How Motion Sickness Can Ruin Games (And How You Can Fight it)

Illustration for article titled How Motion Sickness Can Ruin Games (And How You Can Fight it)

I can play games for hours on end. No problems. Good friend of mine, though, there are certain genres—FPS and driving mainly—that make him physically sick.


He's not alone. It's a safe bet most of you either know someone, or suffer yourself, from motion sickness brought on by video games.

There's a great piece on The Guardian's website exploring the subject, noting that while there's been little hard science done on it, it's estimated between 10-50% of people may experience motion sickness while gaming to some degree.


Noting that US research on military flight simulators found around half of users reported some kind of sickness after use, it's speculated that it's caused in video gaming by a disconnect between your eyes detecting motion on the screen while your inner ear has no such luck (because, you know, you're not actually moving).

This might trick your body into thinking it's being poisoned, which triggers a nausea reflex.

So how do you fix the problem? Well, there's no cure, but as The Guardian's helpful test subject notes, over-the-counter motion sickness medication (he cites Joy-Rides) can either delay or alleviate the effects slightly.

Playing video games makes me sick [The Guardian]

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I get this way with Half Life 2, Borderlands, sometimes Minecraft, Sometimes Deus Ex, and more recently Skyrim if I play in first person.

For me it is totally 100% related to having a not 90 degree FoV, those games listed default at like 60 or 70, which is ridiculous.

I do think it may also have something to do with the sway of whats in your hands in some of those games, definitely the case in HL2 and Borderlands.

I think it might affect me because I notice it, my eyes seem to be pretty good to the point that I can catch on to that stuff even when not focusing on it, which usually causes me to get pretty nauseous pretty daarn fast. On the pc borderlands and deus ex were easily playable with some config changes, and minecraft had the option to change it added a while back. Half Life is still pretty bad after changing the fov, definitely the sway in that game.

Skyrim I havent had issues with because I switched to a warrior guy, and playing that in first person isn't even very effective.

I don't know if Id go as far as to gettiing any meds for it, but I would love to be able to play these games without any issues. :(

And for the record I hate roller coasters, but I do not get motion sickness on boats or planes, so idk if that would be related either!