It’s time to drop the headset. You’re at the stage where you’re about to ralph and you just can’t bear it anymore. Well lucky for you, there are some ways to overcome Virtual Reality sickness. But before we dive below the deep waters of what we all can just chock up to being too much gameplay, here are some known facts that will be helpful in understanding what VR sickness really is.
Who does it affect?
Primarily, VR sickness affects those of Asian nationality and Chinese women before any other race—even over Americans. Just as with motion sickness, the onset of issues with VR sickness are from 2-12, then it gradually decreases after 21. Now, we all know you’re not going to let your two year old play a virtual reality game—but it’s helpful to know this information because there are educational and children’s apps in Virtual Reality available. Additionally, there is a rising number of individuals 50 and older who have been known to experience issues with motion sickness (which will be a risk factor for VR sickness in the elderly). Because women have a wider range of view and due to hormonal changes, they have a high probability of virtual reality sickness.
If you’re in a general unwell state of health, the chances of getting virtual reality sickness raises significantly. So if you’re achoo-ing into the Kleenex or not getting enough rest, it’s wise to stay away from the Virtual Reality headset until you have felt better or if you have ear trouble.
How can it be avoided?
There are ways that VR sickness can be avoided and for the serious gamers, medications such as Dramamine may be the route to go.* But in all seriousness, simple tricks to overcome the symptoms and problems of virtual reality sickness are available. Simple things like chewing gum to keep your jaw active will allow the immersion of virtual reality possible for longer periods of time. When turning in a game, locking your eyes on point will help moving about in the game possible without moving your pupils at varying degrees every second. Ultimately and the most important tip to avoiding VR sickness is to take breaks.
Newer headsets on the market have attributed to smaller incidents in VR sickness mainly due to an increase in higher frame rates and less display lag times. But they have not eliminated VR sickness altogether. Recent headsets include the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. While not necessarily to aid against VR sickness, HTC Vive has an additional tool that can be attached to the headset called “Vive and chill” and is rolling out soon to the market for purchase.
*We do not endorse the use of Dramamine or any other over the counter product, if symptoms persist it’s always best to speak with your physician for proper treatment.