Cheeky Kid is a true-blue casual gamer. Whenever he's not watching anime or reading manga, chances are he's mindlessly playing games.
Relief From VR Sickness
Virtual Reality (VR) sickness is real and such a drag! As a matter of fact, it affects almost everyone. I have experienced it when I tried playing games using the PlayStation VR Headset. That is why I’ve scoured everywhere for information on how to deal with it and collated them all here. First, let’s define what VR sickness is:
VR Sickness is a state caused by being immersed in a virtual reality environment for some time. Its symptoms are similar to that of motion sickness, which includes: headache, dizziness, disorientation, nausea, sweating, and discomfort, among others.
There are several ways to remedy VR sickness—some are therapeutic, some are placebo. I’ve listed the most accepted and effective ones here. Go on and try them. See what works for you, and enjoy the full experience of what our current VR technology has to offer.
1. Stand While Playing
In-game, the character you are playing would most likely be standing, walking, running, and jumping. That is why you should act like your character. In this case, it is totally acceptable to just stand instead of sit. By doing this, you create the illusion that you’re actually the character itself. This makes your brain think that you are only operating in one world—the VR world—which dramatically reduces your chances of experiencing VR sickness.
2. Have a Fan Blowing on Your Face
It may sound ridiculous at first, but with all the motion taking place inside a virtual reality environment, having a fan blowing on your face could help you better substantiate the whole experience.
A fan blowing wind on your face could deliver a more realistic virtual reality set-up by letting you experience the illusion of movement even better. You do move a lot inside a VR game, so it’s more natural to feel wind on your skin rather than just stand there in stagnant air.
3. Follow Your Character’s Movements
Since you’re trying to get the full experience out of your VR games, it’s best to act like you’re really in the world of your games. Move your head towards where your character is gazing. Walk in place while your character walks. Act everything out as if you’re actually inside the game. By doing all of these, you could ease all the symptoms of VR sickness by telling your brain that you’re actually one with the game.
4. Gradually Build Tolerance
It seems that VR sickness is something that makes your brain go bonkers with the unique experience. As such, adapting and getting used to it through time could be the answer to your problem. Start small then gradually pick up the pace. Once you fully build your tolerance with VR sickness, then there will be nothing to stop you from playing your immersive VR games anymore.
5. Stop Playing When You Start Getting Dizzy
If you are looking for a definitive VR sickness cure, then resting is best! When you start getting dizzy, STOP playing! Don’t overdo it! Rest will make you feel better and prepare you for the next time you play your VR games.
Now, if you really don’t want to experience VR sickness ever again, then just quit—forever! As they say, prevention is always better than the cure. Kidding!
6. Chew on Ginger
Ginger doesn’t only make food tastier as a spice and keep you healthy with its therapeutic properties, it can also be taken as a remedy for VR sickness. It is well known that the gingerols found in ginger can help alleviate nausea, motion sickness, and queasiness. That being said, there’s a big reason to believe that it might also work pretty well in preventing VR sickness.
Here are some ginger-based products that you can take before immersing yourself in the world of virtual reality:
- Fresh Ginger
- Ginger Candies or Bons
- Ginger Tea
- Dried Ginger
Be sure to take only just enough ginger to harness its effects. A small piece or sliver is fine. If you’ve never liked ginger before, then now is the right time to incorporate it into your meals. After all, it might not just ease your VR sickness, it will also improve your overall health.
7. Chew Gum
Chewing on gum while playing virtual reality games could significantly reduce the manifestations of VR sickness. It works by tricking your brain into thinking that you’re not in any sort of danger. Well, you’re not really in danger. It’s just that the brain interprets your virtual reality experience as a misalignment of your senses, causing you to feel sick and uncomfortable because your body is trying to fend off possible impairments and imbalances that don’t even exist in the first place.
By chewing on gum, you not only distract your brain from the wobbly virtual reality experience, but also send the message to it that you’re not in any sort of danger because you are eating nonchalantly by chewing on something—a thing that you probably wouldn’t or just couldn’t do if you are in real danger.
8. Adjust the Headset Properly
Adjust your VR Headset in such a way that it sits comfortably on your head. Be sure to tighten all hinges properly and make sure that you see the screen of your VR headset at the most optimal and clearest view. If for some reason you don’t see a very clear picture, then the chances of you getting VR sickness will rise.
9. Calibrate the Settings Appropriately
Be sure that before you use your VR Headset, you calibrate its settings to your ideal preferences. Settings might vary with different headsets. Some possess spatial settings, tracking lights, and distance estimations. Just make sure that you’ve calibrated your VR Headset properly before you play.
10. Try Wearing Special Wristbands
True or not, anti-nausea wristbands could help you deal with VR sickness for the better. I remember wearing anti-nausea wristbands in the past, and it certainly put me at ease. They work by passively applying pressure on a certain acupoint on your wrist, which in turn makes you more resistant to nausea.
Then there’s the alternative explanation—anti-nausea wristbands don’t work at all! It’s all just in the mind. These special wristbands being on your wrist, in fact, induce a placebo effect rather than a therapeutic effect. Still, if that were the case, then there’s essentially no harm trying to wear these wristbands.
Do note that anti-nausea wristbands may not only work for VR sickness but also for motion sickness, car sickness, and seasickness.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Questions & Answers
Question: What if you are feeling disoriented while playing Virtual Reality games?
Answer: If you feel disoriented after playing VR games or experiencing any VR simulation, these things might work as well. If the case is severe, just stop immersing yourself in the experience and consult your doctor.
Kenneth C Agudo from Tiwi, Philippines on December 02, 2017:
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