Why VR Makes You Sick: The Virtual Reality Sickness Problem

If we’re going to discuss why VR makes you sick, then we have to talk about how the headset’s price range heavily affects how prone you are to getting sick when using these gadgets.

Google Cardboard and other low budget, affordable VR goggles usually get you sick, and it’s really hindering the spread of this new technology as it constitutes a barrier of entry for this media type to spread.

Test pilots and astronauts have been using VR for quite some time now, and they knew about this problem because even those trained men were experiencing sickness, and not just seasickness or motion sickness but a different kind of nauseating affliction which happens because VR causes a mismatch between the vestibular and visual systems.


All About VR Sickness: What is Virtual Reality Sickness?

Much like being seasick is part of mixed signals in the brain, virtual reality mixes up the visual and vestibular systems up and impedes the brain to base the body’s place in space based on joints and muscles.

Cleaving a wedge between these two systems, virtual-reality sickness isn’t motion sickness as it doesn’t require motion.

A US Army field study states 40% of pilots who train with VR suffer from this sickness, and according to the researchers the numbers will certainly be higher among the common folk who aren’t train to tolerate sickness.

The movements you make don’t match what your joints and muscles do, and the brain finds that very weird.

The core cause is the same though as this mismatch causes the brain to think you are poisoned and nauseates you to trigger you to throw up and rest.


How to Fight VR Sickness:

Practice is one of the ways you can fight this sickness. Navy SEALs use a Barany Chair to expose themselves to this type of sickness in order to increase their tolerance.

By repeatedly practicing, you can enable your brain to enter “VR Mode” whenever it understands the cues of placing the goggles or of stimulation by certain apps.

Another way is not done by you but the VR developers. First off, the less latency you have the better, so higher FPS rates are tied to less sickness, 90 FPS + being the optimal levels.

On the other hand, there’s a great new solution we covered in detail in the post:

This makes it so that you never lag or experience any kind of latency, and moving your head around always works in 90 FPS + even if the game lags or freezes, you’ll see a lagged image or frozen image, but the way the vision moves around is totally lag free.



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