The comments are very interesting, thought I’d share my 2 cents.
For me, the nausea is real and it doesn’t affect VR products only.
I’ve gotten sick after playing shooter games, and even watching videos of other people playing them. I can sometimes get dizzy by watching a youtube video where the camera is extremely shaky. Curiously, I’ve been able to play through all HL2, Portal and Portal 2, but when trying out other games I seem randomly “affected” and I don’t know why it is.
I sometimes can play for hours without issue, but then, in some specific moment, because of a rough camera movement, tiredness, or whatever, I get instantly sick and I have to stop. With VR (and 3D movies, and sometimes IMAX) it’s the same. The few times I’ve gone to the cinema to watch a 3D movie it feels like a marathon, trying to “hold on” and not get sick until the movie finishes.
Anecdote, I know, but some people who can’t experience it don’t seem to comprehend that this is a real, biological issue and that nothing can be done to fix it – if you know, please tell me!
Field of view and motion (like view bobbing) have a lot to do with it. Most games default at 90 or less FOV-wise, giving you “tunnel vision” without much peripheral. If you can adjust it, do so!
I know I tried out an Oculus Rift and after 5 minutes said screw it. Had a headache for the next hour even with aspirin. And it was a piercing headache like none I’ve experienced to date. Felt like I was being stabbed though the temples with an ice pick.
Honestly if this is insurmountable, VR is screwed. This divide between those that can use it and can’t means this technology has a problem that until solved I don’t think will make it mass market. Niche at best.
Normal monitors though are fine for me, never had anything hit me there yet at least.
Out of curiosity, have you tried any of the old 6DOF space shooters like Descent or Terminal Velocity? I had a friend who couldn’t abide normal shooters, but for some reason was totally fine with those.
Yep. I get sick with Wolf3d and Doom too. Not as much, though, since the movements are evidently “fake” and for some reason it’s more difficult to trick my brain into sickness, but after some time playing I end up sick too :(
I think the comment claiming that the US Air Force & Navy can’t solve it is pretty damning, which is a huge pity.
As much as I hate Quora popups, the hassle was worth the read. Really interesting perspective about VR. I have gotten nausea before from playing some games. The point about eye focus really explained a lot.
This problem also affects surgical teams using key hole surgery - and it that environment you don’t have additional problem of high speed motion - hopefully the patient and surgical team are fairly static.
Solutions to this VR problem would definitely have benefits in medicine. It may also help to reduce problems of travel sickness.
The Google Cardboard VR folks seem to know this and basically suggest that applications make it seem like we’re basically standing still and just turning our heads around (which we really are - so no nausea). That’ll work - but it’s not going to get you an immersive 1st person shooter game…or a car racing game…or…well, pretty much anything immersive.
A device which does give you some pretty immersive first person experiences while avoiding nausea in VR is the HTC Vive. Having tried one for two hours in a row, I didn’t experience nausea during usage or after removing the device, and I’ve gotten pretty nauseous from other devices before. A friend of mine who had never tried anything in VR had a similar experience, no nausea from an hour and a half of use.
There are a few features of the device that allow for really awesome experiences without forcing the user to move in-game:
There are a number of really great games that demo this. I was really impressed by Space Pirate Trainer, which made me feel like a badass action movie star without any sort of tutorial. At one point an enemy robot flew above me while another one prepared to fire in front of me. I lifted my right hand up and squeezed the trigger to fire blindly above, while using my vision + left hand to shield against the incoming bullets, and it worked out perfectly fine. There was no prompting by the game to do anything of the sort – you just naturally figure out your own playstyle. The video shows how movement comes into play, as well.
There’s also Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption, which are really good at encouraging the user to play around.
I wasn’t convinced about the Vive and I’ve had doubts about VR, but after trying it I’m completely floored. I probably sound like a shill right now, but honestly it’s just the way this hardware makes me feel. It’s completely above anything else I’ve experienced in VR, and it really sold me on compelling VR games being feasible without inducing nausea.