For many people their first time experiencing virtual reality ended with nausea, dizziness and a state of general confusion and sickness. This is called VR motion sickness and it happens because there is a conflict between the motion inputs transmitted by the eyes and the fact that your body is actually not moving. The brain is confused between the two inputs and this confusion is making you feel sick.
However, you should not completely give up on virtual reality. In time, you will be able to overcome VR motion sickness and enjoy virtual reality games and movies. Just like every brand new experience, your body and brain need to adjust to the stimuli and develop a level of tolerance to them.
As a general rule, virtual reality is not recommended to children younger than 12 years old and to people who are diagnosed with acute motion sickness. For everyone else, these tips will help you get over VR motion sickness:
1. Progressively Increase VR Experience Time
Little by little, this is how you should become familiar with virtual reality. The first VR experiences should last for only a few minutes. Increase this time, little by little, within a span of a few weeks. In the end, you will get your “VR legs” for virtual reality experiences and you will not experience VR motion sickness anymore.
2. Start from a Sitting Position
Some VR games require you to stand up and actually move around, while others can be played sitting down on a chair. You should start with the latter type of games and get used to virtual reality in this manner, before you attempt to stand up and move in action-packed games. VR motion sickness will be milder if you have the sense of stability given by the chair or sofa you are sitting on.
3. Eat or Drink Ginger-Based Products
Yeah, it sounds a bit silly, but many gamers claim that ginger helped them overcome episodes of VR motion sickness. However, this method may not work for everyone. At any rate, it won’t harm you to have a glass of ginger ale while playing VR games. Ginger is a natural and healthy substance used as a spice for centuries.
4. Do Not Use Virtual Reality If You Have an Ear Infection
The internal ear is responsible for giving us the sense of balance and direction. If you are suffering from an ear infection, your sense of direction is already weakened. Adding the false sense of movement given by the virtual reality headset will only make matters worse. In this case, VR motion sickness will be made worse by your pre-existing illness.
5. Do Not Try to Fight Off VR Motion Sickness
You can’t brave out an episode of VR motion sickness. When you start feeling ill, you must stop the game or movie and take off the virtual reality headset immediately. Once you start feeling sick, continuing the game or movie will only make you feel worse.
6. Adjust the Headset
Ill-fitting VR headsets and unfocused lenses can also be a cause of VR motion sickness. When the image is blurry and out of focus, your brain will have to work harder to interpret the visual and motion stimuli. Make sure the headset sits firmly on your head and adjust the lenses until you have a clear image before your eyes.
7. Stop VR Games and Movies If They Have Glitches
Choppy motion and sounds, and any other signs of malfunction in the VR experience, should not be ignored. Stop the game and restart it, and if the glitches persist stop it completely. VR motion sickness can be easily induced even in experienced players when the game character moves erratically or too fast.