Causes Fortnite motion sickness

Why Video Games Make You Sick (And What To Do About It)

A significant portion of the population gets moderately to severely ill playing first-person video games, but it doesn't have to be. Here's a look at why these games make people feel sick and what to do about them.

Why do people feel sick playing video games?

If you get the occasional headache or nausea (or even if you gamble all the time, you are not alone. Myself and countless other gamers have experienced video game-induced symptoms over the years. More than a couple of marathon sessions from Gold eye on the Nintendo 64 in my teens ended up with me lying on the floor feeling like I had just ridden the most extreme roller coaster in the world. (If you are looking for examples of video game nausea you will find this out Gold eye is especially legendary for its ability to cause extreme headaches and nausea.

Why do these symptoms occur? What about certain video games that make some people feel nauseous, cause severe headaches, or get dizzy? To understand why so many video games make people so sick of roller coaster, we need to look at two different development paths: our own and that of the games themselves. The interplay of these two things is key to why the twists and turns of modern games make some people feel sick.

People have a finely tuned sense of space consciousness. We know very well when to stand up straight, when to lie down, when to stand on our head, and when to roll, fall or be shaken. Thanks to a constant feedback loop between our eyes, our fluid-filled inner ears and our general sensory system, we know exactly where we are in our physical space.

If there is a break between one part of this feedback loop and another, however, the end result is generally moderate to severe nausea. As anyone who has stood in a cheap cruise ship berth with no windows can testify, if your inner ear feels like you're bobbing up and down but your eyes think you're sitting still, it can lead to a terrible upset stomach. The technical name for this is "cue conflict". It is not very clear Why Keyword conflict makes us feel bad - most prominent theory is that motion sickness mimics the side effects of poison and our bodies want to remove the poison - but we know that it actually makes us feel like we are throwing up.

How does this relate to video games? As video games became more complex, it became possible for games to realistically mimic the movements of 3D characters. The most common example of this is the first-person shooter (FPS) genre, which includes games like Half-Life and Halo where you see through the character's eyes. As you play these games, you are essentially experiencing the opposite of our previous cruise ship example. Your body sits perfectly on your couch, but your eyes can feel you are moving thanks to the fast 3D action on the screen. Just like on the cruise ship, the conflict between environmental characteristics causes nausea in a significant segment of the population.

How do I avoid getting motion sick while playing?

So what can you do to minimize video game nausea? There are several approaches, most of which involve minimizing or eliminating the cue conflicts in your environment.

It is similar to the solution in the real world motion sickness. Going back to our earlier cruise ship example, one of the best things to do when you get sick inside a ship is to get on deck and look at the horizon. When you do this, your environmental features will be realigned (you can feel your body moving and your eyes, if fixed on the static horizon, can now also perceive movement). While we can't move your entire living room in accordance with your screen character, we can minimize the disagreement between the two.

Adjust your field of view

Your video game's field of view is the hands down, one of the most common causes of nausea and headaches in video games. The cause of the problem is a disconnection between the field of view of the actual viewer (the player) and the field of view of the game (the in-game camera).

Human eyesight is approximately 180 degrees. Even though things are not sharp in our peripheral vision, they are still there and we are still responding to them. However, due to the limitations of televisions and computer monitors, the video game world is definitely not displayed in 180 degrees when playing video games.

Console-based video games typically use around a 60 degree field of view (or less) and PC games use a higher field of view, such as 80-100 degrees. The reason for this discrepancy depends on the assumed viewing distance of the player. Console gamers typically play in a living room environment that is further away from the screen. Therefore, the total field of view presented to you is smaller because the screen actually takes up less of your real field of view.

Conversely, PC gamers tend to sit at desks much closer to their monitors. To compensate for the computer screen taking up more of the eyesight, game developers typically adjust the field of view so that the in-game camera does a better job and approaches the same part of the player's field of view.

Unfortunately, the field of view on the screen does not match the position of the screen in your real field of view. This can lead to headaches and nausea. This can happen when playing a game with a low field of view (60 degrees or less) and very close to the screen. This occurs when console gamers sit too close or when a game is ported from the console to the PC to get an updated field of view.

Here's a rough idea of ​​what this looks like Minecraftwhose pixelated nature makes it easy to get distorted.

In the picture above we are standing in a village and we have set the field of view to a super-super-low of 30 degrees in order to really exaggerate the effect described. As a result, we have extreme tunnel vision, and the objects we see appear much closer than they should, without having to speak of peripheral vision.

Playing the game this way isn't particularly fun (because you won't see bad guys until they're right on you), and feeling like you're playing the game through a telescope can easily make you feel sick. Fortunately, video games rarely have such a small field of view, unless your character has been drugged or seriously injured and has tunnel vision.

In the screenshot above, the field of view is set to 60 degrees. This is the setting most commonly used in console games. The view is not particularly narrow, but neither is it particularly far. In fact, if you've played most of the games on a console rather than a PC, it might look normal to you as this is the perspective you are most used to. But depending on how far or close you are to the screen, the view will either feel just right, or it will feel a little narrowed and possibly a little disgusting.

In this screenshot, the field of view is set to 85 degrees. Many gamers prefer to set their PC games to 80-100 degrees to improve the field of view and get a more realistic feel. We picked 85 for the screenshot (and will use 85 when playing that particular game) as that's the point in Minecraft just before the edges of the screen begin to look distorted. For your particular game, the setting that feels best might be 90 or even 100.

To see what this distorted image might look like, in the screenshot above we set the field of view to 110 degrees. While you can see a lot more of the game world, it takes a little too far which creates a "fun house mirror" effect. Notice how the blocks at the farthest edges of the field of view, like the cobblestone in the lower left corner, look like they're about to melt and run off the screen. The happy medium is the place between the extreme fields of vision where you feel most comfortable.

Ideally, your game has a setting somewhere in the video configuration menu that allows you to adjust the field of view, in some less ideal cases you may need to edit a configuration file in the game directory. There are no right or wrong settings for the field of view. However, the closer you are to the screen, the higher the setting for the field of view should be. Think of it this way: The television or monitor is a window into the game world. The closer you are to a window, the more of the world outside you can see. Your brain expects this and if the view from the window (virtual or otherwise) does not match your proximity to the window it can lead to physical symptoms.

A great trick for adjusting the field of view at a comfortable level is to find a place in the game that has objects at close range such as a pantry, cell, or a room roughly the size of a room you are in are in a corner, and then adjust the field of view so that the room looks natural to you. If you feel like the walls are pinching you, the field of view is too high. If you feel like you have zoomed in or are uncomfortably approaching an object in the room, you have set it too low.

If you are unable to adjust the field of view settings within the game, then you may just need to adjust your distance from the screen to compensate for this. Try moving your chair back so that you are further away from the screen, or move it closer depending on whether you want a lower or higher field of view.

Turn off the camera shake

Some video games try to add realism by introducing movement into the in-game camera. It is played under different names in different games, but you can usually find it in the settings listed under items like "Camera shake," "View shake," or "Realistic camera".

While the effect definitely makes the game plot seem more realistic, it also makes many people motion sick. In real life, a camera attached to a soldier moving rapidly across the battlefield would jiggle and shake tremendously. But seeing this type of movement while standing is often more than enough to make people sick.

Browse the settings in your game to turn the option off, if it has it.

Establish a frame of reference

The old "go on deck and stare at the horizon" trick for seasick ocean travelers works entirely to have a stable frame of reference. You can see some of the benefits of this frame of reference with video games by using some tricks in the game and in the living room.

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First, don't play in complete darkness. Not only does it strain your eyes, but it also removes visual cues around you that will help fight your motion sickness. Even in low light, you can see other objects around you better: the edge of the screen, the stand of your TV, and peripheral furniture.

Not only should you have enough light to see theobjects, but you should look away from the screen and look at those things if the game allows it. For example, while your game is charging, check out the coffee table or game console under the TV.

Second, try to get a stable reference point on the screen yourself. Game companies are investing more research into the whole phenomenon of video game disease and have found that focusing on stable references - like the weapon or bow in your character's hand - is part of the process can help suppress this feeling of illness. Even in games where there shouldn't be a traditional crosshair (since the game doesn't include weapons, bows, or projectile weapons), designers often include a crosshair, dot, or other reference point in the center of the screen. If your game has such a feature, you'll need to keep it enabled (or enable it if it is disabled by default).

If the game does not have such a function, then some playersyou even temporarily stuck a point on the screen. Believe it or not, there is actually a market for reusable, non-stick game points. They are designed for gamers who are obsessed with "no-scope" recording rather than motion sickness. However, you can use both the suction cup snap dots and the vinyl adhesive cup snap dots to create a stable point of reference for your screen.

Increase the game's frame rate

Not only is jerky movement visually distracting and unsightly, it's more likely to cause a headache. Your brain responds very poorly to the separation between what you want to do (e.g., jumping the moment you hit the space bar) and what actually happens (e.g., jumping half a second after you do) already thought about it and pressed the spacebar). .

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Most console gamers are a bit fancyHappy here. Some console games have settings that allow you to decrease the level of detail, which increases the frame rate, but most do not. However, PC games almost always have some in-game graphics customizations. Lowering the graphics quality increases the game's performance and gives you smoother movement.

You can also update the hardware of your PC to increase its performance. If you play your PC games with a built-in graphics card, it pays to buy a cheap (but still more powerful) discrete graphics card.

Keep your eyes on your own screen

If you are playing a split-screen multiplayer game such as Mario kart or glorioledo not look at other players' screens. There is no safer way to make yourself feel uncomfortable than to see a screen that another player controls and that your brain has zero Control of the action. The split-screen setup also makes your individual window considerably smaller. This means you have the same field of view but 1/4 the size. Therefore Gold eyeAn extremely popular split-screen multiplayer game, so notorious that it made its players feel sick.

When playing split-screen multiplayer games, try moving closer to the screen to compensate for the reduced screen size. Then do your best to tunnel your view into your own area of ​​the screen and ignore movement elsewhere. Your brain will thank you.

Get your eyes checked

Here's some advice I learned: hardI hope you will take it to heart. I have had frequent and recurring headaches for years - not just playing video games, but using computers in general. Despite the agony of the headache, I stuck with it because 1) I really like video games and 2) it's my job to use a computer all day.

It was only when I underwent an eye exam in20s that I found a solution. The ophthalmologist immediately noticed that I had very mild astigmatism in one eye, but it wasn't necessarily enough to require correction if it didn't bother me. I immediately asked, "Is it the kind of thing that could give me a terrible headache if I used the computer for a long time and possibly messed up my depth perception?" Glasses later, 99% of my computer-induced headaches and gaming nausea were gone. It turns out that the discrepancy in visual clarity between my two eyes was driving my brain crazy.

If you suspect that your vision is not perfect, I would really encourage you to have your eyes examined. Even if the prescription isn't particularly strong, having glasses on hand for your gaming sessions is life-saving.

Use traditional motion sickness

If your video game disease is severe enough - and you love video games enough - you might also consider taking an over-the-counter motion sickness remedy or a traditional nausea remedy.

However, when it comes to medication use, we are not doctors and cannot comment on long-term use of medications such as Dramamine. If you are on motion sickness medication, we recommend that you see a doctor and look for newer versions that are available in non-drowsy form. It's no fun taking a 12-hour anti-nausea pill to start your marathon gaming session and not falling asleep on the couch until an hour later.

If you don't want to take medication, some disease-prone games swear by ginger and mint supplements (both are supposed to help with nausea). Quite a few of our friends also swear a small fan on the face will help, but we've never tested it. Playing video games with a fan blowing on our already parched eyes sounds terrible.

Power through them

The last trick will also be known to everyone who finally got their sea legs on this cruise ship: You just have to drive through the ship. While it's not a solution for everyone, many people report that simply playing video games often enough helped their bodies get used to the stimulus and reduced the number of cue conflicts they experienced.

This is a workable but also a masochistic solution. We recommend that you try more immediate solutions like adjusting your field of view before playing Battlefield hardline over and over again until you finally get your virtual sea legs.


We have tried our best to offer a wide range of solutions to video game diseases, but that doesn't mean there are no more tricks. If you've been lucky enough to treat your video game nausea with a trick we didn't cover (or you just want to cast a single vote on the solution we listed that works for you), head over to the How- To Geek ”and parts.