Suffering From Simulation Sickness

So it might seem kind of strange that I’m an avid gamer, have been playing them for most of my life and yet I suffer from DIMS (Doom Induced Motion Sickness) or rather Simulation Sickness; more so than all of my gaming friends seem to. It does sometimes determine what games I can play. First person games tend to be the most problematic, but I’ve also had bad experiences with cartoony 3D games like Croc and Spyro (I haven’t gone back to these types of games since the Rugrats made me throw up – I wasn’t able to watch the show again either.) It also means that I sometimes miss out on highly praised games or what my friends are all playing. Portal made me really ill for instance, which has sort of coloured how I feel about that franchise. In fact most games on the Source Engine do seem to affect me badly, while I can play other first person games with no issues at all (like Prey for example.) Amnesia actually got to me a little, but then Outlast was fine. Blocky games or older graphics tend to bother me. Although I can play Minecraft, but I can’t watch other people play it. Smoother cameras positioned slightly further away from the character are usually preferable. I can also tell when I’m coming down with something by how badly I’m affected by Simulation Sickness. If I’m not right in myself then games that wouldn’t usually bother me will suddenly become unplayable.

Simulation Sickness is why some people just can’t come to appreciate games or can be reluctant to be around a person who is playing. My family suffers from it worse than I do and so I’m often restricted to playing in my room so that it won’t affect them. I love games too much to let this issue prevent me from playing them though. It is also possible to overcome it if you’re persistent enough. I’ve found from personal experience that If I continue to play a game in short bursts it will eventually get better to the point that I can play for hours without becoming ill. The other solution is to simply stick to genres and games that don’t make you ill.

I was happy when I saw Extra Credits attempting to tackle this issue in the video ‘Simulation Sickness – Causes and Cures For Game Headaches.’ It was one of the first times that I’d noticed the subject being talked about and it gives some good advice on how to deal with it (although I’ve personally found that turning down the lights makes it worse, which is problematic for a survival horror fan.) VR devices are also a concern for me. I seem to be the only person amongst my friends who is not looking forward to using one as I can imagine it making me really ill. I hope that developers do start to consider issues relating to Simulation Sickness more because it does affect accessibility and enjoyment of the game.

If you love games, but suffer from Simulation Sickness, don’t let it get you down. I still enjoy a very active gaming life despite DIMS. 😛


Tags: , , , , ,

About wallcat

I have a strong passion for computing. In particular programming for which I am able to use a variety of languages including C++, Visual C#, Blitz Basic, Actionscript 2.0, Python and Lua. I also enjoy web-design and have some knowledge of HTML/CSS, PHP/SQL and Javascript. As well as programming I have a strong background in art and enjoy drawing in my spare time. When I’m not sat at my computer I like to keep fit by going to the gym or using my exercise ball.

13 responses to “Suffering From Simulation Sickness”

  1. Pasduil says :

    When I first started playing MMOs I used to get queasy if I played for a long time, esp zoomed in to near first-person view and riding horseback on routes with lots of ups and downs.

    It took me a while to guess that it might be something to do with the game. Who would’ve thought you could get travel sickness from riding an imaginary horse?

    • wallcat says :

      hehe, I’d have never considered that. When I was younger I didn’t realize so I’d push myself too hard, play for hours, but then spend the rest of the day lying down trying to recuperate. Now I’ll try and stop when I start to notice the signs. RPG’s tend not to be an issue for me because they’re often 3rd person and have more realistic graphics. I just cannot watch my boyfriend play Skyrim though because he prefers to play that in 1st person, whereas I keep my character on screen if I have the option to (I like games that let you decide how close the camera is to your character.) It is a problem when people want to show you something in a game, but it’s making you feel off.

  2. drakeca89 says :

    I get this sometimes from the Dead island zombie games if I play for a long time. I also get a headache if I’m doing an assassins creed or batman arkham marathon it makes my glasses feel like they weigh 10 lbs

    • wallcat says :

      Maybe it is more common than I realized then. We all play for so many hours that we’ve probably learnt to ignore the effects or adjusted to them, lol. I am bad for pushing too hard, but once I start to play a game I don’t always like putting it down, lol. Marathons are fun. On the other hand if I have a headache that’s not caused by games, playing can take my mind off it and actually make me feel better,

      • drakeca89 says :

        I thankfully almost never get headaches so even ifits a smal one either a hot hot shower or going to sleep is all that helps the movement in the game makes it worse so I gotta shut my eyes.

      • wallcat says :

        I seem to get a lot, but I think I need glasses and spend too much time on the computer or reading tbh, lol.

      • drakeca89 says :

        actually the strain from being in front of a computer can lead to having to have glasses. Being a coder would be a major contributing factor . . . so you should be blind in 2 years. hahahahahah just kidding but it does act as a factor believe it or not.

      • wallcat says :

        Yeah, I do think my eye sight has gotten worse due to my chosen interests, lol.

      • drakeca89 says :

        well when I start building foam armour the glue will kill my brain cells so while you go blind I’ll turn into a idiot

      • wallcat says :

        Hehe, the sacrifices we make for our craft :P.

  3. drakeca89 says :

    aint that the truth . .sniff . . thump ( passes out)

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. 2D:- Not Just Retro | My Inner Geek - April 16, 2015
  2. Value For Money? (No Man’s Sky) | My Inner Geek - August 19, 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: