sickness can be even scary for newcomers to VR. It would be wise to know this phenomenon better and not to close for yourself doors to such experience just after first clumsy steps. This article explains the nature of feeling unwell from VR and offers some ways to “survive” this negative effect.
Paracosm Project pays special attention to games with progressive VR/AR/XR features. Our ecosystem is available through the web-portal of Caer Sidi Alpha and also through virtual space of CrossParacosmic VR Hub.
VR motion sickness was quite a problem for manufacturers in the early days of Virtual Reality. A headset from Sega has been canceled reportedly due to strong sickness of users – we write about this in more detail in the article “Dawn of VR gaming: failures and successes”.
If screens of VR headsets have low resolution and refresh rate, they cause motion sickness by their very specifications. Even when the modern VR era started, the technology was still quite imperfect, with the risk to push away potential fans of Virtual Reality.
Modern versions of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have quite decent specifications to not worry about the “technical dizziness”. Still, you should be cautious with some used devices while purchasing them or playing in a public VR place.
Technical specifications of VR headsets make up just part of the potential problems with motion sickness. The other is made by games – they shouldn’t overload devices, causing unpleasant technical issues even for high-end hardware. Also, their gameplay must be wisely adapted for the VR environment – to not cause discomfort just from the process of playing them.
Here, the situation is similar to the clumsy technology. Nowadays, VR developers have gained a good understanding of this specific art. For example, you can get something from our list of “The 9 best VR games for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive”.
Сhoose games for your starting experience carefully and you will be able to avoid many pitiful situations – that’s true for both VR and classic gaming.
Our mind is like a computer itself, and some situations in the virtual reality cause such small “crashes” as motion sickness. Roughly speaking, our brain considers the surrounding virtuality as a reality, you know. So, if something goes not according to the internal “plan”, the brain reacts in the way it can.
Motion sickness is often a reaction to movements of the surrounding world without real movements of the body. Players’ brain expects them to move normally to explore the virtual world but they stay still – and strong motion sickness appears.
What to do?
First, consider playing games where your characters stay relatively still and control objects around them. Nice examples of such games are:
- Beat Saber – you smash flying blocks, and your real movements are reflected in the game world.
- Moss – all the actions happen in the virtual world, and you remain rather an observer.
- Job Simulator – you should act in this game in a very similar way to your actions in reality, so the brain is not confused.
Start your VR experience with these games and only then try something else, moving forward even to huge and not perfectly optimized games, such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR. Keep games with fast internal movements (VR racing, etc) for the end of your adaptation period. Players with motion sickness should move slowly – into VR and inside of VR.
Another significant aspect here is the time of playing sessions. It’s better to make them short at the beginning (up to 15 minutes) and then try to play a little bit longer. The absence of motion sickness and big experience in VR gaming aren’t reasons to remain in the virtuality for hours – please, take care of your health and make regular breaks to enjoy the real world too.
Play VR games in nicely ventilated rooms with a comfortable temperature. Stop playing immediately after feeling sick. It’s almost impossible to rush through this – the sickness becomes worse, so you may find yourself in a very bad condition for hours. With even slight hints of motion sickness, give yourself a decent rest and make a substantial break before your next attempt to delve into VR.
Motion sickness in VR is definitely not a verdict, and still, it’s a kind of preventing step of your body. Be cautious. Gaming is not a reason to harm yourself.
We at Paracosm Project are totally for the healthy ways to play games and bring them to life through the Paracosm platform and Caer Sidi service. We invite you, guys, to check out our achievements in this way. Visit CaerSidi.net and join the community.