No one ever quite believes me when I tell them I cannot play FPS (First Person Shooter) games. More often than not they laugh when I tell them it’s down to suffering from motion sickness. I can see them looking at me like I am clearly not right in the head, and to be fair most of the time that is indeed true, but this time I am being totally serious.
I first noticed it whilst taking Medal of Honor: Frontline for a test drive.
One of my mates had this huge 42 inch TV which in 2002 was a rarity as far as I can remember. He hooked up the PS2, switched everything on and I was in geeky heaven, until the game started.
The first section was called “Your Finest Hour” or something like that, it was my worst hour.
The game starts with you storming onto Omaha Beach. Being a first person shooter you can see the end of the gun as it rises and falls to simulate your movement as you advance. On the huge screen everything was exaggerated and within 5 minutes I had turned green and handed back the controller.
Motion sickness caused by video games, sometimes called simulator sickness, is caused when there is a disconnect between what your eyes are seeing and what your body is feeling. The most common theory (taken from many medical websites) about why you get sick is that your body thinks that you have been poisoned and you are hallucinating the movement that you are seeing but not feeling, so you get nauseous and (if you don’t stop playing right away) vomit in order to flush the toxins from your body.
I was a little miffed at not being able to play, but no big deal I thought, it’ll pass, I was happy enough watching. Nope! Couldn’t do that either, the waves of nausea just kept coming. So we changed the game.
I never was a big lover of war games anyway so the fact that I was unable to play them didn’t really worry me all that much, but then it started happening with other games. I’d have to take a break from Tomb Raider sometimes when I was lost and running around in circles because I was getting as dizzy as Lara was.
There are plenty of games I have played and also plenty more I still have to play, however there are some that I feel I have missed out on that I would at least like to have tried. Oblivion is one, I purchased it but never progressed that far. The BioShock series however, is one of the ones I am most annoyed about, I like the idea and the look of it, I just can’t play it.
Battlefield 3 strangely enough I was able to play in multiplayer but not in career mode. Now when I say “play” in Multiplayer I mean the sequence of events was as follows, Spawn, stand up, die. Respawn, stand up, die and so it went on.
Grid is another one, I never race in it, but as a group we were all fond of the Demo rooms. I can play for so long and then I start to get nauseous.
Getting motion sickness while playing videogames affects a lot of people, yet it seems almost like a taboo to talk about among gamers because you might not be seen as “hardcore” since you can’t play certain things.
Oh no! I’m not hardcore, ah well sh1t happens!!
Apparently Ginger is meant to be pretty good for counteracting motion sickness so I have my cure sussed! The only way for me to progress is to eat copious amounts of ginger! Life as a non hardcore gamer can be tough sometimes!!