A decade ago, the video game realm was primarily reserved for boys in their tween and teen years. Today, with the advent of tablets and smartphones, everyone is getting involved. In fact, almost half of gamers today are female and almost a third are over the age of 50!
Not only have the gamers changed, so have the games. Many modern video games now use 3D technology, fast-action screenshots, and rapid secession of lights to make the games more exciting, but these have also led to an increase in problems like motion sickness. There are ways to avoid motion sickness while playing traditional video games, but the question remains: do non-traditional games cause the same effect?
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have now looked into whether tablet gaming can lead to motion sickness and guess what they found? The answer is yes. According to the study published in the Experimental Brain Research journal, tablet gaming can definitely lead to symptoms of motion sickness. During the study, they found that approximately 31% of participants endured some form of motion sickness while playing games on an iPad for about 40 minutes.
In addition, the research team confirmed two other interesting findings. First, a person watching the gamer is more likely to feel motion sick than the person in control. Second, it appears that finger-touch control games cause motion sickness symptoms at a much greater rate than tilt control games. This latter finding is certainly intriguing because it contradicts the popular belief that a moving object would induce motion sickness at a greater rate than a stationary one.
Now that tablet gaming has been proven to cause motion sickness, are there ways to minimize the chance of getting it while playing? Yes, there certainly are!
- Avoid watching others play – leaning over someone’s shoulder to watch them play, or even watching a recording of someone’s recent play, can lead to motion sickness. It’s better to just play your own game.
- Choose tilt-controlled games – if you can choose between a finger-controlled game or a tilt-controlled game, choose the tilt-controlled one.
- Play only when stationary – motion sickness occurs most frequently when you’re in motion. Therefore, don’t play games on tablets while in a moving vehicle because the extra stimuli will only increase your chances of getting sick.
- Play in short bursts and take long breaks – by playing for only a short time (for example, 10-15 minutes) and then taking a long break, you allow your brain to readjust to normal surroundings. Playing for long periods of time or taking only short breaks may have the opposite effect.
- Try Motioneaze – tablet gaming is a lot of fun and you shouldn’t have to stop. With Motioneaze, you can get motion sickness relief from gaming. Just put a couple drops on your head behind the ears and you’ll be ready to tackle the latest game in just 3-5 minutes!
As tablet gaming becomes more popular and technology gets even more advanced, expect incidences of motion sickness to rise.