Virtual-augmented reality games become a “reality-reality” idea. Despite the progress VR technology has made over the years –streamlined user experience, cost-effective components, and impressive animation –there is a single problem that continues to exist: motion sickness.
In VR, motion sickness happens when your mind and body perception disagree with one another. Oculus Quest offers VR gaming experiences to users, but the conflicting inputs of the real and virtual world cause sensations of nausea, dizziness, and headaches to end-users.
Does Oculus Quest Make You Sick? It might, provoked by the motion sickness, and there are many theories behind it.
If you’re interested in combatting VR gaming dizziness, we got you covered. We have provided some tricks to assist you in combatting sickness while playing your favorite VR games. Next time you’re experiencing issues, give some of these tactics a try.
Let’s begin with the theories of motion sickness.
Theories of Motion Sickness
Your Oculus Quest package finally arrived at your home. You started unboxing the components and felt excited as you inspect the device. You put the headset on your face and begin exploring a wide variety of games in the Oculus Store. You installed, downloaded, and played a game that interests you. After some time, you started to feel dizzy. This is what you call VR-induced motion sickness. When you’re new into VR, you might feel that conflicting inputs are happening to your body. Your eyes tell your mind that you’re moving to a different world, but your body tells you otherwise.
You’ll likely experience nausea if you’re new to VR games, most notably the high propensity ones. Researchers reveal that there are existing theories used to explain why VR motion sickness occurs. These theories include the sensory conflict, postural instability, evolutionary, and eye movement. So before trying out a game on VR, make sure to have a good understanding of these theories as they help you avoid cybersickness.
Sensory conflict addresses the symptoms of VR game dizziness. Your perceived senses do not reflect your experienced motions, causing your body to have a sensory disagreement. If your visual and auditory cues don’t relay the same views, it delays the sense of vestibular motion. Your visual and vestibular systems supply information that doesn’t reflect your passive movements, resulting in mismatched feelings that induce dizziness.
Also, VR motion sickness occurs when your visually perceived movement contradicts your sensory system, which is responsible for your body’s balance and spatial orientation. Most people experience motion sickness once they put on a headset and enter a virtual world. This is no different from using Oculus Quest, as it can also trigger VR sickness to end-users.
Aside from your perception and auditory senses, your balance affects your gameplay. The postural instability theory explains animals’ inability to maintain balance, making them sick. This scenario is similar to humans, as we demand to learn how to keep our postures stable in novel situations. Long periods of irregular patterns cause our bodies to create unbalanced motions and results in intense motion symptoms.
Postural instability theory also explains that one’s visible oscillation of the physical environment triggers nausea. Human Factors Journal studied the effects of computer-generated simulation activities, wherein most of the participants showed symptoms of VR motion sickness after forty minutes of playing.
Also known as the poison theory, evolutionary refers to our body’s self-defense as a response to triggering psychological disturbances. Our body experiences motion sickness once it sees disturbance related to our visual, vestibular, or proprioceptive inputs. These disturbances cause conflict to our body’s normal function that impacts eyes and head movements. This is a case where ingested toxins cause sensory perturbations to the body. Be mindful that our body monitors our perceptual and motor systems. If it sees conflicting activities, it ejects “poison” that makes a groggy effect for the body to avoid toxins.
Eye movement theory asserts that motion sickness occurs when we make unnatural eye motions to maintain the gameplay’s stability on our retina. In the world of VR, conflict happens when images move differently as expected, causing a discrepancy of actions in our body. This idea is similar to what our eyes expect and what occurs in the virtual world. Adjusting eye movements differently from the real world makes you experience cybersickness symptoms.
Reasons Why Motion Sickness Happen
Now that you’ve understood the theories behind motion sickness let’s put them into applications. Two reasons are involved in why VR sickness happens: battle of the senses and when seeing isn’t believing.
Reason 1: Battle of the Senses
Our central nervous system provides us five senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste. We know for a fact that the central nervous system is primarily connected to the brain, right? If these senses get into an “argument,” the brain becomes confused. For example, imagine yourself on a moving boat. You’ll feel that your body is in a rapid motion, but not physically. Your body gets confused and feels a “tug-of-war” of feeling, as your senses don’t know “who is right.”
This idea is the same as having VR motion sickness. Your sense of sight does not reflect your body movements, which causes a sensory mismatch on your brain. Because of this, you suffer from motion dizziness.
Reason 2: When Seeing Isn’t Believing
The discrepancy of the real world and virtual gaming affects your emotions as well. You tend to encounter uneasiness as you know that what you see in your VR game is not real –tricking your brain and other senses. This concept reverts back to the first reason why motion sickness happens. Moreover, the inconsistency of your VR games influences your perception. It creates an illusion by which your sensory organs cannot determine what’s real from what is not.
Preparing for Oculus Quest: Advice for Motion Sickness
Oculus Quest gamers observe that the VR headset gives them nauseatic effects. The feeling can be compared to an out-of-body experience, wherein their mind moves in a virtual world while their body remains still.
Oculus Scientist Steven LaValle studied how virtual reality causes motion sickness to consumers. According to his research, grabbing onto a controller creates non-corresponding movements with our physical world. Once it reaches your senses, it results in motion sickness. He added that the more the intense the game, the greater the stomach lurched you’ll get. Yet, this effect depends on how well you’re able to deal with the propensity of the game.
To date, professional gamers help people experiencing unsteadiness cope up with their problems. If you’re one of them, you’re lucky you have made it to this article. Here are the valuable, tested techniques on how you can combat VR motion sickness effectively.
- If a game makes you dizzy, learn how to stop. Take simple, slow steps to allow yourself to get into the VR world. You should limit yourself for a few minutes at a time. When you feel yourself getting into a motion sickness, then stop. The next time you play again, increase your time limit. Continue doing this to master VR gaming and combat motion sickness.
- Rest for a while if you start to experience motion sickness. Lie down on a comfortable couch, close your eyes, and practice deep breathing. Do these steps before playing again. Refer back to the steps once you started to feel dizzy. Doing this tactic allows you to overcome VR unsteadiness in just a few days.
- Eating ginger two hours before you start your game heals your stomach from nauseatic symptoms.
- Another technique to prevent giddiness is to aim a fan at yourself. A fan releases a cool breeze that makes it comfortable for you to play. Reddit users believe that aiming a fan at yourself avoid excessive sweating that causes additional discomfort on the gameplay.
- If possible, try to sit when playing VR games. When you play standing, there are higher chances that you’ll end up disorienting your movements and reaching far places that can only cause fatigue.
- VR game transitions sometimes cause unnatural eye movement. To avoid VR-induced grogginess, calm your eyes and close them when your game transitions from one screen to another. Just ignore the gameplay’s cutscenes, they aren’t important anyway, right?
- Use Dramamine. Dramamine provides effective benefits to people experiencing motion sickness not only to boats or cars but also to VR devices as well. Dramamine encompasses many forms, from chewable tablets to pills.
- Unnecessary movements only add up to motion sickness. Thus, refrain yourself from virtual rotations and angular velocity.
- Control your breathing patterns. Some people tend to hold their breath when game scenes become more intense, only increasing VR-induced motion sickness. Try to relax and don’t forget to breathe calmly each game.
- To protect your eyes from potential strain, you have to reduce your screen’s brightness. It will help your brain adjust more easily to the environment.
- Along with brightness, you need to ensure that your game sounds are not too loud, as it adds discrepancy to your sensory movements.
- Low frame-rates contribute to motion sickness. Make sure to optimize your gaming experience by ensuring all your drivers and settings are updated.
- Consider using Sea-Bands. It is a wristband product that puts an acupuncture pressure on your wrist. Travelers who are susceptible to motion sickness said that Sea-Bands are effective in reducing their lightheadedness feeling.
- Ensure that your headset is calibrated correctly. Your Oculus Quest needs to be in focus and fit to ensure you won’t be having any problems with your gameplay’s screen transition.
- People don’t realize that VR gaming is another form of exercise, as it requires body movement to enjoy the gameplay. Make sure that you’ve eaten and hydrated before playing a game.
If you’ve done all these strategies but still end up having motion sickness, the problem lies within the game itself. Avoid games that induce motion sickness by checking first the intensity before buying and installing them to your Oculus. Nevertheless, focusing on games that interest you, without requiring too many detailed movements, is a practice you need to deliver, and you’ll be fine in the future.
Motion sickness associated with virtual-augmented reality presents issues toward widespread acceptance of the technology. For instance, Oculus Quest users usually find themselves groggy after playing their games on VR. Theories have been identified in this article on how VR games trigger nauseatic conditions for end-users. Nevertheless, there are several ways on how you can combat motion sickness while playing your favorite game titles on Quest headset. Just make sure that you have enough preparation before playing, as they are required to help yourself confidently.
Lastly, you should be aware that overcoming motion sickness takes a rigorous, gradual process. Implementing one from our list doesn’t imply that you’ll end up playing for longer hours than you expected. You’ll see that there are factors that contribute to VR sickness, which is the reason why you need to understand its theories as well.