Home Gaming Virtual Reality will still cause motion sickness

Virtual Reality will still cause motion sickness

3 min read
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Roller coaster not of love

I have yet to try virtual reality, despite its availability at trade shows I’ve attended. If a first person shooter can give me motion sickness to the point of needing to lie down or feeling horribly ill, I just don’t want to risk puking on my fellow journalists at an event. Gabe Newell is claiming that good software will ensure this doesn’t happen with the Valve VR headset, but a Disney roller coaster designer has other information.

Motion sickness is a real problem and it’s not as rare as you might think. Yes, I’ve written about it before because it stopped me from playing a variety of games. There are ways to train your brain to not become as violently ill, but certain animations and experiences will still cause nausea. Destiny developers actually did tons of experiments and ended up using boxing to help with animations to prevent players from getting sick.

The immersive experience promised by Virtual Reality sounds fantastic. However, if an FPS can make players sick, why won’t VR? According to Newell, Valve’s VR will give “zero percent of people” motion sickness. He claims that part of its solution is a motion tracking system that uses lasers to reproduce a person’s real world movements more accurately in the virtual space. However, this might not be enough.

Bei Yang is a Creative Technical Design Lead at Walt Disney Imagineering. He’s the one who makes rides and experiences at Disney theme parks possible. According to Yang, the conversation has been focused on latency, the mismatch between the virtual experience of what the player sees and what they physically experience as registered in their inner ear. This is what you can train your brain to overcome, plus it can be minimized with excellent design animations (ala Destiny).

However, Yang says that this isn’t the only thing that causes motion sickness and that the next level of VR will need real-world solutions.

Let’s fast forward a few years, maybe even a decade, to when we have perfect VR. Even when you have perfect VR, you can still get sick. Why do I say this? Because I know for a fact that what makes you sick in real life will make you motion sick in VR.

In 3D shooters right now, you can do what is known as a zero-point turn [effectively spinning around on the spot]. If you guys stood up now and did that for, like, 20 seconds, I guarantee some of you would be dizzy and some of you would be sick.

So when you’re designing player experiences now, when we don’t have perfect VR, you must avoid fast player rotations. Use design to avoid these movements. When we walk around it’s not in zero points. When we look at an object, we actually rotate around the object.

So, as much as Valve might be creating a superior VR headset with excellent hardware, game design will still play a key role in minimizing simulator sickness. Developers will need to learn some new skills when making games for VR – game designs that work well and are common in games we play on traditional platforms may cause discomfort or illness when played in the fully immersive VR experience.

I hope to try the Morpheus and Valve VR at E3 this year. Hopefully they will have some experiences other than roller coaster rides that are notorious for causing motion sickness. There is so much that can be done with this medium, I’d hate to miss out on it because it literally makes me sick.

Last Updated: March 6, 2015

51 Comments

  1. Blood Emperor Trevor

    March 6, 2015 at 14:08

    VR is the red hot vomit comet.

    Reply

    • Pariah

      March 6, 2015 at 14:09

      Dis kak snaaks! XD

      Reply

  2. Hammersteyn

    March 6, 2015 at 14:10

    Finally, a valid excuse for bulimic people

    Reply

    • Blood Emperor Trevor

      March 6, 2015 at 14:33

      What a mess VR porn will be O_o

      Reply

      • Deceased

        March 6, 2015 at 14:36

        O.O

        Reply

      • Pariah

        March 6, 2015 at 14:38

        At least with the Wank Band you can power the VR set to save on the electricity bill.

        Reply

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          March 6, 2015 at 14:43

          But won’t that cause additional… er… motion “sickness”?

          Reply

          • Pariah

            March 6, 2015 at 14:44

            Isn’t that the point?

      • Hammersteyn

        March 6, 2015 at 14:41

        O_o

        Reply

  3. HvR

    March 6, 2015 at 14:11

    Zero point …., perfect simulation bla bla bla

    Emmersive experiences fooling your eyes that you are moving, brain going nah ah ah fuck this shit inner ear say your not moving. Table, keyboard meet lunch.

    Decades (damn I’m getting old) of playing FPS I still need to sit back so that the screen does not fill the majority of my vision field to avoid motion sickness.

    Reply

    • Lord Chaos

      March 6, 2015 at 14:13

      I have never felt this. Except for spinning on my chair.

      Reply

      • Pariah

        March 6, 2015 at 14:15

        Or on a rope swing. Twist that up as far as you can go, spin, fall, vomit. DO IT AGAIN!!!!

        Reply

  4. Admiral Chief

    March 6, 2015 at 14:13

    Bring out die erbrechen Tasche mein Freund

    Reply

    • Ranting Raptor

      March 6, 2015 at 14:32

      • Admiral Chief

        March 6, 2015 at 14:33

        That thing is NOT ein erbrechen Tasche!

        Reply

        • Ranting Raptor

          March 6, 2015 at 14:33

          I must have misheard you then

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief

            March 6, 2015 at 14:36

            I know you cannot wait to use your toy, but NOT ON ME!

          • Ranting Raptor

            March 6, 2015 at 14:36

            0_o…. that is not where I saw this convo going… I was aiming for a simple “Lol. Loved that movie” and then maybe a robot voice quote or something….

  5. Ranting Raptor

    March 6, 2015 at 14:20

    Zoe, can you imagine trying an FPS that makes you motion sick already ON a VR unit? Eish

    Reply

  6. Darren Peach

    March 6, 2015 at 14:21

    Dear Lazygamer. I recently sold my Xbox through your comments section. I find this a great platform to do that sort of thing. Thanks. Unfortunately, the person who bought it is less than honorable as he has screwed me over. I advertised the console at 4400 with 2 games, 10 months live under my name and a pack of batteries. This guys name is Shawn. He sent his mate, A dude named Cheyn to pick it up. He only brought me 4200 yet I gave the console to him anyway. A gesture of good faith. He was supposed to contact me about depositing the outstanding amount. I know It’s only R200 but it is still my money. I have decided to go to the police concerning this matter and I am contacting microsoft in order to have the Xbox banned from live. I have their contact details. This is intended for the buyer to see so he can honour the agreement and to illustrate to the public that there are less than honest folks ready to take advantage of people out there.

    Reply

    • Darren Peach

      March 6, 2015 at 14:22

      Honestly, He got it at a steal at my asking price.

      Reply

    • Ranting Raptor

      March 6, 2015 at 14:23

      Dude, you really should have sent this kind of communication straight to the person in question and not in public. You are now open for a slander case.

      Just saying.

      Reply

      • Spathi

        March 6, 2015 at 14:25

        It’s not slander if it is true and in public interest. I believe Gavin will be able to provide more information about the technicalities though…. ๐Ÿ˜›

        Reply

        • Ranting Raptor

          March 6, 2015 at 14:27

          I didn’t say what the person in question did was cool.But publicly stating things, even if only SLIGHTLY off can end you in a lot of hot water. Heck, sometimes even the truth gets you in trouble.

          Our laws are very odd in that way.

          Reply

        • Pieter Kruger

          March 6, 2015 at 14:28

          Hehehe!

          Reply

      • Darren Peach

        March 6, 2015 at 14:26

        If the agreement is met, I will delete this.

        Reply

        • Ranting Raptor

          March 6, 2015 at 14:28

          Just trying to help out. What the dude did was seriously uncool and I hope he pays up.

          Just worried that you end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit. We all have seen how wrong those can go even when stating facts.

          Reply

          • Darren Peach

            March 6, 2015 at 14:39

            There is a record of my asking price, I have not used any surnames and I have a witness that can verify my agreement with the guy that picked it up.

          • Ranting Raptor

            March 6, 2015 at 16:36

            Then go for gold!

    • Spathi

      March 6, 2015 at 14:24

      Why didn’t you use sagamer? And going to the police won’t help you, and neither is MS supposed to. It is a civil matter. Not trying to sound harsh, just informing you.

      Reply

      • Darren Peach

        March 6, 2015 at 14:31

        To give the guy a chance to pay me. And I have family in the SAPS to whom I can query this matter. Microsoft will ban my account.

        Reply

        • Spathi

          March 6, 2015 at 14:34

          I meant why didn’t you use SAgamer from the get go, I understand why you are doing this currently.

          Was it even legal for you to sell your MS account?

          Reply

          • Darren Peach

            March 6, 2015 at 14:37

            I did not sell my account. I agreed to let him use it until the live ran out.

        • Skyblue

          March 6, 2015 at 16:21

          Can’t you just change the password or migrate the account to another user? The recovery should still be to your e-mail/telephone. Either way, you get your money’s worth. I would never sell an account linked to my name.

          Reply

          • Darren Peach

            March 6, 2015 at 16:44

            The thing is, I never considered it me selling him my account. I said he could use it until the live ran out. Obviously it was his choice to use it or not. I regret it not for the fact that I did not get paid but because it was incredibly naive of me to do so. I try see the good in people. Gaming is starting to lose it’s appeal. This most disappointing generation of consoles, The lack of any real joy in the products, DLC, DRM and the corporate mentality of publishers. When you invest so much of your life into something and it starts to look shallow, It’s time to re-asses. I also don’t like this younger generation of developers much.

          • Skyblue

            March 7, 2015 at 08:19

            It’s called getting old and jaded, I have the same problem with many current releases so choose my games very carefully as I’m getting older and also don’t derive the sheer joy I did from them when I was younger. Still some gems out there when you do find them though, grab a PS4 and get some Resogun love on, well worth it.

    • Geoffrey Tim

      March 6, 2015 at 14:24

      That’s seriously unbloody cool.
      What a great price – and to still screw you over.

      Once you have all the necessary details, please send em through to me – (geoff[at]lazygamer[dot]net) and we’ll see what we can do from our side.

      Sorry this has happened.

      Reply

      • Audacity (or-das-it-eeee-eee)

        March 6, 2015 at 14:25

        Good man

        Reply

        • Darren Peach

          March 6, 2015 at 14:41

          Thanks.

          Reply

    • Geoffrey Tim

      March 6, 2015 at 14:27

      What I will say though, to echo other here, is that I don;t think a comments section here is an ideal place for this sort of thing; there’s little place for recourse. A dedicated forum that facilitates trades and sales, like SAgamer, would be be a better place for transactions of this nature.

      Reply

      • Darren Peach

        March 6, 2015 at 15:58

        Yeah, I am sorry about this. I just used your comments section originally. I honestly have no accounts on any dedicated gaming websites. I felt it was opportune at the time to use the comments section. If it makes you feel comfortable, I will stay away from Lazygamer from now on. Clearly I am not right for this website. Thanks.

        Reply

        • Geoffrey Tim

          March 6, 2015 at 16:05

          No, no, I think you’ve misconstrued – I just think that an open comments section like this leaves you open to a scam or two. You’re always, always ALWAYS, welcome here. Everyone is.

          Reply

          • Darren Peach

            March 6, 2015 at 16:07

            Coolio.

    • Pieter Kruger

      March 6, 2015 at 14:31

      Wait, there’s another oke with a Xbox One in SA……?????????????

      Reply

      • Pariah

        March 6, 2015 at 14:32

        So it’s not just One? ๐Ÿ˜›

        Reply

        • Blood Emperor Trevor

          March 6, 2015 at 14:34

          It’s a-LIVE!

          Reply

          • Pariah

            March 6, 2015 at 14:37

            Pure comedic GOLD!

  7. RinceThis

    March 6, 2015 at 14:29

    The hands on I had with the Occuls left me nauseous. But then again it was VR of a rollercoaster. Why do that? ‘Here’s the future, it won’t make you sick, please experience it by getting on a ride that makes you sick in real world time’… Umm. Didn’t think that through now did ya!?

    Reply

  8. Audacity (or-das-it-eeee-eee)

    March 6, 2015 at 14:33

    I’m interested to see the development applications for this, like what happens if we don’t follow the fast player rotations suggestion and instead allow the player to rotate 180 degrees by a slight angle change of the head, perhaps it could mess up our real world senses so that we’d have to readjust to reality, or perhaps, just maybe, it would train us to become super human somehow ๐Ÿ˜›

    Reply

  9. Deceased

    March 6, 2015 at 14:35

    Back in the days of the Oculus Rift DK1, I experienced motion-sickness after about 5 minutes in TF2… I took a break for about 10 minutes, then ‘Calibrated’, after which I had no motion-sickness, even after 25 minutes of TF2

    Reply

  10. Daws

    March 6, 2015 at 17:16

    I’ve wondered about that with VR. I haven’t even attempted a FPS since Halo gave me the worst headaches and nausea.

    Reply

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