Motion sickness in FPS games. Any solutions?

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#1 Posted by futhamucka (9 posts) -

So my email got read out in the latest bombcast, but no-one had experienced it so my problem goes unsolved.
Does anyone else experience crippling motion sickness when playing FPS games? It's really pissing me off.
I managed to make it through portal, but only because I knew it was short, and I just had to hang on for another hour or so. I was wowed by the visuals in half life 2, but almost threw up after 20 minutes.
 So, any ideas? I've heard turning the lights up in the room can help, and eating ginger let me know!

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#2 Posted by AjayRaz (12905 posts) -

turn the lights up dude, i had a friend with the same problem and with him, we just put all the lights on and he felt better about it, though he didn't feel safe about it and he didn't spend much time playing.

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#3 Posted by eroticfishcake (7856 posts) -

Didn't Mirror's Edge have a reticule at the centre of the screen in which you focused on that to stop the motion sickness everyone was having? Why not try that on the crosshairs in any FPS? I wouldn't know what's it like since I don't get it.

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#4 Posted by JoelTGM (5784 posts) -

Why does that even happen?  Is there any science behind why some people have the problem while others don't?

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#5 Posted by Andorski (5482 posts) -

Are you playing these games on the PC?  I get a little motion sickness from time to time, and I find that it happens when I play on a PC rather than consoles.  I found that playing up close to a screen was my problem.  So if you find yourself really staring at the screen, just take a step back to relax your eyes.

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#6 Posted by Bubahula (2224 posts) -

never had it. i do get carsick if its really hot though. sorry but i have no ideas on how to help

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#7 Posted by Napalm (9227 posts) -
@DOUBLESHOCK said:
" Why does that even happen?  Is there any science behind why some people have the problem while others don't? "
The only thing I can conclude is that it's simulating movement, and I guess visually, a simulated, floating projected image can twist some people's stomachs.
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#8 Edited by DanielJW (4933 posts) -
@futhamucka: Thats kind of crazy. I never get motion sickness in games, and the only time I ever did was during Portal.  
 
To make a suggestion I would give the ginger a shot. It helped me when I used to get car sickness. Can't say whether it's awesome powers transfer over to video games though.
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#9 Posted by Hamst3r (5480 posts) -
@futhamucka said:
" So my email got read out in the latest bombcast, but no-one had experienced it so my problem goes unsolved. Does anyone else experience crippling motion sickness when playing FPS games? It's really pissing me off. I managed to make it through portal, but only because I knew it was short, and I just had to hang on for another hour or so. I was wowed by the visuals in half life 2, but almost threw up after 20 minutes.  So, any ideas? I've heard turning the lights up in the room can help, and eating ginger let me know! "

IANAD, but:
 
1. How's your TV? A higher quality TV might help. A faster response time, less smearing / ghosting. Stuff you may not really notice but is happening. (This helped a friend who got motion sickness during FPS games. All that changed was the display.)
2. Where do you sit while playing? Try changing the distance between you and the screen, sit closer for a while then sit further for a while, see if one is better.
3. Lights, on!
4. Where do you focus your eyes when you play? Try and focus on specific areas of the screen rather than absorbing the whole screen at once. (This is common.)
5. When you look around the screen, you can move your head, or eyes, or both. Try changing how you look around. I find it most comfortable to move my head and not my eyes.
 
Just thoughts.
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#10 Posted by sodiumCyclops (2778 posts) -
@Hamst3r:@Hamst3r said:
" @futhamucka said:
" So my email got read out in the latest bombcast, but no-one had experienced it so my problem goes unsolved. Does anyone else experience crippling motion sickness when playing FPS games? It's really pissing me off. I managed to make it through por So, any causa%2
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#11 Posted by oldschool (7641 posts) -
@futhamucka said:
" So my email got read out in the latest bombcast, but no-one had experienced it so my problem goes unsolved. Does anyone else experience crippling motion sickness when playing FPS games? It's really pissing me off. I managed to make it through portal, but only because I knew it was short, and I just had to hang on for another hour or so. I was wowed by the visuals in half life 2, but almost threw up after 20 minutes.  So, any ideas? I've heard turning the lights up in the room can help, and eating ginger let me know! "
One hour of Halo = 2 days of nausea. 
 
I have it and it is extremely bad and there is nothing that makes it better other than not playing.  I get motion sickness really easily though, so I know exactly what you are going through.  It is one reason I don't play FPS apart from the fact that I don't really like them, so stopping isn't a great loss.  I did persist with Bioshock though.
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#12 Posted by Seraphim2150 (397 posts) -

Acccording to the PC Gamer US podcast, chewing ginger can help to stave off motion sickness.
 
I don't get it with games, but I used to get ill when in the car until I got some ginger flavoured chews with real ginger. Never ever got motion sickness after that.

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#13 Edited by JJWeatherman (15101 posts) -
@oldschool said:

" @futhamucka said:

" So my email got read out in the latest bombcast, but no-one had experienced it so my problem goes unsolved. Does anyone else experience crippling motion sickness when playing FPS games? It's really pissing me off. I managed to make it through portal, but only because I knew it was short, and I just had to hang on for another hour or so. I was wowed by the visuals in half life 2, but almost threw up after 20 minutes.  So, any ideas? I've heard turning the lights up in the room can help, and eating ginger let me know! "
One hour of Halo = 2 days of nausea.  I have it and it is extremely bad and there is nothing that makes it better other than not playing.  I get motion sickness really easily though, so I know exactly what you are going through.  It is one reason I don't play FPS apart from the fact that I don't really like them, so stopping isn't a great loss.  I did persist with Bioshock though. "
When I played Half-Life for the PS2 a long time ago the same thing happened to me. I played for like an hour and then I was sick for the rest of the day. I play Halo and CoD4 and a few others with very little problems though. It's really weird. My advice is if you start feeling sick just a little bit, take a break. I think it was because I ignored it and kept pushing on until I felt just awful that it was so bad. 
 
BTW: Nice 4,000 posts oldschool.   :P
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#14 Edited by MetalGearSunny (7466 posts) -

I used to get this playing Guitar Hero on the PS2. I don't know what to tell you, other than play less FPS games.

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#15 Posted by natetodamax (19466 posts) -

I've never gotten motion sickness from a game.

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#16 Posted by regularassmilk (1710 posts) -

My dad used to have TERRIBLE motion sickness, but he kept playing COD4, and after a while it went away.
Not a great solution, but I would give it a shot.

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#17 Posted by oldschool (7641 posts) -
@JJWeatherman said:
"BTW: Nice 4,000 posts oldschool.   :P "
Now 4001.    I didn't  notice.  Now I am part of the Giantbomb elite  ^-^
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#18 Posted by LiquidSwords (2728 posts) -

This is why I only FPS on the PC, I get real sick within 20 min of gamplay on any console. 

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#19 Edited by futhamucka (9 posts) -

Look at that, the forum comes through with some answers. Thanks guys!
I'll try some of these out when fallout 3 arrives this week. Hopefully I can sort it out, I hear that there's a lot to see in that one :)
 
Just to be clear, this affects me on both console and PC shooters. I heard that it may have something to do with the field of vision that the game uses. On PC there is sometimes a line in the ini file that you can adjust to widen this, which has helped on a couple of occasions, but on console there are limited options for that. I remember when Marathon came out on XBL and even people who had never been motion sick while playing a game were affected. They patched it and widened the FOV and it solved a lot of the problems.

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#20 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7599 posts) -

The only game that's ever made me feel motion sick was Marathon II on XBLA.
I think it was just the graphics, but it was absolutely sickening to play.  Can't offer any solutions though..  I just didn't play it.

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#21 Edited by PenguinDust (13093 posts) -

Maybe it's not the same thing, but I wonder if it's anything like sea-sickness?  When I was younger I used to suffer horribly from sea-sickness.  I would be flattened the entire time on the boat and then for hours afterwards.  My grandparents had a small boat though and I was too young to stay at home alone when they went out.   So, I suffered through it.  But, after a while, the nausea lessened.  I had acquired my "sea-legs", as sailors say.  Now, I am fine even on rough seas when being knocked about in small crafts.  Perhaps the answer is to simply work through it long enough for your brain to readjust to the motion sensations.  If you persist, eventually, your body will get used to it and you'll get over the sickness.  Of course, maybe virtual motion sickness is nothing like sea-sickness and everything I've said is wrong.  

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#22 Posted by mhkjtha (443 posts) -

are you playing on a thick-screen?

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#23 Posted by pfeels (2 posts) -

Seasickness and Motion sickness from gaming is the exact same thing and yes, like seasickness your body should adjust over time but it can be a very uncomfortable experience ...

Two things, go to your local CVS, Walmart (pharmacy) and ask for Sea Band, they are wristbands that seem to work for a lot of people. Second, ask for Ginger Root tablets, take one of these an hour or so before playing and the natural ginger in your stomach can help keep the nausea feeling at bay or at least minimize it ...

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#24 Posted by MikeFightNight (1227 posts) -

Yeah ginger-ale helps me when i'm starting to feel motion sickness. I don't get it from games though.

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#25 Posted by Stepside (559 posts) -

This has been a huge issue for me since I was a kid. I get motion sick incredibly easily, especially when I sit in the back seat while driving, on buses, roller coasters. Even the thought of a wave-pool makes me nauseous. I found taking a few Advil Liquid gels (over-the-counter) has solved this issue. I get it while playing on PC and console, but only certain games.

It's list-season, so here's my headache inducing list of games.

3) Red Faction (PS1)

2) Half-Life 2

1) Mirror's Edge (I bought this, almost threw up 5 or 6 times, then returned it.)

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#26 Posted by Adamsons (877 posts) -

Only thing I've ever had it with was the original Portal and I'm pretty sure it was FoV related.
 
Didn't really notice it until I stopped playing and walked away; felt like I was poisoned.

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#27 Posted by Napalm (9227 posts) -

I'll never understand necro-thread bumps.

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#28 Edited by Lind_L_Taylor (4125 posts) -

I wonder if any of those folks from 2 years ago still 
post or read these forums?
 
Any Valve game gets me hurling.  I can get handle the
rest.  I liked Portal so I had to put up with its powerful
nausea effects.  Also, any game that allows a third
person view, completely negates any motion sickness.
CoD, Halo, etc, it's mild or not really there.
 
Best help for me on nausea:  No sugar, no caffeine, 
plus a decent night's rest.  Never tried ginger or sea 
bands, but I will next time.
 
Edit: Forgot to mention that Spiderman Shattered Dimensions
can also get me hurling like nobody's business.  That
swinging on a web causes heavy-ass motion sickness.

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#29 Posted by Hotcakesman (49 posts) -

I suffer from this.. but it is not limited to FPS games... if the game has a shitty camera system in a 3rd person game.. it will do it.. all I can say is if u start to get hot.. as in flushed stop playing.. cause after this is a headache followed by puking.. you can train yourself to play long but it is building up a tolerance.. and takes a long time.. I can play Skyrim all night and not get sick.. I can play MW3 for a few hours now.. and that is all I need..

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#30 Posted by MysteriousBob (6262 posts) -

Forget about FPS games and play some more Match of the Millennium.

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#31 Posted by ovisss4 (2 posts) -

It happens becouse of alot of realistic games have head nad gun bob your brain knows that you sit still but eys is saying that you are on the move . You need to play the game daily dont play untill you get sick, play untill you start feeling the simtomes and stop.

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#32 Edited by Cheesebob (1316 posts) -

Suck on some ginger.

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#35 Edited by BBAlpert (2918 posts) -

@napalm said:

@DOUBLESHOCK said:

" Why does that even happen? Is there any science behind why some people have the problem while others don't? "

The only thing I can conclude is that it's simulating movement, and I guess visually, a simulated, floating projected image can twist some people's stomachs.

I don't know if this is actually true, but in middle school I remember my science teacher saying something about motion sickness being the body's response to a disconnect between eye and inner-ear signals. When you're reading in a car, your inner ear senses that you're moving, but your eyes are focused on the stationary inside of the vehicle. When you're playing a game, your inner ear senses that you're sitting still, but your eyes are telling your brain that you're running around in a virtual environment.

The reason people feel nauseous is (supposedly) because the brain says "whoa whoa whoa hold the phone! One sense says I'm moving and one sense says I'm NOT moving. They can't both be right, so SOMETHING is messed up with one of them. I don't know why one of them is messed up, but I'm going to assume it's some kind of poison that my stupid body ate. That poison needs to go, so I'll send some pukey signals to this idiot's tummy to flush that garbage out."

Again, this may not be the actual mechanism or cause of motion sickness, but it seems like a reasonable explanation to me.

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#36 Posted by gravytrain (285 posts) -

Stuff that works for me:

Increase the FOV. I always play with an FOV of at least 90 if I can.

Backlighting on TV/monitors. Using these: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20119418/ you can do some good backlighting that helps quite a bit.

Ginger can help, but you have to fix the root cause. Those two things, as well as ensuring I was a proper distance from the screen/TV seriously helped.

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#37 Edited by NTM (11872 posts) -

I doubt you are, but all I can recommend is not to stand up. When I play any game, standing up I can sometimes feel wobbly, that's why I never play standing up...

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#38 Posted by ripelivejam (13227 posts) -

i always found it weird that half life 2 usually made me queasy as hell, but im fine with hours of team fortress 2. Probably a FOV thing i never noticed.

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#39 Posted by GERALTITUDE (5990 posts) -

I've been told that a not bad solution is to sit on a chair with wheels and roll around on your toes a bit while you play?

Maybe someone was fucking with me though, I can't tell.

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#40 Posted by TrafalgarLaw (1715 posts) -

@bbalpert: That's a proper explanation. The eyes and the equilibrium organ in your ears are very closely connected to each other. If you see motion while your cochlea and semi-lunar channels do not receive input at all, which is actual movement of the body, a disconnect occurs. However some people do not experience motion sickness. I very rarely do due to a low FOV in combination with a low framerate.

I think it might have something to do with how we perceive motion on a projected screen. You can either focus your eyes (maybe even strain) your eyes on the exact details of the movement and run the risk of getting motion sick. Or you could register movement with the periphery of your vision, thus missing a lot of details on the exact motion. There is an actual location in your brain dedicated to motion and perception thereof. It could be interesting to do some scientific experiments on projected motion.

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#41 Posted by physicalscience (307 posts) -

I also get motion sickness from playing pc games with a mouse. Turn the lights on and use a controller instead as the head movement is slower with an analog stick instead of flipping all over the place with a mouse. If you are trying to play older games that dont support controllers i would suggest xPadder and turning the sensitivity down. Hope that helps!

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#42 Posted by spacebutler (82 posts) -

I run a driving simulation lab for a living. The responses above are correct. The technical name for the problem is "simulator sickness", and it's the reverse of "car sickness".

You may know that people with car sickness find it's worse for them if they're in the back seat of a car or especially if they're reading. This is because the vestibular system in your inner ear is sensing motion, but your visual system is not. Often, people with moderate car sickness look out the window to unify the sensory input and lessen the symptoms.

With simulator sickness, your visual system is getting input, but your vestibular system is not. In professional simulators, a motion platform is used to reduce the sickness effects, but I see moderate sickness leading to stopping the study prematurely in about 10-15% of our study participants. Older people are more susceptible to it, and it has a slightly higher incidence in females vs. males.

One easy thing to do that reduces the effect is to sit farther away from the screen. The smaller percentage of your visual field that is taken up by the screen, the more relaxed your brain should be about the sensory discrepancy. Playing in a well-lit room should help as well. Both of these give your brain a better hold on a stationary reality outside of the game.

Another common symptom of simulator sickness I see a great deal is feeling hot, and like someone else mentioned before, being in a cooler environment can postpone the symptoms. Other common symptoms include yawning and burping.

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#43 Edited by Lucri (110 posts) -

I have terrible motion sickness playing FPS or watching people play FPS and I find that when I am playing I have to lower the look sensitivity really down. I usually also take my time moving slowly and looking around slowly. If I try and rush things it's when the motion sickness starts kicking in for me. Also, games that aren't FPS but have a lot of motion in it makes me feel sick, like Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. Because as I'm paying attention to the nodes I have to hit, like when I'm holding a node for a note in a song, but the background is moving (Here's an example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyfLXZiho3U#t=157) I find that I am unable to focus on one thing and I feel barfy. All I can do is just either avoid playing those types of games or taking breaks every so often.

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#44 Posted by FLStyle (6705 posts) -

@bbalpert said:

The reason people feel nauseous is (supposedly) because the brain says "whoa whoa whoa hold the phone! One sense says I'm moving and one sense says I'm NOT moving. They can't both be right, so SOMETHING is messed up with one of them. I don't know why one of them is messed up, but I'm going to assume it's some kind of poison that my stupid body ate. That poison needs to go, so I'll send some pukey signals to this idiot's tummy to flush that garbage out."

Again, this may not be the actual mechanism or cause of motion sickness, but it seems like a reasonable explanation to me.

This is how I've always understood it, which is why I always wonder why the most common suggestion is to get your inner ears in line by putting headphones on and cranking up the volume (of course at the risk of damaging your hearing).

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#45 Posted by BlueFalcon (255 posts) -

Nope. Never had it. I own an Oculus Rift DK2 and tried the original model as well and was fine with those too. Why don't you get a prescription to motion sickness medication? Use some of that Obama care man.