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Feel nausea playing FPS games ??

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August 7, 2007 11:04:29 PM

I have a hard time playing any Quake 3 engine games and also Half Life series and Far Cry. If I stay on them for more than 20 minutes straight someone will have to administer CPR on me.

Does it happen to any of you? If so in what games?
August 8, 2007 12:04:32 AM

The only time I have anything close to that happen is in certain games where you have to make jumps down to platforms below, sometimes I get minor vertigo. Don't get it too much, though my brother-in-law gets it fierce when watching someone play (UT2K4 mostly).
August 8, 2007 2:15:01 PM

strange... what about super mario?
Related resources
August 8, 2007 2:31:36 PM

This may be due to the "bob" effect. Don't blame your friend Bob ... what I mean is the game puts bounces (or bobs) into your movement as you walk or run. Your point of view shifts up and down slightly and it isn't usually very noticeable. It does, however, make some people feel queasy after extended play. The easiest way to see it is running down a hallway toward a window. The distant scenery will move up and down more than nearby objects.

This used to be configurable in HL1 through the cl_bob command in the console. I do not know if the command works/worked in single player. I know you cannot configure it in Counter-Strike: Source unless the server has cheats enabled, but it used to be a popular option in the original.
August 8, 2007 2:37:30 PM

I just tried and it looks like you can. Just open the console (~ key, if you enable it in the keyboard options / Advanced button) and type:

cl_bob 0

This should stop it for HL. I can't help with Quake or Far Cry...
August 8, 2007 8:58:33 PM

I've had this FPS nausea problem ever since the days of Wolfenstein 3d! (so quite a long time) It's wierd though because some FPS's get me sick and others dont. Also, I have never had a mmorpg get me sick even though most are first person. I think it has to do with the speed of movement. As in games where you run around really fast probably have a greater chance of getting you sick.
August 8, 2007 9:23:13 PM

The only shooter that's made me nauseated lately is John Woo's Strangehold. Shaky controls and wierd view perspectives make it hard for me to play.

I've found I can handle almost any FPS on a decent-sized screen, but the larger the display, the greater the chances are that I'll get dizzy and have to put the game down.
August 8, 2007 9:34:34 PM

ajloeffl said:
I've had this FPS nausea problem ever since the days of Wolfenstein 3d! (so quite a long time) It's wierd though because some FPS's get me sick and others dont. Also, I have never had a mmorpg get me sick even though most are first person. I think it has to do with the speed of movement. As in games where you run around really fast probably have a greater chance of getting you sick.



That's funny you should mention that because I just started playing Return to Castle Wolfenstein and the game makes you run around really fast. I had to stop playing after about 10 minutes.

It's the first FPS since Half Life to give me motion sickness. There must be something to the whole running around fast thing, because if I remember correctly HL also has a very quck default run speed.
August 9, 2007 8:11:28 AM

Motion Sickness is what it’s called, you start to feel sick when you play fast paced games that involve a lot of moving and jumping. I don’t get it at all personally but I noticed when playing DOOM with my dad that he was ok when he played it but as soon as I taken over the controls. Because I was a much faster player than him, using strafe and constantly moving/running he told me that he felt sick watching me play.

The only thing I have ever encountered when playing games is a splitting headache when playing on my old CRT monitor at 60Hz but at anything above that I was perfectly fine.
August 9, 2007 9:53:06 AM

It happened to me a few times. But it depends mostly on my own condition, whether I'm tired, my eyes are tired or when I'm drunk :) 
August 9, 2007 4:48:10 PM

I've experienced that as well, as previously mentioned, when I am tired. If I've been up all night, and I'm tired and I need to eat.. its almost as if its my bodies way of saying "Enoughs enough slugger, go grab your blankie and go nighty-night".

It also happens if I am playing and I get tired and start thinking about my teddy bear.
August 10, 2007 8:34:16 PM

I get it now on most FPS games - have been for a few years. It's a real bummer because shooters are my favorites. Didn't get it 4 - 6 years ago when I was playing FPS games like Quake on my 17 to 19 inch monitors. I assumed it was age related but now I wonder if it's the larger monitors I'm using or something else related to the newer 3d engines and tech.

Weapon bob makes it worse but turning off bob isn't enough to make this go away if you have it as bad as I do.

I don't actually feel like I'm going to barf but I do feel vaguely dizzy and generally crappy. The longer I play the longer it lasts after too.
August 10, 2007 8:43:19 PM

greecemonkies said:
I have a hard time playing any Quake 3 engine games and also Half Life series and Far Cry. If I stay on them for more than 20 minutes straight someone will have to administer CPR on me.

Does it happen to any of you? If so in what games?



The game Will Rock did that to me, I don't know why but it really was uncomfortable, I would play about an hour and suffer for three to four hours afterward dizzy as a coot.

So far I haven't had any problems with FarCry, F.E.A.R., SSSE, SS2, but my wife can't play SSSE [Serious Sam Second Encounter], she gets sick.
August 10, 2007 8:56:12 PM

Nope, never fell sick when playing fps's. If you get headaches try turning up the refresh rate to stain your eyes less.
August 10, 2007 11:57:00 PM

well you could always try drugging yourself beforehand....... might be funny to see if seasickness tablets help. try it, it'll be a talking point if you have to take pills everytime you want to run HL2
August 11, 2007 10:24:38 AM

spuddyt said:
well you could always try drugging yourself beforehand....... might be funny to see if seasickness tablets help. try it, it'll be a talking point if you have to take pills everytime you want to run HL2


hahahaha! :bounce: 
August 11, 2007 10:38:07 AM

apparently, for halflife 2 and so on, if you increase your field of view in the console to 109, its supposed to help a bit.
August 11, 2007 11:28:35 AM

I've never been motion sick, and I've been on everything from theme park rides, small sail boats on rough seas, flying and wild chopper flights in tropical thunderstorms (don't ask) where even the pilot got out and threw up once we finally hit the deck (in one piece I'm extremely glad to say) and I've never had any problems with feeling ill during or after a computer game.

So my first guess is it's motion sickness from the bob movement, second guess is it's caused by eye strain from a CRT with a low frame rate and third guess is epilepsy, you don't have to be lying on the ground twitching for it to be epilepsy, disorientation is also a symptom (they do put those epilepsy warnings on games for a reason)
August 11, 2007 6:04:24 PM

The old 3D games like "Doom" or "Blood" give me nausea very quick. :pt1cable:  I am not able to play them for more than 10 minutes.
Once when I played Half-Life 2 I felt really bad and had to lay on the bed so i could recover. :sleep:  I think it was in the level where you float around with that chopper-boat.

Usually when I notice the game uses heavy bob movement I turn it off immediately. Supposedly its purpose is to make the game feel more real but the result is way too "real" :ouch: 
August 11, 2007 8:18:27 PM

greecemonkies said:
I have a hard time playing any Quake 3 engine games and also Half Life series and Far Cry. If I stay on them for more than 20 minutes straight someone will have to administer CPR on me.

Does it happen to any of you? If so in what games?


Try sitting at different distances from the screen and see if that helps. Also there are wrist bands that you can wear that are supposed to help with nausea you could give them a try.

One thing I have noticed is that I don't get nausea from the motion but I tend to get stiff when playing intense games and that will make me feel ill some times but I am just stiff (like my neck and back) and I find that if I take tylenol or advil or any over the counter generic pain killer it helps.

Have you ever been nervous before and you tend to tense up or not breathe properly. Well that can happen when you play a game. I get it bad when I play PVP in City of Heroes. I tend to get more of an adrenaline rush that can make you feel a little ill. Or at a LAN party where there is stiff competition.

Just like the same nerves you can get for any type of stressful or anxious situation. Like I said it might not actually be motion sickness at all.
August 11, 2007 8:39:30 PM

you could always go and see a doctor... if you say its an important passtime to play games then he might be sympathetic enough to check you.... or you could find something else that makes you sick in a similar way and claim that instead
August 12, 2007 9:52:12 PM

thechevron said:
good timing, I just made a similar post then seen this. It's actually called simulation sickness, not motion sickness. As I said in my other post, I nearly passed out a few times from quick glances at time splitters 2 on the cube. I think its time that game developers started looking into this, its not fair that people can buy games they can't play and wont be able to get there money back (imagine standing in tesco with the arse behind the counter looking at you like a freak cause you told him it made you sick)


On most game boxes there is a warning about seizures called (Photosensitive Seizures) It effects a very small percentage and I imagine that it crosses a broad spectrum from a seizure being the worst thing to getting dizzy, having a head ache, passing out, etc. and down the line to no problems at all.

Unfortunately there is probably nothing game developers can do and people with this problem will just need to select games that do not bother them. Just like people who have allergy's.
August 13, 2007 1:28:38 AM

Well I for one do not suffer any motion sickness even though I'm playing on my 4 year old Planar PX191 which has BTB response times of 25ms. I'm guessing that would translate to somewhere between 16ms - 20ms GTG.
August 13, 2007 3:16:21 AM

The problem with Wolfenstein 3D back in the days of the 386/486 was that you were running down corridors, with dodgy colored graphics. Spinning around made me really motion sick. I would get sick after 10 mins and have to stop.

I still get some motion sickness playing FPS, but I generally find that with better graphics, and particularly those set in open battlefields as opposed to running down corridors, greatly reduce the chances of me being sick.
August 13, 2007 4:46:46 PM

About a year ago I had problems with nausea when plyaing HL2. Here's few things you can try...

- sit further back from the screen
- turn off "head bob"
- also turn down the mouse sensitivity (so that that the screen doesn't jerk around as much with every little touch of the mouse)

The motion of the screen is what was causing it for me. Try these things and keep playing, after a while you adjust to it. I have no problem with motion sickness in any of the FPS I play now.
August 23, 2007 9:03:26 PM

thechevron said:
good timing, I just made a similar post then seen this. It's actually called simulation sickness, not motion sickness. As I said in my other post, I nearly passed out a few times from quick glances at time splitters 2 on the cube. I think its time that game developers started looking into this, its not fair that people can buy games they can't play and wont be able to get there money back (imagine standing in tesco with the arse behind the counter looking at you like a freak cause you told him it made you sick)


Good call. Can you please post a link to your discussion?

I am also wondering if this simulation sickness is correlated to vision disorders such as myopia or astigmatism. I for one have both.
August 23, 2007 11:39:57 PM

I don't envy you
August 24, 2007 1:49:16 AM

FarCry is the only one that's made me feel sick...and sadly that is why I haven't beat it.
August 24, 2007 3:01:28 PM

I have that feeling when I play a game in an enclosed enviroment. If I'm outdoors, no problem. But indoors, I eventually get motion sickness and have to stop for a while.
August 24, 2007 3:04:17 PM

Nice post, I thought I was along. About 20 minutes into any FPS I start feeling a woozy and spacy in the head. It's all the fast movements and stuff going on in front of your eyes...while concentrating very hard!

If I'm well rested and alert I can go longer, maybe an hour or so. It burns you out though..
August 24, 2007 8:47:50 PM

the real reason behind this is as far as i can say is that the blood pressure goes up while playing these games. if u test your blood pressure when this happens, u will know. if this is the case then a mild blood pressure control tablets will be suffiecient. have one everyday and u will most probably never face this problem again. hope i helped.
August 25, 2007 2:49:41 AM

For me it's all about my condition as well.

I can play the same game some days but not others, usually depending on whether or not I've slept in the last couple of days.
August 25, 2007 9:42:08 AM

I have personally never known anyone to get pick playing FPS.

Some years back myself and about 15 friends got together for a weekend lan party. About 3am the first night we started playing Quake 3. After about an hour my friend's nose started pouring blood. It had never happend before and hasnt happend again since.

It was actually quite funny because he was winning untill he had to get up for tissue. Being the great friends we are we could not let the game go unplayed we had to frag him while he was AFK repeatly!!!!
August 25, 2007 10:49:58 PM

FEAR on normal darkness tends to get me dizzy very fast
August 26, 2007 7:06:38 AM

Maybe we can figure this out if "barfys" contribute data.

I know nausea is not a problem for everyone. But it was for about half our 8 man LAN party gang. Often you can work your way into longer times but some games seem to always trigger nausea fast or even get worse with more exposures. I've seen FPS nausea hit all kinds of people of many ages. For some it starts a a tightness in the head like they were wearing too tight a hat. I've seen 14 and 40 year olds barf after playing Doom, and Doom3. I'm disappointed that BioShock makes me sick in 15 minutes while System Shock2 wasn't a problem.

So lets rule out some things and start collecting data.
1) Epilepsy - the odds are against that. Even 2d games have flashing. It's certain 3d FPS that cause this nausea.
2) Blood Pressure - I can rule that out. I monitor mine and its low. It remains the same during the nausea. Most of my group says their head feels tight not pounding.
3) Frame Rate - that can sure be annoying but the same FPS on various LCD (60hz), CRT (75-80Hz) or different sizes causes nausea. Usually low frame rate is equally annoying on a static blue window desktop, Red Alert or HL. Not nausea inducing but very fatiguing for the eyes which leads to headaches.

I suspect:
1) FPS nausea is a perceptual problem and accentuated by what the person's dominant senses are.
2) The "head tightness" is caused by the neck muscles trying hard to hold the head very still to regain balance.

Try standing on one leg for 30 seconds with eyes open, then try it with eyes closed. The visually oriented among us will have a hard time balancing 5 seconds with eyes closed. I can't do it and many games make me sick. My balance is visually biased. For me bobbing head mode is awful.

I did some experiments with field of view and found wide angles cause more nausea. If you think about the optical situation, your eye is the point of a pyramid connected to the corners of your screen then should be projecting that pyramid into the virtual world. If the real world angle at the top of you vision pyramid is say 40 degrees and the game is projecting 170 degrees, you have a bad visual mismatch. Your eye would have to be almost on the screen to match the games view pyramid (know as the viewing frustum)

In a indoor game, with too wide angle view, try this: standing still, rotate in place looking at horizontal lines like door tops and corners. Try looking down 20 degrees, rotate 360, look up some, rotate. Now, do the surfaces appear solidly consistent in their relationships to each other or do they seem like they are warping in a minor but annoying way. Like the corners of the room feel like they move toward and away an inch or the walls are meeting at 85 degrees sometimes and 90 other times?

Another possibility is the barfy FPS's are using a lens transform in addition to wide-angle viewing. If they apply that transform ONLY to corner vertexes and while allowing textures to be mapped without lens distortions then the walls will not appear solid but more like fabric stretched and wriggling over slightly bending frames.

I wonder if we could get a tables of game's perspective transforms (angle of view and if there is a lens distortion) and then match that up with most barfy to least barfy ratings.

It would be nice save people paying $50 to get sick in 10 minutes. I've always wanted a 0-5 barf bag rating system.
August 26, 2007 2:42:48 PM

Only when I watch someone else play. It's like driving. When you are behind the wheel you feel less movement than when you are a passenger.
August 26, 2007 6:01:05 PM

Id say Battlefield 2. It usually happens when someones driving all over the place and im gunner/passenger in the DPV. However when I drive, I can make loops and other whatnot and not feel a thing.
August 31, 2007 11:46:27 PM

I don't normally have problems. I've played HL2 thru several times with no problem, but if I watch my son play it, I get very ill. I think it has to do with him moving around eratically. The motion is much smoother when I'm playing.
September 1, 2007 1:48:39 AM

This is from my own experience and I don't take any responsibility for it, although they're very harmless.

Anyway, things that make motion sickness easier:

Sleep better, and a few hours more. Or if you sleep for very long, find a the golden hour that makes you feel fully rested. +10hrs isn't normal and may indicate that you are in fact depressed, or are not eating well.

Muscle pains when you wake up suggests your bed is worn out, and you should replace it. Try sleeping without a pillow, it might make you sleep better without you even realising it.

Third, go out and do things that forces your brain to focus on movement, for instance ride your bike in terrain. Not drive a car, because that's simply not enough practice for the brain.

Try to focus on the game more, move your head to the game (sounds stupid but I started doing that involuntarily a while back and I never had as much problem after that)
September 1, 2007 7:35:45 AM

asdasd123123 said:
Try to focus on the game more, move your head to the game (sounds stupid but I started doing that involuntarily a while back and I never had as much problem after that)


It's not stupid at all; in fact, it's very smart.

Fluid in your inner ear controls your balance. Most motion-type sickness occurs when the signals sent by your inner ear conflict with the signals sent by you eyes.
September 7, 2007 6:03:29 PM

I have to say im amazed how many plp have simmilar issues with some games as I do

Sometimes i cant play certain fps games for more than 20 minutes, and after that(or close to a 20 mihnute mark) i get quizy, and it lasts a good 2 to 3 hours afterwards,
-I remember playing Myst 5 for 5 minutes, and that really got me a strong headake,
-Playing bf2 as a gunner in a car had a simmilar effect
- playing hl2 for 10 minutes or so also made me quizy
-basically all games i guess that have the head bob, and in which You can not really control Your movement(camera's)

I love fps's but because of this I had to stop playing them and switched to strategy games....and hearing how some things might induce this feeling im worried about team fortress2, scein i really wanted t play that game, but i know its based on valve's software 9like hl2 was), and its rather fast paced :(  ( i guess thats why i usualyl play as a sniper in games;))

does the refresh rate help out much?
I usually set mine at 60 , or 75 if I can(cant go higher than that on my lcd)
September 8, 2007 9:58:34 AM

well, you could try drugging yourself on a game that would normally make you ill and see if it helps (I suspect it might actually)
September 9, 2007 4:42:31 PM

yea i use to get guizy sometimes even while i wasnt playing, now and again i had to sit down for 2-5 mins cause i couldnt even walk in a straight line (and no i wasnt drunk) a friend said eat a little bit of chocolate everyday cause i tryed to stay away from sugar in my diet and after a short time it went away, i can even play a game for 12 hours on a pc and no problem.
If you do eat a good amount of sugar this wont help

you can also try deep breathing excerise's (breath in and out slowly and deeply) cause many people tend to hold there breath a lot while playing because they get tense and forget to breath, really.
October 21, 2007 6:41:50 PM

same thing happens to me (actually, still feeling the effects from playing Portal for the last while... normal movement is bad, popping out of floors/walls/ceilings makes it worse) quite regularly... first occurance was Sonic 3D on the sega mega drive. I play a lot of FPS games, and it's definetly the bob that does it. I can play halo for hours on end without feeling queasy simply because there's no head bob in it. Same goes for online games like Team Fortress 2, where the emphasis is more on gameplay than effects like bobbing, so it's not the speed that does it, only culprit I can find is bobbing. It really really sucks :( 
October 22, 2007 1:02:31 PM

My fiancee suffers from simulation sickness and there is an explanation about it here
October 22, 2007 5:16:40 PM

CoD4 gave me some fierce motion sickness the first time I played the demo. I ran everything on full, so it looked pretty real with high frame-rates, and as soon as I started the round - running towards cover - I started to feel ill. The characters bounce up and down while moving, and with all the variables (lean, bounce, explosions shaking, change of lighting) it really bugged me. As with every other game, I get used to it after 30 minutes or so and it doesn't bother me ever again...

Kinda weird, but whatever :D 
October 22, 2007 8:37:21 PM

There are people who say that FPS's above 30 don't matter. My gastrointestinal system strongly disagrees.
October 23, 2007 3:40:01 AM

Most likely it is your Field Of View (FOV).

Especially noticed on widescreen monitors, where the resolution is scaled up, but the FOV stays the same, giving you the effect of looking through a #10 can at the world.

Bioshock had a FOV problem, hacks/fixes from the community b4 the "official" fix was out.

The Widescreen Gaming Forum has a complete game and monitor list and corrections/hacks/fixes.

Numerous games gave me the sickies till I found them. Far Cry was the first....

Their site- http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/wiki/index.php/Mai...
October 23, 2007 3:40:34 AM

double
!