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  • Game-induced motion sickness?

    I've noticed that some game engines (with first person views) affect me by producing motion sickness symptoms...headache, dizziness, feelings of nausea. This makes playing these games not fun...and at the worst producing an intense headache and queasiness discomfort that can last for hours after the gaming.

    At the risk of exposing myself to attacks of "wimp" or worse, I wonder if anyone else has had similar experiences. FWIW, the Quake and Doom engines were the first times I noticed this. Improving technology has made it "better", but some new games (e.g. The Witcher) have brought it back.
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    Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. - (Isaac Asimov)

  • #2
    Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

    My ex-wife strongly exhibited the same symptoms when viewing an FPS but she was also very susceptible to motion sickness of any kind. Her discomfort would escalate to the level of migraines on trips.
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    • #3
      Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

      Turns out (love Google!) the condition is called "Simulator Sickness". Seems that "mouse look" first person controls tend to be the worst video gaming offenders.
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      Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do. - (Isaac Asimov)

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      • #4
        Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

        Usual motion sickness is due to the Field of View used in games. Some engines default to less than 90 degrees which tend to cause motion sickness due to the unnatural view angles. Check to see if the game your running has a console command to change the FOV to something that is best suited for you.

        This applies to First Person Shooters.

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        • #5
          Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

          I was going to mention FOV -- I've heard that some people mitigate motion effects by changing the FOV. Personally, I can't stand anything lower than 90 (I prefer 100~110) It doesn't make me feel sick, but everything is too "zoomed in". (Games simulate zoom effects such as sniper scopes by simply narrowing the field of view.) An exeption being Oblivion; they run something like 80 in that and while you can force 90 with console it resets to default all the time. Anyway, I've learned to tolerate it, but when I tried it on 90 everything seemed to snap into place. :D

          Also, in TF2, Source introduced a motion blur effect that some people prefer.

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          • #6
            Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

            While I'm not usually susceptible to Simulation Sickness, the first time I tried TrackIR with Armed Assault, I almost tossed my cookies :)

            This was easily fixed putting generous deadzones into my TIR profile.

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            • #7
              Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

              Even after Years of FPS games.. Portal got me nauseous every time I played.. (and it was really bad if I was watching another play!!)

              Or if you reverse the mouse settings and you want to look up and the screen goes down...wow thats nasty...
              |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
              ..now where did I put my keys?

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              • #8
                Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

                I didn't have any problems with Doom or Quake, but I did get bad motion/simulator sickness after playing Half-Life for 30-60 min. I did some research on it and found the FOV issue mentioned above. I changed it from the default of 75 to 90 and never had a problem after that. Since then I find out what the default FOV is for new games and learn how to change it to 90 if necessary. Unfortunately it seems that more and more new PC games have FOVs less than 90 because they are also designed for consoles played on relatively distant TVs where there may be an argument for the lower FOV. It would be nice if the devs spent a little time to make appropriate adjustments for the PC versions instead of just releasing the "console ports" that are often criticized.

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                • #9
                  Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

                  my entry into the FPS world was Deux EX, and I got simulator sickness from it, but I don't know if it was the engine or the 8 or 9 straight hours of play....

                  none of the newer games have had the effect, but that could be larger displays, wide screen LCD's, not playing long enough to need a third meal...
                  Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
                  The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

                  If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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                  • #10
                    Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

                    A friend of mine also suffered from this on _some_ FPS games. He said he could play the games finally after turning ON VSync, which is often turned off to improve performance.

                    Try to enable VSync and tell me if it helps.
                    former TacticalGamer European Division



                    A Tactical Gamer since 2005 (the glorious days of BF2)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

                      You, I just got motion sickness from a game two weeks ago for the first time in my life. And i am really bad with sea sickness; i have nearly puked from standing on a dock

                      But anyway the game was COD4, with the side to side motion from the boat rocking in the first level. after five minutes i had to go to a different room to sit down. And i can do flight sims, FPS of any type, for hours on end, but this was the first time i was affected. Im concerned for future games which will become more and more realistic.
                      "Give a man a match and he'll be warm for a minute. Light the man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life"

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                      • #12
                        Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

                        Originally posted by Icehawk217 View Post
                        You, I just got motion sickness from a game two weeks ago for the first time in my life. And i am really bad with sea sickness; i have nearly puked from standing on a dock

                        But anyway the game was COD4, with the side to side motion from the boat rocking in the first level. after five minutes i had to go to a different room to sit down. And i can do flight sims, FPS of any type, for hours on end, but this was the first time i was affected. Im concerned for future games which will become more and more realistic.

                        Ya....that boat scene was something else...many hair raising moments in COD 4 but few on par with the Capt...pulling you back in the bird as it takes off from the sinking ship...had me gasping for breath myself.
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                        |TG-1st|Grunt
                        ARMA Admin (retired)
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                        • #13
                          Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

                          Two weeks ago, I had a friend yak in my bathroom due to watching me play Tony Hawk: Underground.

                          This sick thing is real, no doubt. But once we fully replace real life with virtual life, I imagine we'll breed it out of the system.
                          [volun2]
                          NS Game Officer. TF2 Admin. BF2 Admin / Scripter. PM with issues.
                          Tempus: Pokerface is nailing it right on the head. Everyone who is arguing against him is simply arguing against reality.
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                          Arm yourself with knowledge: TG NS TF2 BF2

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                          • #14
                            Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

                            My sister-in-law has this problem, and can't play either FPS or WoW.

                            I think I've experienced it with a monitor with an insufficient refresh rate, due to the flicker.
                            Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                            snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

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                            • #15
                              Re: Game-induced motion sickness?

                              Switch to a widescreen display with a widescreen vid. format, jack up your frequency as high as your card will allow, go easy on the AA (high aa can cause nausea), and maybe try inverting your Y axis.

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