So, I guess I'm getting motion sick now?
posted by kbanas to health & fitness (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've been playing electronic games - video games, computer games, that sort of thing - for an awful long time now.
Maybe 15, 20 years.
The first FPS I can clearly recall playing is Descent, way back on my 386/SX20.
I've never had any kind of physical reaction to playing a video game, save one - for some inexplicable reason, playing Quake 2 used to cause me some sort of awful motion sickness. I would get a headache, get nauseous, get incredibly hot and tingly. It was not a good scene.
I attributed it, at the time, to just being something particular about Quake 2. The lighting, the color palette.. I don't know, exactly.. but since it had never happened to me before, and hasn't happened since, I just kind of chalked it up to some kind of oddity and moved on.
In the time since, I've played a lot of FPS games - Quake 3, Half-Life, Half-Life 2, No One Lives Forever, Call of Duty, Halo... on a console.. on my PC...I mean, if it's been a popular FPS game, I've probably played it, and aside from a slight case of carpal tunnel, everything has been fine.
Except - about a year ago, I bought an X-Box 360 and a copy of Gears of War. A friend and I hunkered down in front of my 27" TV and started to play through the game on the cooperative setting, and several hours later, I found myself in that strange place again - a headache, nauseous, hot all over - and I thought to myself, "Oh my God! Another game that makes me sick! How crappy!"
I've tried to play Gears of War several other times, and the result has always been the same.
Over the last year, I've continued to play FPS games on my PC - Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Portal, Team Fortress 2 - and I haven't had any trouble.
Two weeks ago, a bunch of friends and I got together to play some Halo 3 multiplayer... I was on the TV downstairs (a big 42" HD dealie) with a partner, playing with a matching pair of friends upstairs. After about 45 minutes, I felt the getting-more-familiar grip of sickness, so I stopped playing.
Later in the day, I convinced myself that it, perhaps, had something to do with the cooperative mode of these games. With both Gears of War and Halo 3, my experience has been almost exclusively in a split screen environment. I rationalized that perhaps the movement of the 2nd player was somehow getting caught up in my peripheral vision and was causing some sort of schism in my brain, resulting in me getting sick. I based this conclusion in part on the fact that my motion-sickness seemed much less prone to occur when I was playing a multiplayer versus game, as opposed to a cooperative game. The logic being that in a co-op game, I need to be aware of where my partner is, so I look at his screen much more often than during a deathmatch, where I try not to look at my opponent's screen.
So, later in the day, I performed an experiment - I claimed a TV for myself, and forced the rest of my friends to play on another machine. We played for three or four hours straight, and I felt fine.
Well, that's great - except last week I bought Call of Duty 4 for my X-Box. I hunkered down to play it by myself and, wouldn't you know it, after the first mission I felt like I was going to die.
This was, again, on my 42" HD screen. I mention this only because yesterday, being stubborn as I am, I took my X-Box over to my girlfriend's house and played Call of Duty on her 27" TV and played for about two hours without any ill effects.
What the hell!
This is very, very, very irritating. I do not like getting sick, yet I do not want to stop playing games.
So, I've considered the possibility that it has something to do with split-screen gaming, but that doesn't seem all that likely.
I've considered it has something to do with having it be on such a large TV - but when I got sick playing Gears of War the first time, it was on a smaller screen.
Someone also mentioned it might be a side-effect of some medication I'm taking - Cymbalta for about the last 6 months, Celexa before that.
Any ideas of how I might prevent motion sickness, aside from, um, if I were to stop playing these kinds of games? I know there's medication to address motion-sickness, but I've often heard that it can cause drowsiness.
Also, any ideas on what might be causing it? I mean, it seems like it's really only been an issue for the last year or so, whereas before that I was pretty immune.