Video games such as the Xbox 360 Kinect and PlayStation 3 Move offer full-immersion 3D virtual play, but for some, motion sickness can be an unfortunate part of the game. A US psychologist is researching how new technologies, once limited to pilot and astronaut training, might affect the at-home gamer.
On December 20, science and news website Science Daily reports that motion sickness could be a potential fallout from pricey video games. "What was once limited to the military and high-tech research, where users were screened and monitored for negative reactions, is available now to the public," Eric Muth of Clemson University in the US, who is spearheading the research. "Anybody with a few hundred dollars to spend can use it."
A former aerospace psychologist with the US Navy, Muth is particularly interested in helmet-mounted displays, which he predicts will grow in popularity for the at-home gamer. "Basically, when people are exposed to stimuli from a helmet-mounted display in the lab, it involves linking a subject's head movements to the changing view in the virtual environment," he said. "The response is complicated. It's not just a perceptual adjustment."
Motion sickness can range from mild nausea and headaches to seizures, and can be triggered by 3D visuals in movies and televisions, according to a recent study conducted by the University of California and CBS-TV. Another downside, Irish researchers recently tested remedies such as ginger, anti-vomiting drugs, acupuncture, and vitamin B6, and found none of them worked to treat symptoms.
Still, if you're suffering from mild 3D-induced motion sickness, try sniffing lemon peels, suck on fresh ginger (popular in Asia, could cause heartburn), spoons full of apple cider vinegar and honey, and wearing motion sickness bands (BioBands $11.95/€9.27, Sea-Band £7.99/€9.60).
Read the full report here.