Motion Sickness

Motion Sickness: What is it Like to Play Games?

What is Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness is the feeling you get when your other senses do not connect with your what your eyes are seeing. Your eyes will see one thing, but your body does not feel it. So, your brain automatically thinks what the eyes are seeing are hallucinations, which causes nausea. The body reacts like it is being poisoned and if you start vomiting or sweating, it’s the body trying to get rid of the toxins. Motion sickness can be felt on anything that shows the eyes movement while your body is stationary, such as boat, car and air travel.

When I was younger, we had CDs that had math games on them. That was the closest I came to playing video games until I turned 13. We had upgraded our computer I was able to play games on Miniclip like Club Penguin. My next step into the gaming world was downloading League of Legends. Imagine this, a 13-year-old girl with no mic and no idea how to play the new game comes into a community that calls her all the horrible names under the sun. I then proceeded to uninstall the game.

Studying at University

However, 5 years later, I rocked up to my first day of university and everyone was gaming. I was studying Computer Science and it seemed everyone was a gamer in some shape or form. At that time I had started to get motion sick from being in a car too long or getting seasick, which had never happened to me before. Back at uni, I was asked to play CS:GO with a friend. As soon as I moved my character forward I was hit with a massively sharp pain in my forehead and serious nausea. I tried to continue playing but the headache never went away and I couldn’t see straight from the dizziness.

Motion Sickness

At the time, I passed it off as me just being sick or something. However, when I tried Overwatch, I experienced the same side effects. During the first two years of my uni life, 4 games were very popular; CS: GO, Overwatch, Hearthstone and Pokemon Go. I was able to play Hearthstone since I wasn’t moving a character. Pokemon Go involved me physically moving, so that was a breath of fresh air as well. However, people always left me out of LAN parties since they would all be playing games I couldn’t play, so I was never invited.

Dealing with Motion Sickness

The third year of uni was where it all changed for me. I convinced my parents that I needed a new laptop. I was telling the truth, my potato of a laptop could barely open Visual Studio and took 30 minutes to test a small piece of code. After I got my new laptop, I immediately downloaded all the games I couldn’t play before and tried them out, hoping that I wouldn’t feel the same sickness I used to feel. However, I was sad to find out that the symptoms were very much the same.

Motion Sickness
Overwatch (Source)

I was gifted Overwatch from a friend and I dedicated 10 minutes a day to playing it until I felt sick. It was a good system and eventually, I extended my time from 10 minutes to half an hour. Now I’m at the point where I can play Overwatch for hours but only with certain requirements. I must listen to music quietly in the background, have the fan on, water on standby and lastly, have one of my headset ears off slightly. High intakes of sugar also helps when playing new games, however, it is extremely unhealthy and always gives me a sore stomach the next day.

Some people are just luckier than others I suppose, but to the few of us that do get motion sickness while playing games, don’t force it or you will get sicker and unfortunately, you might not be able to play again.


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