Having been around since the early 1990s, the gaming community is no stranger to the First-Person Shooter or FPS genre.
A dizzying array of fast movement coupled with a narrower-than usual perspective and a much higher emphasis on action is what makes FPS games stand out the most compared to other genres.
What gamers are not strangers to; however, are the all-too-common cases of motion sickness, nausea and dizziness associated with playing FPS games.
Everything is still happening in a virtual world, but the effects are nonetheless quite real. GameMine explains why FPS games in particular can make players feel motion sick.
Perhaps it is best to start at the widely agreed-upon root cause of FPS-induced motion sickness, in order to better contextualize the common situations that gamers find themselves unable to keep playing comfortably in.
Essentially, what everything boils down to is a mismatch in information, specifically the information that the brain is taking in from both a video game in question and the environment it is being played in.
Whenever you play an FPS game, you are almost universally running around and engaging with a virtual game world.
Your brain recognizes these movements as exactly that, but problems arise for some individuals when this information is cross referenced with the real world.
More often than not, in reality you are stationary, the only movements occurring being the subtle gestures of your fingers to move and press buttons.
This is actually all it takes for the brain to be alert under false-pretenses, going so far as to assume it has been poisoned and inducing motion sickness in order to expel the poison that isn’t there.
The experience of game-induced motion sickness is akin to being carsick or seasick, as both of those scenarios involve a conflict of stationary and moving objects and environments.
It’s no secret that FPS games are about as action packed as they come, boasting a serious amount of action, fast pacing, and more intense skill requirements.
What this all boils down to is the fact that there is more overall camera movement, as the player’s perspective is more limited and requires more looking around in order to determine what’s going on, especially in an action-heavy setting with the requirement of fast reaction times.
You will need to aim and shoot in all manner of directions at any given time, and sometimes the FPS genre can be too demanding to avoid inducing sickness.
A Surreal Perspective
For some gamers, they can handle the fast-paced nature of First-Person Shooters just fine.
Rather, it is not the speed of movement that is a problem, but instead the perspective from which everything is experienced that is the issue.
Although the player’s perspective within an FPS game is convincing enough in terms of realism, developers often use tricks in perspective in order to maintain the illusion.
For example, certain objects may be enlarged for the purpose of clarity, such as levers or doors. Further still, game developers might adjust the player’s field of view to be lower or higher than how things appear in reality.
Although these tricks are intended to assist players, for those sensitive to motion sickness it can have the opposite effect.
According to GameMine, certain FPS games have requirements beyond the norm of moving and shooting within relatively simple environments.
Platforming is sometimes a part of gameplay, and this type of movement within a first person perspective only further aggravates a player’s sensitivity to motion sickness, as it can be far more difficult for them to get their bearings and assess depth perception with a more limited field of view.
Regardless of the particular element of FPS games you find the most difficult to deal with without feeling sick, remember that you have a variety of solutions at your disposal.
Whether it’s an over-the-counter medication, focusing on fixed points outside of the intense movements, or simply giving yourself more time to get used to how FPS games work, rest assured that motion sickness won’t get in the way of your enjoyment for long.
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