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Thursday, March 23, 2017


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Arguably sensitivity to poor optimization may be gendered but that doesn't automatically imply that well optimized games will still have a gendered nausea gap.

But that said, like you, I'm skeptical. With a large screen, many existing non-VR games often make me nauseas. (I'm looking at you Obduction.) That even non-VR games can do this to me has held me back from spending any money on VR gear until I can try it out first.


So I also get sick from 2D locomotion games, as well as many VR locomotion arrangements, but I still love my Rift. There are plenty of experiences that can be enjoyed by all -- even those who get sick from stationary 2D monitors. If you can find a way to try out games in which you're standing in one spot -- games like Dead and Buried, Rec Room, Chronos, Landfall, etc -- I think you'll probably be okay.

Orca Flotta

Hamlet asked "John Carmack, CTO of Oculus VR and an evangelist of virtual reality", an VR evangelist, with a lively interest in VR marketing, and expected to get halfways neutral unbiased info from that guy? Oh my, oh my gawd, where have good practices in journalism gone?

Next story in Orcablog will be an interview: Orca asks the friendly neighbourhod crocodile if he thinks his fave pond makes a pleasant environment for humans to swim in.

Tssk tssk


So you send " .. a quick e-mail to someone far more qualified than me to talk about that topic: John Carmack" .. and then ignore what he and other industry experts say? Makes sense .. ;)


Here optimization is two things: 1) making sure the game runs well, without hiccup 2) making sure the gameplay itself avoids things that might get people sick (forced locomotion for example). A game that makes on average 50% of people sick, like in the article, is A VERY BAD GAME to start with and probably suffers from both 1) and 2). In other words,. it's almost designed to make people sick and is unlikely to even end up on the oculus store, and certainly not with a "comfortable" rating. As commenters said above, these types of game might even make sensitive people feel sick on a normal screen, outside of VR (pretty common with first-person locomotion). Not to mention that the study used outdated hardware (DK1 and DK2).

Your argument that bad optimization shouldn't yield a gender gap doesn't really make sense to me... It's a fact that both studies used badly optimized experiences ("Affected"' has artificial first person locomotion, and the other studies used movies –terrible because no positional headset tracking– with had artificial first person locomotion on top of that) and the studies showed the gender gap. So... I really don't get your point.

Games that follow properly 1) and 2) and that run on recent hardware with positional tracking should make almost no one sick (I'm talking about probably less than 1% of the population, for titles see Ben's comment... you should try them out!).

Also, even for badly optimized experiences, people can remove the headset well before reaching the throwing up point.


Well, I think that you're mixing two things.

You're talking about studies on women suffering more sickness than men. I've read about it, too... but there are even more data: Chinese people suffer nausea more than western people and kids until 13 years-old suffer more than adults, too. Research seems to suggest this.

Carmack is talking about if nausea is a problem for VR to become widespread. Well, I don't agree with him: roller-coasters are very cool and is something we all love in VR, so it has no sense removing them. And knowing the fact that VR can be nausea-inducing make people more doubtful about if buying a VR headset or not

Amanda Dallin

More and better studies are needed. A couple of studies on something like this isn't enough but it can point in the direction needed for future work.


My wife was able to play around in Mission: ISS for 30+ minutes before nausea set in - I lasted a little less, maybe right at 30 minutes before I had to take the Rift off. Not a study, but real world experience just the same.

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