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Friday, April 05, 2024


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Martin K.

> The mystery is why few are wondering if making half the population sick to their stomach is probably a major reason why.

I believe that many of today's popular VR games make more than half the population sick to their stomach. That effect is not limited to the female half of the population.

There is a gender-based propensity for cybersickness, and there are studies about it. One recent study summarizes the results this way: "the size of the gender effect is modest." ( https://osf.io/preprints/psyarxiv/qrkdx ) There are other factors influencing cybersickness that are much stronger and affect users of all genders, for example, the kind of artificial locomotion.

On the other hand, there are other aspects of VR that are much more sexist than the effect of cybersickness, in particular gender-based harassment in social VR (e.g. https://dl.acm.org/doi/pdf/10.1145/3610027 ). Unfortunately, gender-based harassment is not limited to social VR games but widespread in many popular multiuser virtual worlds.

Given the popularity of multiuser virtual worlds on flat screens among young boys today, gender-based harassment on flat screens might be a huge challenge that is only growing in coming years.

(And if you actually wonder why the VR games industry is not doing more to reduce the risk of getting sick for all their users, a good starting point might be to compare it with the fast-food and/or tobacco industries. Based on this comparison, one solution might be stricter regulations - if not by governments then by platform-owners, e.g. Apple.)

Luther Weymann

So, there is a real, measurable, hardline difference between men and women? Who knew?

Wagner James Au

Definitely not a hardline. Clearly many women and girls enjoy VR without suffering nausea -- while many men and boys do experience VR nausea.


You show Danah so much respect as you keep referring to her as 'danah'. Also why is this issue of headsets making more women than men nauseous - or 'sick to their stomach' as you say - soley a problem for Meta? Joanna Stern said in her review of the Apple thing it made her nauseous - or '. The issue I have with this article is yet again your hatred of Meta shines bright.

Wagner James Au

danah prefers her name in lower case:

And yes, similar issues might come up with Apple Vision Pro, I alluded to that in VentureBeat:

Luther Weymann

Motion sickness happens to some people and not to others. I've been ocean boating for over forty years and at the helm I never get seasick. Off the helm, no matter where I am on the boat I get seasick within an hour. My wife never suffers any of this even the slightest bit no matter how rough the sea. On long-distance air flights, I get mild motion sickness always around the 18th hour. People around me have none of it. I can't sit in the backseat of a car for too long become my stomach is upside down and I need to get out and walk around. Others, never have this. I'm wondering if there is a direct correlation between motion sickness, sea sickness, and VR sickness. Because me with a VR headset on lasts about 5 minutes before I have to rip it off and get a hold of myself. My family, both men, women, and go hours with no effect, and these are the same people who go out on my boats and never get seasick.

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