People that know me know that that while there are many first person games I’d love to play I tend to steer clear of them. Why? Because very often I find they make me queasy. For a long time I have attributed this to motion sickness, due to some sort of head bobbing thing. So there have been very few FP games that I’ve been able to play.

As such it does mean that I’m careful about getting any FP game, I tend to try and play a demo of it before I get it. Otherwise it’s just a waste of money for something that will make me ill.

Halo (on xbox), I can play this generally without a problem, very rarely does it make me feel quesy. Oblivion and Splinter Cell (both on PC) I’ve generally been ok with too, just as long as I don’t play for hours on end.

However since yesterday I think I now have a better idea as to what it is that makes me queasy. A friend gave me a subscription to Half-Life 2, (thank you!) which I’ve been meaning to play for a while but been a bit hmmm about too because it’s FP. So I started playing it, and within about 20 mins or less I felt more queasy then I have ever felt from a FP game, I was dizzy, felt mild urge to throw up, and so I went to lie down. It was horrible.

About an hour later I decided to try again, first I looked at the settings, to see if perhaps I could lower the mouse sensitivity as I thought maybe it was due to that. However the mouse sensitive was already set pretty low and then I noticed that I can play the game in windowed mode. So I try this and presto! I got in almost a good hours playing time before i felt tired and a little queasy.

And so it’s made me think, I have a 19″ wide screen monitor, and now that I think about it when I briefly played oblivion on it and splinter cell i felt queasier quicker than I had when i played the games on my old CRT monitor. And when I’ve played Halo its mostly been on small tv’s in co-op or multi-player mode, thus giving me even less screen space. So I wonder if its perhaps something more to do with the immersion into the visual environment than actual motion sickness.

Perhaps if I play games in windowed mode more often I might be able to play more FP games 🙂 (Although I wouldn’t say everything.. I’ve seen someone play Prey, I’m pretty damn sure all that suddenly walking on ceilings would make me ill)


1 Comment

Filed under Computer, Gaming

One response to “FPS

  1. Ruanae

    Havent got much to do so did some googling

    Found some random linkage http://slashdot.org/askslashdot/00/06/02/0337257.shtml

    I think part of the issue mught be to do with what some sites call immersion. On a large a screen (or in full screen mode) I wonder if your brain is more easily fooled into beleiving its actually in the depicted enviroment. Then you get the confusion between your different sense and the net result is motion sickness. On a smaller screen or in windows mode there are other things to reference which stops you brain being so easily tricked and thus resulting in less noticable sickness.

    Part of me wonders whether the refresh rate also has a factor. I’ve noticed certain refresh rates make my eyes hurt and can make me feel a bit queasy so it might have an effect. Again, TV’s have different refresh rates, and “render” the image ina slightly diferent way which could affect how you feel.

    There’s also other factors that could have an effect, I find the head bob motion on the old Doom makes me feel iffy, so it might be different forms of motion affect people in different ways.

    And the first metroid on the GC with the closing in Helmet effect not only makes me feel a bit bleh it also makes my eyes hurt, I think due to the effect of the helmet on my peripheral vision.

    Anyway there’s probbably a whole raft of academic papers on this, and if not then I sense a potential research area! Just some random thoughts I’d thought I’d share

    Oh, and if Prey makes you feel icky, don’t bother with AvP. Playing as an alien and the floors becoming ceilings makes my stomach churn!

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