Oculus Rift developers looking at ways to combat simulation sickness

Oculus Rift

By on August 20, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Simulation sickness is a big problem for the developers of the Oculus Rift VR headset, and they’re actively looking at ways to combat it in order to help their product become easier for people to use. However, as Oculus VP Nate Mitchell revealed at the GDC Europe on the weekend, it’s proving difficult.

“In motion sickness there’s all this motion but you don’t visually perceive the walls and ceilings are moving,” said Mitchell. “This is what creates the conflict that makes you dizzy. With simulator sickness it’s basically the inverse. These are all the things you want to avoid as game developers.”

The current theory around what causes motion or simulator sickness is a built-in defense mechanism against neurotoxins which are causing the body to hallucinate — a conclusion the brain draws when what the eye is seeing and the motion the body is experiencing do not match.

“VR systems still have a long way to go here,” said Mitchell. “But this is the sort of thing developers like Oculus need to make.”

Mitchell thinks that reducing head bob will go a long way towards cutting simulator sickness, but says “it needs more research”.

Source: Polygon

11 comments (Leave your own)

as someone who suffers quite easily from motion sickness, I’m fully glad they’re working to prevent it.

as someone whos litterally frothing to get my hands on it, I wish the solution was simple :)


All they need to do is organise your Mum to be around when you play so she can make Vegemite on Toast and run your tummy for you..Fixed


Or harden the fuck up :D


I have found that if you don’t move in the virtual world, your brain accepts the virtual much better as a reality. Obviously this solution won’t be feasible for all game genres but there are quite a few of genres that can use this technique.

Check out the alpha of my arcade game on my crowd funding project page at http://bouncervr.com to see for yourself!


I have found that if you don’t move in the virtual world, your brain accepts the virtual much better as a reality.

Statue Simulator 2014.

Fingers crossed this gets sorted out before release, but if not I’ll gladly take these simulator sickness models off their hands :D



No matter how “hard” you may be, you will still experience motion sickness regardless.


I hate head bob and will not play an FPS in which it can’t be disabled.
Similar situation with the all too common motion blur, hate that too.
I’m sure its a similar problem with VR.


As a gamer who experiences motion sickness in some titles (yet not irl) all I have to do to eliminate it is increase field of view, remove motion blur and remove head bob. Problem solved. Then you have to assume the console port allows you to do this!


As someone that has a Rift and isn’t susceptible to motion sickness normally. It makes me feel very queasy.

A few observations however. Games with slow, deliberate movement are fine. Faster FPS game are OK, but they require ‘training’ your body to accept what you’re doing. Games like the Rift Coaster are not a good ‘first’ experience with the rift. You’re better off starting with the Titans Of Space experience, especially if you are demoing to first timers.

And take breaks. I can play Half Life 2 now for a decent period before feeling ill, but it took time to get there.


I get motion sickness pretty easily in the real world. When I bought a trackIR unit there was a bit of queasiness, but I managed to get past it. I’d use the rift for aircraft and vehicle sims mostly, so the effect won’t be so pronounced compared to “walkies”.


I know fighter pilots use slow deep breathing techniques to combat motion sickness.

There is a fair bit of info on the net about it, I dunno about VR but it works for me while flying gliders.

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