Do Video Games Cause Motion Sickness?
It’s not just in your head, the discomfort you’re feeling from video games is in fact motion sickness. The official term for motion sickness from video games is called “Simulator Sickness.“ Coined by doctors in the 1950’s when airforce pilots experienced some degree of nausea and dizziness from flight simulators. Now with the rise of video games and VR, simulator sickness has expanded its territory into your living room and effecting how long and how well you play.
What Is Simulator Sickness Caused By?
Medical researchers still cannot give a definite answer to what causes motion sickness. Factors that can cause motion sickness are not well understood, susceptibility to motion sickness can be genetic. Motion Sickness likely occurs from mixed signals sent to the brain from different boy parts. The brain senses movement from combining signals from eyes, muscles, and inner ears. While gaming the eyes may send signals to the brain that the body is in motion, while the ears and muscles report the body is still causing signal conflict.
What Are The Symptoms of Simulator Sickness?
Simulator sickness symptoms can vary from person to person. Some ranging from tolerable symptoms and others feeling extremely unwell. Many common reported symptoms are:
Is Simulator Sickness Normal?
Having a physical response to video game visual stimuli is perfectly normal. Simulator sickness was not widely reported outside of the military or professional training, but with the wide sale of VR consoles, it has become more common. Individuals new to gaming may report higher instances or stronger physical symptoms than others.
I Don’t Get Motion Sickness, Why Am I Getting Simulator Sickness?
Classic motion sickness as we know it can be caused by cars, planes, and boats. Individuals that experience motion sickness from these are more than like sending conflicting signals to the brain as with simulator sickness. Where the two may differ is what body parts are sending what messages to the brain. While gaming your eyes are sensing motion, while your body is not. With motion sickness, an individual‘s inner ear and body sense motion while the eyes are not. Your body may be more accustomed to correct mixed signals from everyday travel and trying to adjust for mixed signals while gaming.
How Can I Prevent Simulator Sickness?
Take a Break
It’s always a good idea to step away from the screen for a moment to stretch and give your eyes a break from the strain of the screen. Depending on how long you plan on playing for a 5-10 minute break every hour can be helpful to reestablish your senses. Taking a few sips of water and a light snack during your gaming session or during your break can be helpful.
Stay Away From Sugary Drinks
Heavy meals and sugary drinks can make an unpleasant combination when paired with simulator sickness, especially if you are prone to vomiting or nausea. Stick to light snacks and water an hour before, during, and a few minutes after if you are feeling unwell.
Motion Sickness Remedy
Try incorporating a motion sickness remedy to avoid feeling the discomforts of simulator sickness before it hits. Many gamers and VR users have found uncompromising relief in Motioneaze. Motioneaze’s all-natural motion sickness relief formula delivers relief in minutes and lasts for hours without common side effects found in other over the counter motion sickness remedies.
Experiment With Games
If you’re feeling that first-person games may be bringing on simulation sickness symptoms, try switching to a different view in the settings or different style in-game.
Change Your Settings
Most games have a range of customized settings in order to make your gaming experience more enjoyable and optimized for you. If you notice you are experiencing simulation sickness a bit more than usual with a specific game try adjusting the following
Adjusting the Sensitivity of Movement
- Turn Off Motion Blur
- Upp the Field of View
- Turn Off “Head Bobbing”
Adjust Your Seating
Sitting too close to a screen may be causing unnecessary strain and causing difficulty for the rest of your senses to send correct signals to the brain. Consider sitting back farther on the couch or pulling your gaming chair a bit more from the screen. Doing so could help your eyes adjust to the perceived moment of the screen and allow your brain to correct the mixed signals.