Virtual Reality – Fun or Gross?
Nausea brought on by delving into the world of virtual reality, unfortunately is a very possible thing. Some people say they begin to feel dizzy and gross every time they attempt a test of early VR equipment, and a lot of those moments have never ended prettily or tastefully. And it still happens to several people using VR – potentially thousands of people. Even big time gamers and seasoned VR veterans still haven’t found a perfect method to break this VR outcome of nausea.
No one knows for certain when it’ll happen, a lot of times it just over comes you within a few seconds and the next time it will hit you half an hour into your process. And when it happens to other people, it could occur with different games or programs and effects. Some people think they have triggers with more fast paced gamed than with moderate speed games. And there have been instances where people were triggered when they had to use a real controller to maneuver around, in addition to having to move their head around, those are the ones that make some people want to toss their lunch back up. Oculus has a couple games in their repertoire similar to this: Adr1ft, Dreadhalls, and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. There are also people who have said that they feel uncomfortable with slower paced walking games, but of course many people say the opposite, that slower games don’t make them nauseous.
Ironically enough, this was one of those types of things that must have been anticipated, because many of the products are equipped with a mentioning in their virtual reality safety manuals. Some VR product manuals recommend users to take small but frequent breaks to help alleviate symptoms. One can also try to change the fit of the product, which can be easier said than done at times, letting in or letting out straps, in addition to fixing focal distance or even optic distance can take a lot of time to mess around with.
A hand full of product developers have slowly tried tweaking the design of a few games to be less vomit-inducing, for example, having an enclosed space around you seems to help with the sensation a bit. Maybe that’s why some people get nauseous in games where they are wandering around freely in a first person setting.
Virtual Reality can definitely have mental effects because of its oddly realistic simulated appearance and movements. “Simulator sickness” is one of those conditions that is suffered in a lot of flight simulations, and “virtual reality sickness,” a family member of Simulator Sickness, has been a reality since the earlier days of virtual reality. Of course while lag times and graphic designs have extremely reduced known effects, it is still their at times and when it does hit, you feel it. It seems as though a lot of people who have tried VR have had at least a small run in with some sort of motion sickness, issues with fatigue, nausea or wooziness over time. Maybe it’s something we will eventually get accustomed to. Perhaps the hardware still needs to be tweaked to be able to improve. Or perhaps all of us human beings will always need to take breaks when using VR just to enjoy it, or as the saying goes ‘Too much of anything is bad for you’.