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With a continuously increasing number of VR goggles sold around the world, we also see the rise of addicting games and AAA titles in virtual reality. As technology keeps on giving new and improved ways for us to stay entertained, our bodies tend to reject these “unnatural” amusements. Motion sickness is something that touches many people, but what about motion sickness in VR? Why do we feel this way? Is there anything we can do about it?
Gaming in VR you enter an immersive world, which provides you with an extramundane experience. Unfortunately, most people trying VR (especially in the beginning) get motion sick. The most commonly mentioned symptoms are:
Why does playing in VR cause motion sickness?
Gaming in VR, your eyes register the movements the same way as riding in a car. By movement we mean our character running through scary woods or riding a virtual rollercoaster off a cliff. It’s not only your eyes causing motion sickness - your inner ears are accomplices sensing the environment constantly. Despite our eyes and ears telling the brain, we are in motion, the body signals we stand or sit still. Our brain gets confused with these mixed signals causing us to feel disoriented, nauseous, and experiencing a lack of balance.
What to do when the VR motion sickness happens while we play?
How to prevent motion sickness in VR:
Most importantly, start slowly and don't force yourself to keep playing if you start to feel sick. Many VR users experience motion sickness in the beginning of their adventure with the goggles. Our bodies can adjust to the virtual reality, but Rome wasn’t build in one day! So take your time, try playing some low-latency games, and defitintely, DO NOT start by riding rollercoasters ;)
VR games simulate situations containing lots of “fake” (to our brain) motion. Since our bodies are still while playing, motion sickness occurs in the same way that moving vehicles do. We, as VR developers, will continue to search for new ways to accommodate people inclined to motion sickness and make sure that everyone can enjoy the virtual reality experiences. Let us know if you know of any other preventive methods!