With the developments in the consumer electronics industry, VR is becoming more and more into our lives. Especially with the news in the last couple of months, it is possible that VR technology no longer will be a luxury product, but a necessity for socializing for everyone. Normally in this scenario, there isn’t a problem since VR headsets are very convenient and easy to use, and generally, everybody from a very large range of ages can enjoy the virtual environment safely. However, as there are positive sides, there are a couple of negative effects of using VR headsets, and motion sickness is probably the most common side effect of a virtual reality headset. As Sun Tzu said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”, we should first know what VR sickness is.
VR sickness, or VR nausea, is similar to the motion sickness that we can experience in our daily lives when we are in a car or in a boat, however, it has also characteristic features special to itself. In normal motion sickness, there has to be a bodily movement, whereas, on the contrary, VR sickness occurs when there isn’t a body movement. In brief, it occurs when exposure to a virtual environment causes symptoms that are similar to motion sickness symptoms. The most common symptoms are general discomfort, headache, stomach awareness, nausea, vomiting, pallor, sweating, fatigue, drowsiness, disorientation, and apathy.
Naturally, the force of VR motion sickness varies according to each person, but it certainly affects the quality of time spent in virtual reality environments and it creates displeasure for most VR users, especially first-timers.
Causes of VR Motion Sickness
Even though motion sickness in virtual reality is unpleasant for everyone, the force of motion sickness may depend on different variables, such as gender or age. According to some studies, adult people who are older than the age of 50 experience the side effects of VR sickness more than the younger VR users; and women are said to be feeling the symptoms of VR nausea more than men. Also, getting used to the virtual reality environment is the key; on a new VR user, the effects of VR nausea are much stronger than on a person who is used to playing VR games.
Sadly, there is no certain cure for VR sickness, but there are some suggestions to overcome it. Let’s take a look at what to do!
Solutions for VR Motion Sickness and Nausea
Headset Choice and Positioning
Take It Slow
Try A Fresh Way Of Moving In VR
Like we said before, the main reason for VR sickness is the incoordination of the eye and the inner ear in the brain, and this is mainly caused by the unnatural way of moving in VR, depending on the controllers. As you may know, controllers are not the only way of moving in VR in these times and there are many alternative VR locomotion solutions on the market, like VR treadmills and motion capture devices. As WalkOVR, we claim that we are producing one of the most affordable and easy-to-use VR locomotion solutions in the market, and it incredibly helps with motion sickness in VR! According to a survey that we conducted among our users, 7 of the 10 users said that they feel a significant decrease in their VR motion sickness when they play with WalkOVR, and this was one of the main goals that we achieved through our journey.
Curious? Check out the video from VR ManCave in which WalkOVR is reviewed as a solution to VR sickness!
Use A Fan Or Open A Window
Don’t Play With A Full Or Empty Stomach
Read Comments of Other Gamers
Get Used To It
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- Jinjakam, C.; Kazuhiko, H. (2011). “Study on parallax affect on simulator sickness in one-screen and three-screen immersive virtual environment”.
- Ruddle, R. A. (2004). The effect of environment characteristics and user interaction on levels of virtual environment sickness. Proceedings of IEEE Virtual Reality.