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17 September 2021
5 tips to prevent VR sickness, ginger beer could be the cure
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5 tips to prevent VR sickness, ginger beer could be the cure

As we head into the colder months, the demand for indoor entertainment soars. Cue this generation's latest trend: the VR headset. Year on year, demand has soared by 240% in the UK. However, those of us who suffer from motion sickness may be worried about the impacts…

VR sickness is caused by your brain getting confused. Whilst it affects very few of us, here are 5 expert tips from OTHERWORLD on how to keep it at bay allowing you to enjoy the experience.

When you wear a virtual reality headset, you’re transported to another world, until the real world motion sickness starts to creep in. When riding a virtual rollercoaster, climbing a mountain, or skiing down a slope, there can be a conflict between what your eyes see and what your body senses.

For some – but not all – this confusion can cause slight feelings of nausea or dizziness, VR motion sickness can be unpleasant and impact your experience, but it’s typically short-lived and very much preventable!

Things to do to prevent VR sickness

Drink Ginger Beer. Well, Ginger Ale.

Craft ginger ale contains a significant percentage of real ginger, and ginger root has been a proven remedy to help with nausea, one of the most common ailments of VR sickness. Enjoying a refreshing and somewhat healthy beverage whilst enjoying the game sounds like a win-win to us.

Increase VR time slowly.

When you first put a VR headset on, it’s so immersive that you probably won’t want to take it off. However, a two or three-hour VR session probably isn’t a great starting point if you want to avoid motion sickness. Gradually increasing the time you spend using VR will allow you to become accustomed to the sensations. Once this happens, you’re far less likely to experience any dizziness or nausea. With short bursts of VR, you can get used to the new stimuli and allow your brain and body to adjust.

Choose a less intense game.

Whilst most games are designed to not confuse the brain and cause motion sickness, action-packed VR games do encourage you to move around a lot more than most. This can increase the conflicting information that your brain and body are picking up on, and for some, it may make motion sickness more likely to kick in. Fortunately, there are plenty of equally fun but less intense games to try first. If you’re new to VR, you can try to familiarise yourself with VR through a more stationary game before moving onto those involving intense mechanics like driving or flying.

Use a virtual nose.

This might sound like a strange solution, but it really does work! In real life, your ability to see your nose gives you a constant point of reference and allows you to frame what you’re seeing. Although you might not notice it, your nose plays an important role in enabling you to process visual information. A VR Headset doesn’t offer this, making it more difficult for your brain to compute the messages it’s getting from your eyes and ears, which may lead to motion sickness. By adding a virtual nose into your VR view, you give yourself a fixed point of reference, much like you have in the real world. This makes it easier for your brain to process the messages it’s getting and can prevent you from feeling sick.

Don’t use VR if your balance is a little off.

If you’re feeling under the weather, it may not be the best time to try a virtual reality headset. Many illnesses can temporarily affect your balance, which will have an impact on your VR experience. Even a straightforward ear infection or common cold can make you feel congested and off-balance. This will add to the confusion as your brain tries to process the visual and sensory information it’s receiving. As a result, your risk of experiencing VR motion sickness increases.

Once your health and balance is back to normal, you’ll have an immersive VR experience you can really enjoy.