Playing video games is an entertaining activity, not just for children but adults as well. However, these games could sometimes cause a strange feeling during and after a playing session.
Several gamers have confirmed that these feelings come with playing flying or driving games.
Doctors have termed this feeling “simulator sickness.” Some might refer to it as motion sickness. If you’ve had such gaming experiences, I bet you want to know more.
This post answers vital questions about motion sickness during video games, their causes, and the best way to deal with them.
What is Motion Sickness?
Motion sickness is a nauseous feeling resulting from movement. The condition conflicts with your senses, making you feel uncomfortable and unable to comprehend every activity in your environment.
Motion sickness occurs when you’re inside moving automobiles, trains, buses, and planes. Sometimes, watching other things or people move can trigger the symptoms. The sickness is not a life-threatening condition, but it can make traveling unpleasant.
What Are the Symptoms of Motion Sickness?
Several signs indicate you’re suffering from motion sickness. Though these symptoms come as a surprise, they’re the best ways to identify your reason for being sick.
Below are the symptoms of motion sickness.
One of the ways to know when you’re suffering from motion sickness is when you sweat profusely. At the point when the attack comes, you may sweat a little too much, even in cool weather.
Dizziness accompanies profound sweating. You’ll suddenly feel your eyes swerve back and forth, losing focus from what you had been watching. Dizziness also makes you feel lightheaded and unsteady, increasing your risk of losing balance and falling.
Headache is a constant pounding in your head resulting from several activities. However, motion sickness’ headaches come as a continuous throbbing that can be dull or sharp.
In extreme conditions, you might throw up. This is because of the nauseating feeling that comes with motion sickness.
5. Pale skin
Once you start feeling other symptoms, your skin turns pale. In other words, colors drain from your face and skin, leaving you looking like you need blood.
One of the common symptoms of motion sickness is the inability to concentrate. Your mind cannot focus on one thing as there are so many things going on around you.
Sometimes, you feel the need to run out of the vehicle even if it’s not congested.
7. Shortness of Breath
For some individuals, motion sickness comes with shortness of breath. This happens when tension causes your heart to beat rapidly against your chest.
Why do Video Games Cause Motion Sickness?
The first-person narrative puts you in your character’s shoes; therefore, you imitate their movement as you play. In other words, if their head bobs, you imagine yours doing the same.
The same thing applies if your character gets on a vehicle, a plane, or a boat. The sensation of playing in the virtual world may overwhelm you and trigger sickness.
At this point, your brain begins transmitting the wrong message to the rest of your body.
Technology has even made motion sickness from video games worse than before. The graphics are stunning, more advanced, and the game features perfectly. With this, it’s easier to feel as though you were in the game.
Aside from these reasons, there are no other causes of motion sickness from video games.
Tips for Avoiding Motion Sickness While Playing Video Games
Several video games involve movement, but not all causes motion sickness. Nonetheless, if you keep experiencing motion sickness from video games, you should learn how to manage it.
Here are some helpful tips to avoid motion sickness while playing video games.
1. Don’t Sit Too Close to the Screen
Ensure there’s enough space between your screen and your sitting position. Though it is more enjoyable with a large screen, a smaller screen is healthier.
This would cause the characters and environment to look smaller, reducing the feeling of being inside the game.
2. Use a well-lit room
Playing games in a dark or dimly lit room creates a fascinating effect. Aside from helping you see your screen clearly, it enables you to tone down the effect of your physical environment.
With this, you can easily slip into your video games without distractions from your surrounding.
Unfortunately, a dimly lit room will only worsen motion sickness for those who already suffer from it. Therefore, you should ensure the room is well-lit.
A well-lit room will keep reminding your brain that you are simply in your room and not in motion.
3. Play in a Conducive Gaming Environment
Ensure your room is well-ventilated and that fresh air comes frequently. Don’t stay in a crowded room when playing. Furthermore, keep the room spacious and free of objects that can stuff up the place.
4. Take a break
Don’t play a game for a very long time without taking consecutive breaks. Pause after an hour at least and do something else. Continuous playing can inconvenience your brain.
5. Take your time
Some people want to finish a game as soon as they start it. They scale through the first level, the second, and are enthusiastic about moving to the third.
Though video games can be intoxicating, you should avoid rushing to the end before you even begin the game. Take your time and ease yourself gradually into the game until you get used to it.
For starters, play for five minutes and then increase your time playing.
6. Adjust your perspective
More frequently than not, the perspective of the game contributes massively to motion sickness. As earlier said, a first-person perspective is more likely to throw you off the radar.
If possible, adjust the perspective of the game to a third-person perspective. Also, adjust the sensitivity of the movement. If the game doesn’t allow for a third-person perspective, choose other game types.
7. Use Medical Aids
Medications also help in managing motion sickness, especially severe episodes. Reach out to your doctor for prescriptions that help to contain motion sickness.
Acupressure wristbands can also assist in relieving the symptoms of motion sickness. These bands have proven to reduce nausea and vomiting.
8. Stay Hydrated
Most gamers are so into the game that they forget every other thing around them. Sometimes, they can forfeit food and water to keep playing. While not eating is excusable, forfeiting water is not.
Your body needs as much fluid as it can get. Therefore, keeping yourself hydrated should be a habit. If you’re not a fan of taking water every five minutes, take other nutritional juices.
Fruit juice is a good option for hydration. Aside from this, you could try ginger juice if you’re not allergic to ginger. Ginger tea will also help if you start having nausea while playing.
However, using ginger tea might not work for every person.
Tips for Relieving Motion Sickness
As I mentioned earlier, symptoms of motion sickness are quite surprising. Once you start having these symptoms, a few things can help you relieve them immediately.
1. Put Down the Game
The first action to take is to keep the game regardless of your focus. In most cases, putting down your gamepad happens naturally because of the discomfort you’ll feel.
2. Take Control
As hard as this might seem, try to be in control of yourself. Take deep breaths and release them slowly to help calm yourself.
3. Keep Your Eyes on Stationary Objects
Look at things that are not in motion as it helps with visual stimulus. Try looking beyond objects on the horizon if there are any.
If this doesn’t work, take your mind away from your environment. Try to avoid seeing, hearing, or speaking till the sensation has passed.
4. Change Your Position
Move somewhere else if you’ve been sitting in the same position while playing. Change seats or try sitting on the floor. You could also lie down and close your eyes for a while.
5. Distract Yourself
Once the symptoms have passed, don’t attempt returning to the game. Do something else that interests you. For instance, you could turn on some music, strike a conversation with someone, or go outdoors and enjoy the view.
Motion sickness can be disconcerting, especially when you’re in the middle of a game. Thankfully, there are several ways to manage and avoid the situation.
Despite this, it’s best to find alternative games instead of playing those that trigger the condition.