One of the biggest challenges facing Virtual reality and the metaverse as a whole is motion sickness. To aid an immersive VR experience, Tech companies creating devices for the metaverse have developed methods and devices to aid Locomotion in Virtual reality and help Users avoid tumbling over things in their room or running into the wall.
However, most of the devices (Treadmills & Footwears) do not take the risk of motion sickness in the process of experiencing Virtual reality into account.
This Post Contains
- What Causes VR Motion Sickness.
- How To Prevent VR Motion Sickness.
- Actionable Steps To Treat VR Motion Sickness.
This has put current VR users into health risks, discouraged potential metaverse Users and has been a bone of contention between metaverse enthusiasts and people who believe the idea of a Virtual world where people can socialize, work and relax doesn’t hold water.
However, there are a lot of things you can do to reduce the risk of VR motion sickness. But before we delve into the preventive measures you can take in order to avoid motion sickness in the process of playing VR games. What is VR motion sickness?
What Causes VR Motion Sickness?
VR Motion sickness happens when your brain can’t make sense of the signals sent from your ears, eyes, muscles and other parts of your body.
You’re playing a VR game with your VR headset (maybe even using a VR treadmill to aid your movement in VR) you’re static but performing lots of movement with your eyes registering all the information in your immersive VR experience or by moving your feet on the spot with the aid of a VR shoe or a treadmill that isn’t optimized for motion sickness.
Suddenly you might feel dizzy, be sweating, have a headache or nauseous due to lots of motion in the process of playing a game with your VR headset. Those are symptoms of Motion sickness.
To give you a clear picture, the brain is the operating system of the body, that is giving out instructions to other parts of the body. In short you’re scrolling through this article because your brain instructed your fingers to move.
That is why when people have Ischemic stroke their body didn’t just stop moving, their Brain had issues (due to reduction or interruption of blood flow to a part of the brain) which affected the other parts of the body.
That’s what happens when you have VR motion sickness, your brain believes that your body is moving but you’re actually standing in one place and so your brain loses connection with your body which makes you start feeling dizzy, unconscious and some parts of your body go numb.
How To Prevent VR Motion Sickness
- Increase your playing time gradually: You’re playing a VR game for the first time and you play for hours without planning to stop soon then you’re putting yourself at risk of motion sickness. New VR head mounted device’s Users are more susceptible to VR motion sickness. Therefore, it’s more advisable that your VR sessions are in minutes when you start playing, then you increase it gradually as time goes on to aid adaptation.
- Don’t eat heavy: Eating heavily before your VR experience can cause Nausea and Vomiting if you have motion sickness. It would do you a lot of good if you take something light and don’t overeat so your stomach doesn’t start rumbling then you throw up.
3.Use a cooling fan: When using a VR headset make sure you have a cooling fan, preferably a ceiling fan directed at you. So you have a supply of air since playing a game might increase your temperature and you’ll need a breath of air to cool down.
- Use a VR Walking Device: VR Walking devices such as Omnidirectional VR treadmills and Cybershoes have been designed to help you with movement in VR. Make sure the VR treadmill is optimized against motion sickness. You can find out through other users’ reviews and experts recommendations, so you don’t end up buying a VR treadmill that only simulates your VR Locomotion without actually preventing motion sickness.
- Take Medication: Using an antiemetic drug such as Dramamine will alleviate Nausea.
Actionable Steps To Treat VR Motion Sickness
- Stop! : Yes you read that right, Stop! If you’re feeling sick while playing a game with your VR headset, it’s time to take a break, remove your VR headset and relax. As a matter of fact don’t wait until you start feeling dizzy or a part of your body becomes numb before you take a break from your immersive VR experience.
If you have been playing the game for hours on the stretch, take a break so your body can relax and be coordinated.
Sitting or standing still will only worsen the situation so it’s advisable to get up and move around so the symptoms can subside.
- Breathe Fresh Air: If you’re playing the game in your room, use a cooling fan or move outside and breathe in fresh air. Breathing in fresh air has been reported to abate motion sickness.
- Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is the use of natural plant extracts such as essential oils from flowers to promote physical well-being by stimulating smell receptors in the nose. Use aromatic plants, place them in strategic places where you can inhale the smell or use a diffuser to add fragrance to the air.
- Ginger: It has been proven that ginger combats nausea & reduces the risks of vomiting. Therefore to calm your upset stomach it’s advisable to chew raw ginger or take ginger supplements such as ginger tea. Taking ginger before playing a VR game will prevent Nausea.
In conclusion some people are more susceptible to motion sickness, however it is advisable to use preventive measures to reduce the risk of motion sickness while using VR devices. You should also keep in mind that VR motion sickness can be addressed without medication.