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Gaming motion sickness

Squidget0Squidget0 Registered User regular
So all my life I've had very minor motion sickness when playing certain 3D games. Normally, it only kicks in in some games, and only after hours of sustained play, if at all. Over the last couple of years though, my sickness has gotten substantially worse, to the point where I simply can't play certain kinds of games. I played Resident Evil 4 when it came out and I don't recall ever feeling sick while playing. Now I just bought it today on Steam and had to stop after 20 minutes, with waves of nausea bad enough that I nearly threw up.

The things I've noticed are:

1. This only seems to happen in 3D games. Every 2D game I've tried is fine.
2. It seems more pronounced in certain games. RE4 and Amnesia: Machine for Pigs are the ones I noticed it in the most lately, I haven't been able to play either for any length of time. On the other hand, I can play Team Fortress 2 for hours and be completely fine.
3. It seems substantially worse than it used to be. My monitor is about six months old, so that might be related, but I really don't know.

Anyone else experience this kind of motion sickness, or have any tips for managing it? It's odd to me that it's getting so much worse, but maybe that's normal as you go through your 20s? I don't know.


  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    I have this problem with certain games too, and it's sporadic. I can play Guild Wars 2 for hours at a time, but within 20 minutes or so of their Super Adventure Box events I'm feeling like I need to throw up. Some of the other games that have made me motion sick are Bioshock Infinite, Half-Life 2, Metroid Prime, and tons of others. Never a flight sim, though, oddly enough.

    At any rate, what I've found works best if, first, playing tames on PC. Thankfully you are, which is where my second bit comes in. If a game offers any sort of settings with the FOV, adjust them. Change them to 90, 70, 110... experiment and see what works best. Usually I can find a setting in there that will alleviate the motion sickness. If the game has no setting, check community sites and the like to see if there are .ini files you can adjust to change the FOV.

    The other typical stuff applies too... if the framerate is too fast, it might cause issues as well, or if things are a bit choppy. It can vary a lot, but adjusting your FOV will almost always fix the problem. At least for me.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • TalonSETalonSE Registered User regular
    Yeah, usually the problem is the FOV. Games designed for consoles tend to have a narrow FOV because they assume you're going to be sitting some distance away from your TV. When you sit too close, or are playing on a PC, your senses realize something is "off" about the perspective and you feel sick. I had this happen to me with Saints Row 4, I was playing on my laptop and I was definitely feeling some motion sickness until I realized what the problem was and installed a mod to increase the FOV.

  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    I get incredibly motion sick from certain video games too, but I thought it only happened to other people.

    Similar to you, I've noticed that the problem has gotten a lot worse in the past 2-3 years. I think a major reason behind this is the rapid improvement in graphics, because I've been having the same problems with HD videos. Anything over 720p is liable to make me at least a little nauseous.

    First person shooters are a definite trigger for me. I think it's because of the way the camera moves, while you remain stationary. But I'm not 100% sure.

    Games where the camera angle changes a lot, or you have to control the camera to look at things exacerbate the issue. I first realized it was a problem when my brother got Sly Cooper 2.

    Unfortunately, I never really figured out how to get around the nausea beyond just not playing the games that made me sick.

  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    It's not just console games. Like I said, two of the biggest offenders for me have been Half-Life 2 and Bioshock Infinite. Anything can do it, it's just (usually) an easy fix on the PC.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • TalonSETalonSE Registered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    It's not just console games. Like I said, two of the biggest offenders for me have been Half-Life 2 and Bioshock Infinite. Anything can do it, it's just (usually) an easy fix on the PC.
    I didn't mean it only affected console games but it is most common with PC ports of console games that don't take the screen difference into consideration. Half-Life 2's default FOV is 75, Bioshock Infinite's is 70. Those values are typical for a console, for a PC FPS you'd typically have a FOV of 90 or higher.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Anything first-person makes me ill instantly and has for I guess about 7-8 years, but only if I'm playing it. If I sit at a distance and don't have to be in control of the character it's not much of an issue, maybe because I don't have to be so fixed on every detail of the movement.

    When I was pregnant WoW made me sick, or anything that even looked a little 3D, to the point where I stuck to things like solitaires and match-3s. That cleared up a couple months after I gave birth, but certain things in the game have been a problem since they became part of it, such as moving on a Z-axis. For some reason, my eyes just don't handle that very well, which is incredibly frustrating for fights or situations that require quick movement on it. It's not bad if the environment is higher-contrast (when I am just bad at coordinating where to go). If the area is low-contrast, like all dark or all light, it can still make me feel a bit queasy. I would say this stuff has definitely gotten a bit worse as I've gotten older.

    City of Heroes is another one that made me feel pretty ill, but only in the purple cave maps. For some reason that specific skin was a one-way ticket to sicksville.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • TaekoTaeko Miami, FLRegistered User regular
    The only time I've experienced this was while playing Antichamber on Steam (PC). When I started feeling sick, I attributed it to something else and kept playing. It wasn't until I threw up that I realized it was the game. I'm not sure why this is the only game to have caused this, but the graphics are rather jerky and primitive.

  • Squidget0Squidget0 Registered User regular
    It being FOV would explain some things. I definitely feel like there has to be a specific trigger. I played several hours of Left4Dead a few days ago and had no motion sickness, but RE4 is continuing to kill me.

    Are there any other visual settings that people know to be a cause of this? I disabled vertical sync and motion blur and it seemed to help a little, but it was still pretty bad.

  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    The amount of light and distance from the monitor are also huge factors for me.

    That is, in addition to the FOV and other things. More light isn't necessarily a solution, as I tend to get extremely sick when there's too much light in the room. Especially glare. Glare kills me.

  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    I got this a lot when I was younger, I find dimming lights/taking breaks helped a ton, and eventually I just grew accustomed to it ( EQ was the game I first got it in, but was addicted and no way a little sickness was gonna stop my raiding!)

    Extra Credits actually did an episode on Simulation Sickness ( What this is known as generally it seems) recently

    edit: if you have the option to turn off Motion Bob, that's apparently another big one ( like when your dude head or your view in general bobs slightly while running)

    WiseManTobes on
    Steam! Battlenet:Wisemantobes#1508
  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    I've watched people play on both wider and narrower FOV, and toyed with it myself a bit. Other than what @TalonSE said, I've found that on narrower FOVs people tend to be jerkier, since they need to be constantly shifting the camera all over the place in order to see. On wider FOVs there's less of that going on and gameplay is a bit smoother, since everything is within the frame, and our eyeballs can just focus as needed. At least until there are things that need shootin'.

  • Ash of YewAsh of Yew Registered User regular
    edited March 2014
    It doesn't really apply to the games you listed I don't think, but for a lot of FPS games motion blur and head bob and that sort of thing can really mess with you.

    Oh sorry, I see you already mentioned motion blur.

    Ash of Yew on
  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    You're right though, head bob can be an issue too. I remember Duke3D giving me a hard time until I turned off head bobbing.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Gilbert0Gilbert0 North of SeattleRegistered User regular
    I've gamed for a couple decades and the only game that has given me a problem has the "The Unfinished Swan". In parts, you can't see the level really so you "paint" as you go. I got soooo nauseous because there's no difference between the sky and ground, no horizon. Lots of people have the issue. Googling "unfinished swan nausea" there's 1.2 million hits.

    To fix it? Not a lot to do. I've tried on a few different times but couldn't last more than 30 minutes.

  • failedninjafailedninja Registered User regular
    I'm going to echo the new RE4 HD. I played it on the Gamecube just fine, but playing the remake on PC had me gritting my teeth to make it to the next save point so I could quit out.

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