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Motion Sickness Remedies for Games?

Cliff posted more than 8 years ago | from the stepping-away-is-one dept.


MagikSlinger asks: "A friend of mine gave me Silent Hill 3 for Christmas (yeah, I know it's old), and I finally got around to playing it. Within 2 minutes, I had to stop and step away from the computer: intense nausea and pressure right behind the eyeballs. I got really, really motion sick playing the game. Does anyone have home remedies, set-ups, video options to make it bearable?"

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field of vision (1)

pintomp3 (882811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913787)

donno, would using a smaller monitor/sitting further back help? i don't game but i would imagine this would help.

Flunarizine (4, Informative)

acariquara (753971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914731)

It could work - if not, try Flunarizine - I got it also, helps a lot. Do not get the tablets, they will knock you off, try getting the droplet version. 5 to 10 drops works best on an adult male without (much) drowsiness. I find it faster and longer lasting than Dramamine.

Real solution... (1)

gmezero (4448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14916288)

Keep kicking devlopers in the nuts until they stop making games like this. 99.9% of the time nausua is caused by a crappy in game camera implementation. Either it's too jumpy, or the fisheyed aspect used to "make the world look bigger" is at fault. My wife and two of my co-workers suffer from this. While alot of games are no problem, there are others where the camera implementation was so bad that they're running from the room to puke after a few minutes.

For those of you pissing on this guy as needing to "get his vision" checked... While that may be the case, most likely it's not. Some people are more suseptable to visual/motion issues than others, we're all NOT built the same. He may just have to be careful about the games he plays and realize that he has been excluded from enjoying a percentage of video games on the market by poor development practices or poor management decisions.

For some advice to game developers, check here [gamezero.com] ... it's amazingly still relevant sarcasm.

Is this a dupe? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913790)

This was covered 3 weeks ago! [s1ashdot.org] .

Re:Is this a dupe? (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913809)

I know you meant to put that on the Zoomr article...

Re:Is this a dupe? (0, Offtopic)

NaNO2x (856759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913854)

Love virus protection, why the hell would anyone post a virus up on a forum, I mean I don't get black hat man. Why do you feel the need to try to fuck over the people? Residence scanning is something that everyone should have, and I do promote the agressive firewall technology not just blocking.

Re:Is this a dupe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913904)

What type of virus is he trying to spread?

Re:Is this a dupe? (1)

NaNO2x (856759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913939)

It looks like VBS Malware, but I'm still researching.

Re:Is this a dupe? (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914078)

Umm, yeah right... "s1ashdot.org" resolves to, I can see how you could download a virus from that.

Try replacing the "1" (one) with "l" (El) and you'll get to the zooomr article. *shakes head*

Change the FOV (5, Informative)

Nomihn0 (739701) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913792)

Change the field of view so it matches what your eyes expect from a 1 foot viewing distance. Your typical FOV is around 120 degrees, in real life. First person shooters often have 90 degree FOVs which are non-proportional to the size that the monitor or television is in your true FOV. Fix it and you should have a virtual, space-accurate, "window" that you look through.

Also, try taking Dramamine about an hour before you begin playing. Seriously.

--Best of luck!

Re:Change the FOV (4, Informative)

zephc (225327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913865)

Ginger also apparently has benefits against motion sickness (for some anyway). The parent's FOV change suggestion is your best bet though.

Re:Change the FOV (1)

BigCheese (47608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917163)

There are ginger teas that are very good for such things. Check your local health food store. Ginger snaps are good too. Tasty as well. The Whole Foods here has some of the best ginger snaps I've ever had.

Re:Change the FOV (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914038)

Although people see around 120 degrees just look how little of those 120 degrees the screen in front of you takes up. It's like 40 degrees, maybe 30. And if you try playing games set to 30 degrees POV... with that narrow a field of vision it'll be difficult to play or see anything.

So the only way to take up 120 degrees of vision is to get it filling up your field of vision, either with a projector or 24 monitor setup [plastk.net] .

Re:Change the FOV (4, Interesting)

gutnor (872759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914453)

Open the window. I already had that kind of problem when playing in an overheated room with not enough fresh air.
And try to play for session no longer than when you feel you could start getting sick. It seemed that positive playing experience (i.e. not being sick ) was more encouraging for my body and after a while my bearable session time could increase. ( I had that problem with HL2 and I could barely survive 5-10 min in the beginning. At the end I could bear 1 hour session without problem. )

It seems for that also help to try different setting. I can't give you precise advise but check the refresh rate and your screen resolution. For LCD try to adjust the resolution, I have more problem with mine LCD than with some friend's ( mine is older and has a sligthly worse response time ) and generally much more trouble with LCD than with CRT ( but I never tried the brand new LCD with 8ms response time )

I'm more quickly sick in more agressive light conditions, and using a lower brithness/contrast for games ( to avoid the eye burning white an LCD can produce ) helped a lot.

Re:Change the FOV (2, Interesting)

random_amber (957056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914613)

I guess I'm mentally challenged today, but how do I change the FOV exactly?? Can you give an example say with a gaming console on an average-sized TV? Do I sit further or closer to the TV or something? As an aside, I get motion sickness FAR worse when I play console games than when I play them on my computer...perhaps for this reason? I always thought it was because on my computer I on liquidy smooth frame rates, but my framerates are not as good on console games. . Random_Amber

Re:Change the FOV (1)

sbaker (47485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915929)

Matching your true FOV to the game's FOV is a good idea from a point of view of minimising 'simulator-sickness' (yes, that's the proper name for this nausea - it comes from the flight simulation business) - but it's not always 'reasonable' to do that with video games.

I'm currently sitting 70cm from my 35cm (width) monitor screen - this gives me a true FOV of just 28 degrees!

FYI: Measure the distance between your eyes and the screen - measure the screen width and set the FOV to 2*arctan(screen_width/(2*eye_distance)).

You'd have to be sitting VERY close or have an enormous screen to warrant a 120 degree FOV! At such short distances, I'd bet that eyestrain would be a problem. OTOH, if you are sitting further back from a big screen TV then insufficient display resolution would result in a blurry image - which could be a contributory factor.

Generally games push the FOV out to 90 degrees (which is much larger than most real world monitor FOV's) because it's just too hard to play the game with a narrow FOV. 90 is the best compromise between being able to see things you need to know about and minimising the 'fish bowl' effect you get from artificially wide FOV's.

However, playing video games with a 'correct' FOV would be hard - so nausea is a common problem.

Elsewhere, someone suggested Ginger as a nausea suppressant - if you follow Mythbusters (who did a pretty good amateur study of this) you'll know that's true. Ginger was the only thing that worked for them - except pharmacological solutions such as dramamine that made them either drowsy or disoriented and 'out of it'.

Re:Change the FOV (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917000)

Whats interesting is that only SOME FPS's cause this for me.

Black - I recently purchased this and within several minutes I had a headache and felt very nauseous. I attribute part of this to the slow controls...you can't move around the screen anywhere NEAR as quickly as with a mouse on a PC, which really helps with the motion sickness for me. I'm returning this because the game itself is boring after you get past the eye candy.

Golden Eye - The only levels I could play were the Library and any outdoor level without getting ill.

Halflife - I can play this one for a bit but eventually it does me in.

BF:1942, BF:Vietnam, BF2 - For some reason...I can play this for hours and hours and hours on end without feeling the slightest bit of nausea. I would be curious if others have experienced this as well. I honestly don't have a clue as to why this game is so different, but I'm glad it does because its my favorite out there right now. Anybody have any suggestions as to why the Battlefield series has no effect on me?

OK... (4, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913823)

First of all. Have your eyes checked, you might need glasses.
I often get motion sickness when I play 3D games, but usually it takes at least an hour of continuous play for that. A couple of minutes is VERY RARE.

To see how bad your condition is, try going to the theater and watch a movie (yes, the theater). If you end up with nausea and headaches, you DO need to see an optometrist.

Second, try not to move the point of view very often. When you do that, you might get migraines. This happened a lot hwne I played Prince of Persia for the first time.

Also, you might try using the 2D controls instead of the default 3D ones (to see if the camera is easier on you), and please, DO NOT RUN OR TURN AROUND LIKE CRAZY! A couple of 360 degrees turns on a 3D game is enough to leave you on the ground.

Try to take it easy, click on the map often (triangle) to see where you're going. If you get tired, press pause and close your eyes.

Try also adjusting your monitor to deliver a smaller view area.

Blink often, and if you get the least bit dizzy, press pause and look elsewhere. Do not stare at the screen so much.

A strategy I use is to close your eyes or look elsewhere when the camera is doing a quick pan. Remember that there's a button to adjust the point of view to first person.

If all of this fails, give up on the game and stick with your old games. It's not worth it. Finally, if you got money and good lawyers, try suing Sony for not putting warning labels on these games :P

I'm amazed that you can play any games at all! (1)

ereshiere (945922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913934)

Do you have trouble riding in a car, too? I've been motion-sick from riding in the back seat, but never from a videogame; it feels like when I'm in firm control of a fixed perspective (such as a videogame or a car) then it doesn't bother me, but when I am not...

Everyday travelling sickness? (3, Informative)

der_joachim (590045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914161)

[OT] @ereshire: what you describe, sounds more like normal everyday travel sickness. Here's a few things I found dealing with it (disclaimer: I go to work every day by bus and train, and occasionally have some travel sickness. However, I am NOT a medical expert.):
  • Try facing forward when travelling. Many European buses have some seats facing backwards. Avoid them like the plague.
  • Closing your eyes is not a good idea either. Neither is reading a book. You can only feel the bus moving, which makes it even worse.
  • For bus commuters: if at all possible, try to sit at the front, preferably behind the driver. The trip will be less bumpy.
  • When in the back of a car, try to get plenty of fresh air.
  • What I found to be a golden tip: listen to music while on a trip. Don't ask me why, but I found that listening to music reduces the feeling of sickness. Probably has to do something with travel sickness being an inner ear imbalance.
  • Additionally, you should avoid eating and drinking spicy food and drinks, and food and drinks that are heasy on the stomach.
  • Pills. They have been mentioned several times before in this thread.
Hope this helps.

Re:Everyday travelling sickness? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914538)

Actually that reminds me, chewing gum is good for equalising inner ear pressure. Might be worth a try.

Re:Everyday travelling sickness? (1)

Echnin (607099) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914880)

The road has a lot to say. I've always (since the age of 3 of something) had trouble with travel sickness; when I was younger, I often got out of the car and threw up when I got out of the car. It's gotten better, though. I still get travel sick riding the winding mountain roads in central Norway, but this summer when we got on the highway in Sweden with its straight, nice roads, I was reading books and everything. I was amazed at the huge difference. Music does, as you also mention, also work. I'm thinking it might have something to do with it simply giving the mind something else to think about.

Re:Everyday travelling sickness? (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915642)

I hear you on the books. For some reason I can't read a book if I'm riding in a car. I once pulled out my brother's GBA and tried playing that on a 45 minute trip. I think I loaded the game up (Bionic Commando? Not sure) and after the screen scrolled for a few seconds I shut it off and had my brother pull over. I leaned out the window and though I was going to lose it. Didn't lose it, but I never play games in a vehicle now.

Movies aren't too bad if it's dark out, and I can always type and do bits of work on my laptop, but no side-scrolling.

Re:Everyday travelling sickness? (1)

ereshiere (945922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14916624)

Fascinating! Thank you for the information! Oddly enough I've never had a problem with a bumpy ride on a bus or sitting in the back seat of one, though I do have a major problem sitting in the back of a car when I cannot see out the windshield. Reading or playing a portable game is totally out of the question in any case; I remember trying to read new comic books when I was 12 and feeling sick to my stomach--not because of the comics, mind you. ;)

Is this an aboveground phenomenon? I have no problems riding the NYC subway sitting backwards, even standing backwards, on the train. I can close my eyes and everything.

Re:OK... (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913971)

All this is nice and pretty against nausea but will get you fragged in FPS and dead in Silent Hill really fast.
The front line is not a place for sick people! ;)

Re:OK... (1)

(negative video) (792072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14916644)

Second, try not to move the point of view very often. When you do that, you might get migraines.
That sounds like the culprit here. "Pressure right behind the eyeballs" is a clearly migrainous symptom. I bet the person in this story sometimes gets headaches that make him want to sit quietly and do nothing.

I don't know about Silent Hill 3, but I have chronic migraine and Silent Hill 4: The Room was a horrible experience. It is loaded with flickery, jumpy, grainy visual effects that light up every motion detector in my brain. Cool, but excruciating.

The solution is to go to a doctor and try a few migraine preventives. There are a number of drugs that are pretty safe and have mild side effects: beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, gabapentin (Neurontin), and so forth. (But don't waste your time with topiramate (Topamax). Most people find it chops off 10 or 20 IQ points, which be bad for the typical /. reader.) Certainly this would be reasonable for the parent poster, and likely for the story author too.

Play another genre of games ... (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913845)

I've occasionally had similar problems with FPS's and games like Descent, especially after playing for a few hours. (But it never happened after just a few minutes.)

In my case, the only thing I found that really worked was to play another sort of game, one that didn't have me spinning around like a mad-man, at least for a while. RTS games worked nicely, for example, since they're usually played from a top-down perspective, or older RPGs like Baldur's Gate II. (NWN might be OK too, but it's more 3D than the games that preceeded it, and it might make you sick.)

I've never played Silent Hill 3 itself, but if it's usually played from a 3rd person perspective, playing a game from a first person perspective may not bother you so much. And vice versa, of course. But if it only took a few minutes to make you sick, I would be afraid that anything even remotely similar might make you sick ...

Best Advice Evar. (2, Funny)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913847)

Grow a pair, you sissy.

Ginger (4, Insightful)

Luis Cypher (257898) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913856)

I get this also.
After a few minutes play I am sick , 30 minutes I start to vomit and need to lie down for a few hours.

There are things that work such as motion sickness tablets.

However if you intend to play a lot I suggest taking ginger, it actually does work and wont slow your reflexes.
Another thing is "head bob" if the game has an adjustable head bob (like F.E.A.R does) try different settings, I get the sickest, very quickly, in games wich have no head bob at all.

Re:Ginger (1)

ajd1474 (558490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913918)

I often get motion sickness from games. Generally it is games which involve running quickly through small indoor areas. So Quake, Unreal, Return to Wolfenstein etc. But a game like Counterstrike, i've never had a problem because of the pace.

Curiously, since moving to LCD i get it much worse. One thing i have found is that my eyes need something not moving to make me feel less sick. In racing games i always race chase-cam, Ghost Recon I play in 3rd person, in flight sims i fly with the cockpit view. I find by reducing the area that moves, the less ill I feel.

The exception to this is Metroid Prime for GC which made me feel physically ill within minutes... dunno why!

Re:Ginger (1)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914006)

I'd like to second the ginger root and the head bob. Just chew or suck on a slice of ginger root before playing. Commercial over the counter motion sickness medicine works too, but is more expensive.

Re:Ginger (1)

Joel from Sydney (828208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914172)

Your ailment sounds particularly similar to mine. Some games affect me much more than others: I only lasted through about 20 minutes of F.E.A.R., Battlefield 2 about 45-60 mins, Counter-Strike or Doom 1 & 2 I can play for hours. But I couldn't make it through more than 10 minutes of Half-Life 2 (I didn't even last through the opening train ride in HL1). Strangely, it's only first-person games that affect me, though even that's not an exclusive category. WoW from third-person perspective is fine as I've purposely avoided playing it first-person, and using the in-cockpit view for racing games doesn't worry me at all. But then even slow-paced Morrowind gave me a violent headache and nausea in minutes; that one came on so quickly I didn't have time to find the third-person view!

My brother gets the same thing, though much less severely. I haven't really tried any remedies beyond avoiding particular games, so I'll give the ginger and Dramamine a go. Also, it may be of no consequence, but I visited an optometrist this morning for the first time ever (I'm almost 25). Apparently I have astigatism and will need glasses. I wonder if that'll help?

Very interested to hear other people's experiences.

Head-bob makes me sick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914933)

Funny, head-bob in games makes me sick really fast. All games are good once headbob is disabled, though. Having my entire view constantly bounced up and down (when my inner ear says I'm not being bounced) is a recipe to make me sick.

Re:Head-bob makes me sick (1)

FingerDemon (638040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915601)

Yes, I agree. I have been playing Half-Life mods (no head bob) for a long time without a problem. But I tried to get through Medal of Honor and had to quit on it. The head bob was really making me sick and I couldn't figure out if there was a way to turn it off.
I have a correct eyeglass prescription, but I have that Gastro-reflux problem and take the old purple pill for it.
I never went so far as to try Dramamine. For seasickness they say the prescription patches work really well, but I doubt you could get it prescribed for video game playing.

By the way, if you do have this problem, stay away from the radio controlled car game Re-Play. Its a great old game, but it gets me sicker than any other.

Re:Head-bob makes me sick (1)

Dave2 Wickham (600202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915995)

By the way, if you do have this problem, stay away from the radio controlled car game Re-Play.
Do you mean Re-Volt? A quick search for Re-Play didn't find anything related. If so, I personally never actually had problems with that (N64, mind), and I do get motion sick with older games (and, more recently, FEAR at full spec on a widescreen LCD, but that was in a very hot "cubicle" on one of the hottest days of the year...)

Re:Ginger (1)

N_Piper (940061) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915784)

I agree. FPS games with head bob are the worst and after that new games. I think it has to do with not having my eyes not "knowing what to expect" Another thing for headaches is to bump up the refresh rate to over 72hz The next thing is PRACTICE. Take your time and learn how your input moves the screen, your sickness sounds like mine and after the first couple of days I am usually over the sickness. If for some reason none of these are possible, I do a lot of LAN parties at a game center where the monitor prefs aren't available and I'm playing new games, Dramamine, Caffeine to kick the drowsiness from the Dram' and Aleve to kill the caffeine headache, is my drug cocktail of choice

Try driving afterwards (3, Interesting)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913870)

What throws me is going straight from a first-person-shooter to driving my car. For the first few minutes my reflexes feel all wrong. I keep wanting to move like I do in the game and realize just before the action kicks in that I can't do that.

Re:Try driving afterwards (1)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913968)

What about this guy who trashed his car by -purposedly- driving into an overtaking vehicle because his reflexes from the game (some violent car race) he was playing before kicked in and he -could- do that?

Re:Try driving afterwards (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914249)

Shit, that's nothing. Go drive a quick car around a track on track day. Even after a few laps it's very frustrating when you have to drive a slower car on the street. After even 30 minutes of track time I still get the sensation for at least the rest of the day, and sometimes the next day too...

I've never had the video game racing thing happen, I think because no matter how real the game, it's nothing close to reality. I suppose if the game were to take place in a surround video system, where the field of view was much larger, it might be a bit better. Anyway, every game I've played will let you get away with much more than real life will, so I can see how it could happen.

Now, going sailing for couple weeks, that's no problem, I don't get sea sick, but when I get back on land... Wow. It's okay for the first couple days, but I notice that I still walk like I were on the boat! Like, I aim for a doorway or something, and I know that's where I want to go, but my body dosen't, so I'm always bumping into stuff where I normally wouldn't. Very wierd.

Re:Try driving afterwards (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915622)

Gotta feel the torque.

There's nothing like feeling your body being thrown to one side or the other of your harness.

Sure, a great driving game with force-feedback steering wheel "feels" the same as driving ... but your body doesn't feel it at all. Rumble just isn't enough. Its like trying to tell a pilot that pulling Gs in a flight simulator is the same as real jet flying.

Re:Try driving afterwards (1)

wed128 (722152) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915323)

I always fight the urge to do just that after a week long GTA binge...

Ginger and Light (4, Insightful)

Malkin (133793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913876)

This is nothing to be embarassed about. I occasionally have problems with games that are jittery, have tunnels with low ceilings, or use any kind of camera-bob.

Dramamine does really work, but if Dramamine makes you too sleepy, some people get good results from eating candied ginger, or drinking a real ginger beer/ale with a high ginger content. (If you live too far out in the suburban wasteland to find a good craft ginger beer, you can homebrew it with basic brewing equipment -- but don't go to too much trouble, unless you've verified that ginger actually helps you, first.)

Also, make sure that you play in a well-lit room (yeah, I know, it's a horror game, but playing a dark room will make your head hurt).

Sea-band (3, Informative)

Psychochild (64124) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913905)

I've never used them myself, but a friend of mine swears by Sea-Band [sea-band.com] . It's supposed to be good for different types of nausea, and he says it works wonders to combat the motion sickness he gets while playing games.

Again, I've never used them, just passing along info that might help. They could be total quackery for all I know.

Different people have different reactions to games. There's been a lot of writing trying to explain what causes motion sickness. Personally, I get motion sick of I haven't played fast-action 3D games in a while. After I play for a bit, I can go for hours without getting the reaction. But, if I don't play those types of games for a few months I find myself back at square one.

Some insight,

Just have to build up some resistance (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914059)

But, if I don't play those types of games for a few months I find myself back at square one.

Same here. To the questioner, while pressure behind the eyeballs sounds like a scary medical issue you might want to get checked out even if you give up on the game, I too was extremely queasy starting off. You just have to build up some resistance. It's been months now, but I could play for an hour or better and only feel slightly something if I hadn't eaten anything yet that day. Even at my peak resistance, watching someone else play would set me off within two minutes. But would be fine so long as I was directing the movement.

Re:Sea-band (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914091)

I have to call BS on the Sea-Band, there's no scientific basis as to why it would work. acupressure points? It's an elastic band with a piece of plastic! Only a moron would buy such a product. I think any rational person can agree any results from this product are purely from the placebo effect.

Re:Sea-band (1)

smvp6459 (896580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914264)

You just provided a scientific basis for sea-band working...the placebo effect. I too can't imagine the stupid things working but I've seen it work for my wife and for friends. It makes no sense but neither does the power of the mind to heal the body. Then there's placebo surgery - another thing that makes no sense but has still shown positive results.

Re:Sea-band (4, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914489)

My wife swore by them during her 3rd and 4th pregnancies (and maybe 2nd too, can't remember).

She also swore at me lots, but that's another story :)

Re:Sea-band (1)

garylian (870843) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915436)

They work, and you won't get the drowzy effect that many over-the-counter medications will give you, such as Dramamine (meclizine hcl). They also aren't very expensive, and there are a few knock-off brands around. If your local pharmacy doesn't sell them, ask them to order you a pair.

It's a simple accupressure band that has a small knot-like area that fits over the inside of your wrist, about 1" up from your hand.

An easy way to see if it will work for you is to have someone else play the game while you sit as you normally would while you were playing it. Twist your wrists like you are prentending you are a monk with his arms inside his wrist sleeves. Use your middle finger to press down on the opposite wrist, about 1" away from that crease where your wrist meets your hand, over those tendons. You don't have to press really hard; light pressure will do. Move your fingers around a little if it doesn't work right away, but it is pretty obvious and has a dramatic effect when you find it.

If it helps while a friend is playing the game for you, great. If not, don't think it still may not work, as the motion sickness may be due to your controlling the game, and your body expecting the motions to happen in a certain way, and they don't.

You can also make the same bands with sweatbands and a pencil eraser, if you really want to.

Lastly, if games make you sick to play them, you probably shouldn't. You may want to play it badly, but it's not worth it.

An Alternative... (1, Insightful)

Bootle (816136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913912)

Might I offer a possible alternative solution... Stop Playing!

Seriously, headaches, carpal tunnel, eye strain, etc. aren't worth it for serious work, physical damage is completely unacceptable for play.

Play a different game.

Re:An Alternative... (3, Insightful)

Kattana (635282) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914427)

Yes, play chess or some form of sport, no one was ever injured in a sport, maybe quail hunting is the game for you.

Re:An Alternative... (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914492)

I never played 3D games since doom,only 2d or 3D-perspective games.
I value gameplay much more than some graphics.

Re:An Alternative... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914657)

Seriously, headaches, carpal tunnel, eye strain, etc. aren't worth it for serious work, physical damage is completely unacceptable for play.

We're not talking about physical damage, but motion sickness. Like some (like me) get in a car (but not when playing games). It's just the brain becoming temporarily confused about which way the body is moving, not any kind of damage. If it was, driving (at least with kids in the car) would have been outlawed years ago.

Re:An Alternative... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914734)

Might I offer a possible alternative solution... Stop Playing!

Bah, lamer! :-)

In the good old days, you wiggled a joystick to a monochrome intercourse simulator until your wrist got sore. Nowadays, the intercourse simulators don't get developed anymore, and you aren't supposed to receive physical injuries either?

Pfft, the wussy years of 2000! :-p

Re:An Alternative... (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14916855)

Where's my mod points when I need them? I let three expire recently because I just didn't care, and now here's a post that needs to be modded up!

I played console video games on the Atari 2600, the NES, the Sega Genesis, and of course computer games from those eras...and then when smooth-motion FPS games came out, and other games adopted the same type of motion, I couldn't play anymore - so I didn't.

If I really feel like playing a game, I find a telnet BBS and play some Land Of Devastation, or I play something old-fashioned like a Breakout-derivative or Tetris. One day last weekend I actually had an urge to play a modern game, and fooled around with Tuxracer for a few minutes without getting sick, but I didn't care to play for long...

Rather hurt myself at play... (2, Insightful)

Digital_Quartz (75366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14917167)

Seriously, headaches, carpal tunnel, eye strain, etc. aren't worth it for serious work, physical damage is completely unacceptable for play.

You say that as if, somehow, play is less important than work. If I'm going to risk damaging myself, I'd much rather take the risk at play than at work. As the old russian proverb says; "The church is near, but the roads are icy. The pub is far, but I will walk carefully." :)

Afterall, people take larger risks for the sake of "play" than work all the time. Recreational skydivers come to mind, for one.

Controls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14913930)

I've been playing FPS games as long as they existed and never had any problems with motion sickness until recently, when I tried playing Wolfenstein 3D. After about an hour I was ready to lose my lunch...
The way I figure it, the lack mouse look in that game is what did it. You have to stand in place and rotate the camera with the keyboard, which is what causes the nausea.
So if you can change the controls to use the mouse more it might eliminate or at least reduce the motion sickness.

Third person perspective (2, Interesting)

baywulf (214371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913946)

If the game permits it, change to third person perspective. This means you will see the game from right behind your character instead of through their eyes. This help me a lot on 3D games that support this mode.

home remedy (1)

pseudomind (917454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913952)

a blindfold perhaps...

Re:home remedy (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914175)

Or sit still

Ideas (1)

aitikin (909209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913953)

It gets annoying, but try gaming with lights on. It helps to allow you to focus on other things. If you start feeling dizzy, give it a pause and close your eyes for about 15 seconds. Try placing an object nearby (within your field of vision) that you can stop and focus on, get some extension cables or wireless setups so you can be farther away from the screen. These are little things that seem to work for me, but I can't promise it'll work for you.

Re:Ideas (2, Informative)

caffeination (947825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914329)

You *shouldn't* be playing with the lights off in the first place.

Re:Ideas (2, Interesting)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915027)

But it's Silent Hill 3. Survival Horror games should not be played with the lights on. And should be connected to a sweet surround sound system for ultimate freakouts.

Re:Ideas (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915648)

Playing Doom 3 through my home theatre system with the lights out kept my heart going for a while.

My wife came in the house after work and turned the lights on and she said I looked stricken with horror when I looked at her.

Resident Evil 4 however takes the cake so far for me. With my PLII system bringing evilness from all-around and the sheer *lack* of sound when most of the bad guys approach ... not to mention how you can travel chunks of territory in which there seem to be no baddies at all, then be surrounded.


Re:Ideas (1)

JediLow (831100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14916165)

I actually find its easier to play with the lights off - having the items on the screen move but everything else in my field of vision stay put seems to be what causes all the nausea problems for me... and turning off the lights removes them.

Remedies (2, Interesting)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913958)

I got the same problem after playing Half-Life 2 for too long (i.e. more than 30 minutes). You may want to try chewing ginger root, taking ginger capsules or dramamine.

From what I've read, the problem occurs when your brain receives movement signals from you eyes while your inner ear tells your brain that you're sitting still. I've heard that the higher the frame rate, the more intense the nausea and that if you lower the frame rate a bit (for exampe, by turning up the resolution, setting the antialiasing and anisotropic filtering higher, etc.) it can help minimize the sickness.

Over time though, you'll probably develop a tolerance for it like I did.

Re:Remedies (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914098)

For a moment I thought you said lower the refresh rate, which is a terrible idea. 60Hz (the default setting on many systems) hurts my eyes. Make sure you're using the highest refresh rate your monitor and video card will handle!

Re:Remedies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914168)

I don't usually get motion sickness from playing games, but after riding the waterbike thing through the canals in Half-Life 2 for half an hour I was ready to throw up, and felt really sick for the rest of the evening.

Luckily, when I got more used to handling the waterbike the motion sickness went away. Howzabout that for realism in games?

Ginger (1)

Archades54 (925582) | more than 8 years ago | (#14913994)

go find some ginger spray, or just ginger, place or spray under your tongue. helps me when im on a boat

Another thing it could be is... (4, Interesting)

Cherveny (647444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914014)

Another possibility if motion sickness pills don't seem to work could be that you are mildly epileptic. Some types of game designs can bring out forms of epilepsy that people don't even realize they have until they try playing such games.

In this one instance GLARE is your friend (4, Interesting)

Sting_TVT (959719) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914030)

We all attempt to minimize glare as a rule but having worked with UAV operators/observers in Iraq, we found that having a light to medium level of glare helped to settle stomachs and separate the POV. Possibly the only good thing to come out of iraq besides my Katamari times.

Ginger! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914070)

Try ginger. You don't have to eat ginger or drink tons of ginger ale. Just buy some ginger supplements and take one 20 minutes or so before gaming. I have severe motion sickness and could never play an FPS or other quick movement 3D game for more than 30 minutes before feeling down right awful. Then I saw an episode of mythbusters where they tested motion sickness remedies and ginger apparently worked for Adam. Though skeptical and not one to think herbal treatments do shit, I thought, "what the hell...I've only got a couple bucks to lose." I tried it and I have to say it works WONDERS for me. Give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Refresh Rate (2, Interesting)

2008 (900939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914071)

Are you sure the game didn't put the monitor into 60 Hz mode? The eyeball pressure thing sounds like how I feel when staring at a 60 Hz CRT.

Re:Refresh Rate (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914170)

Silent Hill is a console game, so the submitter most likely is playing on a TV at 50/60 Hz anyway.

Re:Refresh Rate (1)

2008 (900939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914435)

From the summary:
Within 2 minutes, I had to stop and step away from the computer

Silent Hill 3 for PC review [ign.com] .

btw, your usename and UID seem a bit weirdly familiar...

Lighting. (1)

cbiffle (211614) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914147)

I know you're not going to like this, playing Silent Hill and all, but you probably need backlighting behind your monitor.

A bright monitor in a dark room already produces significant eyestrain; combined with 3D motion on the screen, it can quickly cause motion sickness. It's a good idea to have the wall behind (or the surfaces around) your monitor softly lit, both to reduce the contrast and to give you points of reference.

Re:Lighting. (1)

thedletterman (926787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914268)

These are some good points. You can also try looking away from the screen during loads, and defocusing slightly when spinning in first person perspective.

Pardon me (-1, Offtopic)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914248)

the weenie who lost an argument to me has three mod points left to spend.

You're definitely not alone! (1)

Corvaith (538529) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914485)

My solution: I don't play FPS games. I was a very reluctant convert to 3d games at all (I didn't have a Playstation until long after the SNES was supposed to have been dead), but I've found that most RPGs have fairly reasonable camera angles. I also play things like Civilization and Age of Empires on the PC, which are lovely, challenging games but aren't hard on the stomach.

Other than that, on any game that gives you trouble, pause frequently and look away from the screen, that helps quite a bit.

Personal experience (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914523)

Back when I had time for such things, i'd jump into Quake3 and play for a bit against the bots for some target practice.

Sometimes i'd play for a few minutes and then feel so sick that i'd need to lie down, and I wouldn't feel well again for hours.

Other times I could play for hours and feel fine the whole time. Actually, one time I played for about 12 hours on and off at a lan meet without incident, obviously not against bots though.

I never pinned down what the difference was. Same game, same computer, same monitor.

Even thinking about it while typing this makes me feel a bit unpleasant... maybe there is some psychosomatic aspect to it...

I used to be very prone to ear infections as a kid, and still get blocked ears more often than most. Given the role the inner ear plays in balance etc that may have something to do with, even when it's not blocked enough for me to be otherwise aware of it.

I also suffer from motion sickness in a car if I do anything but look out the window (reading, using a laptop, playing on the phone are all bad ideas).

But maybe that's just me.

It's Just The Game (1)

thegrassyknowl (762218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914525)

I don't get motion sickness at all. I am fine in cars, boats, planes, showground rides, etc. Not a problem.

A few minutes in front of any FPS and I'm experiencing the same symptoms. I've worked out why. It's the shit way they manage the perspective in the game. Things don't move like they should in the distance and really close up. I haven't seen a game that I can play for more than 1/2 hour or so...

You probably won't be able to play any FPS at all.

Ginger has official MythBusters support :-) (4, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914718)

They had to figure out who in the MythBusters crew was susceptible to seasickness. Adam was a sure bet because of previous seasickness during the Jaws Special. Sure enough, Adam got quesy within 3 and half minutes on the chair. After a half an hour in the chair, Jamie was still fine. Kari and Tory were both fine as well. Grant became the final test subject. He lasted longer than Adam, but he got sick as well.

Remedy Testing

Homoepathic tongue tingler. They used a unnamed spray that you squirt under the tongue as often as needed. Grant was sick within 10 minutes and vomited some small chunks. Adam was sick within 4 minutes.
Wrist straps: They wore little gray wristbands that are 'Barry Manilow's choice.' Adam was sick within 90 seconds. Grant got sick as well. They've gotten pretty quick with bringing a bucket to Grant.
Ginger pills: It worked! Adam and Grant were both fine.
Small shocks on the P6 Accupunture point (on the wrist):Z Both Adam and Grant got sick.
Placebo: They told Grant and Adam they were getting an over-the-counter pharmaceutical remedy, but they actually gave them vitamins. Adam's reponse: "I hate this [bleeping] chair" after three and a half minutes. Grant: "This is among the most effective, if not the most effective."
Over-the-counter pharmaceutical drug: Worked on Adam and Grant, but it made them both a little loopy.

Only thing that worked without any side effects was the ginger pill.

Ginger pills: plausible
(source) [kwc.org]

So there you have it. :-)

possible solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914821)

I used to have problems with dizzyness too untill i got a LCD display. Also, in most fps games, try changing the FoV. It really does help with the problem most people describes as "things moving wrong". I personally like aroun 108-112 degrees, but you should experiment to find your optimum.

Don't do it. Don't play it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14914830)

The real problem is in the code. They aren't thinking about the user. No user should ever get sick from a video game.

Ginger (1)

OverNeith (25455) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914920)

Try Ginger. It's an ancient remedy for motion sickness of all kinds. My Fiancee swears by it now. 3D games have always made her sick.. and now that she discovered Ginger (thanks to Mythbusters) she can play too.

http://www.healthcastle.com/ginger.shtml [healthcastle.com]

Google around for some suggested doses. I've heard as little as a pill or two before, to as much as 5 for the entire day before. Course, being it's a "spice" (if you've ever eaten sushi, they always give you a pile) doses can be liberal. experiment and find what works for you.

Me tooo (1)

LouSir (681838) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914942)

I have been playing FPS games for about 10 years (castle wolfenstein) when I was about 30 years old. When I first started playing I had no problems. I played quite a bit. As I got older I played less and started feeling sick when I did play. Sometimes I could not play for more then 15 minutes. Here is what I discovered:
1. The more you play the more desensitized you get. But, you have to deal with feeling sick to get used to it.
2. The running around looking for stuff or being lost is much worse. If there is a monster or puzzle around every corner then I didn't get sick. If I got lost or I am running around for a few minutes I get sick real quick.
3. As soon as you start feeling sick quit. Unless you are trying to do #1 above the longer you play the longer it takes to get rid of.
4. Take up a mmorpg. I never got sick in EQ, DAOC or WoW. I replaced my FPS addiction with my mmorpg addiction.
I hope it works for you.

Screen size (1)

obi (118631) | more than 8 years ago | (#14914956)

I had motion sickness for a while when I switched from 19" CRTs to 21" LCDs. I remember the boat-ride in HL2 as particularly nauseating. Try to change the distance between you and your screen a bit, adjust the height, etc. I used to play Quake2 (Lithium, so very spastic movements) and Quake3 quite a bit without ever having problems. Now that I played a bit with the distance and positions, I've no longer had any problems (though I'm not tempted to try HL2's boat ride again :) ). I noticed that if I see the rest of my room/desk/environment a bit better, I have less problems.

Bad programming. (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915032)

I'm sure at least some of these games just aren't programming their graphics correctly. I'm able to play virtually any game without any sort of sickness at all, have been for years but there are are tiny minority of games that make me feel ill the second I start moving around in them.

The first one I ever noticed was Duke Nukem 3D and to this day, playing that game gives me motion sickness even though I can play countless other games on the same day and not feel sick at all.

Americas Army motion sickness (1)

stevea1210 (951255) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915035)

I am an avid Americas Army player. It is FPS (for those who don't know). When you die, you switch to the POV of one of your teammates. Usually you switch to 3rd person, and have full control of the POV. On some server, the admins force you into a 1st person POV when you die and switch to a teammate (helps prevent ghosting). Whenever I am on a server that does that, I get a little motion sick. It never happens when I'm playing, and never when I'm dead and watching a teammate in 3rd person. Only when I'm dead and watching a teammate in 1st person does this happen. Rounds aren't usually that long, but it gets too me within two to three minutes usually. I have had to leave some server because of it. It is all about the POV

I get it too (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915147)

I got a 55 inch rear projection tv and I've found that since I went to component video inputs that the higher res settings of my PS2 and XBox give me motion sickness too on shooter games.

It's normal. (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915201)

"A friend of mine gave me Silent Hill 3 for Christmas (yeah, I know it's old), and I finally got around to playing it. Within 2 minutes, I had to stop and step away from the computer: intense nausea and pressure right behind the eyeballs. I got really, really motion sick playing the game. Does anyone have home remedies, set-ups, video options to make it bearable?"

If you are prone to motion sickness, this is normal despite what other replies have claimed. I forget the exact number, but something like 20% - 30% of the population will experence motion sickness when put in a VR environment (ie a first person shooter). If you are the type that gets seasick reading a book in a car, there is a good chance a FPS will do it to you as well.

For me personally, seasickness pills and the bracelets didn't work. I came to notice that some FPS games made me sick (most often ones played on a TV) while others didn't. Some games I could play through being seasick (SiN on the PC) others I couldn't (Golden eye on N64), and some never bothered me at all (the original Unreal Tournament).

Me too (1)

robyannetta (820243) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915455)

I sometimes get motion sickness playing WoW. Here's what I found:

When I bump up the resolution to 1920x1080 with quality settings set to max, I get dizzy easily. I guess its the realism factor of getting 70+ FPS in this res.

When I take the resolution down to 1280x1024 and lower the quality to its lowest setting, I don't get sick as much because I can see the pixelation and artifacts that make this picture look lousy.

Try a lower resolution and quality setting in your game, make it actually look bad and see what happens.

Play Through It (1)

kldavis4 (585510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915489)

At a previous workplace, a favorite break activity was Q3 deathmatches. At first I could only play for a few minutes without getting sick. As the days went by, and I kept playing, I started to not feel so bad. Eventually I adjusted completely and was able to play without any feelings of sickness. The interesting thing is that after I left that job, and left off of regularly playing, I get motion sick when I try to play these types of games again, so the adjustment only seems to last as long as you keep playing.

i get that too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14915502)

* if the view bobs up and down like quake and it's an option try turning it off.
* if it has options for different camera positions try to set it for 3rd person instead of 1st person (looking over the character's shoulder instead of through their eyes). This will help dramatically.

The things that work for me... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14915857)

1) turn off player and weapon bob...
The mode in many FPS games where the picture bobs up and down as you move (to simulate each footfall). Set it so that as much as possible you glide rather than bob when you move.

2) reduce fish-eye effect
Some FPS games have a wierd fish-eye effect... as you rotate, things moving towards the edge of the screen gets unrealistically large and even may warp/wrap. try adjusting field-of-view/perspective if the game supports it.

Many games have more settings hidden away in config files than are generally acccessable through the gui. It may take some hacking to figure out (especially if the file is stored in binary rather than text) but you can often improve things much more dramatically by directly modifying those files rather than using the 'game settings' gui.

Vertical Sync (1)

Starbug3D (955399) | more than 8 years ago | (#14916276)

Haven't seen this one mentioned yet, but I can get motion sick in a FPS if the vertical sync is off. Rant: I hate that developers leave it off in the first place. I would rather have my game not tear rather than have an artificial frame-rate increase.

Frames per second (1)

xtieburn (906792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14916572)

Whilst in university one my lecturers described an early issue with motion sickness.

Basically when computers couldnt run at the massive amounts of fps they do today the skipped or lost frames play havok with some people and they get nausea after a bit.

The same effect can occur today if you are running your games at too high a setting. (Just high enough to stay roughly smooth but low enough not to cause major jitters.)

I used to get motion sickness a while ago but no longer do so that kind of backs this up but ive never done the full research to verify all of this.

Cause of Motion Sickness (1)

dmatos (232892) | more than 8 years ago | (#14916609)

The most commonly accepted cause of motion sickness is a discrepancy between the reports from your eyes and your inner ears. If your head says you're moving and your eyes say you aren't, you'll get confused and sick. If your eyes say you're moving and your head says you aren't, same problem.

Do you feel ill when you spin around in a circle until you're dizzy? Same problem.

I have this very issue. I have trouble travelling in cars unless I can look out the front window. Staring at things ahead of me in the distance allows my eyes and inner ear to match up. For video games, playing in a well-lit room with a smaller screen really helps. Yes, I know you've got a giant monitor. Move it farther away from you. What's better - immersion or no nausea?

If your eye picks up enough reference points outside of the viewing screen area, reference points that are not moving, then you're likely to avoid motion sickness. Your brain will decide that those points agree with what your inner ear is telling you, and everything is okay.

I have trouble seeing IMAX films, because the screen is large enough to fill my entire field of view. The moving image & not moving head gives me motion sickness. However, if I stare at the edge of the screen, I start to feel better.

Good luck!

Re:Cause of Motion Sickness (1)

AshFan (879808) | more than 8 years ago | (#14916665)

I think most of you are ignoring the most obvious possibility here. I think he has his office chair set to loose. Tighten that sucker up, or get yourself a good old fashion wooden chair, this should help. Also, avoid playing this game on a boat.


Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14917105)

Pressure behind the eyes has nothing to do with motion sickness and everything to do with eye strain, plus possibly hypertension (are you fat?). Get your eyes checked and stop blaming video games for everything.
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