What is it and how is it triggered?
As I mentioned in the Introduction, playing the game triggered gaming sickness. Since I knew about the changes made to the game and how gaming sickness works, I feared that would happen. Gaming sickness did happen to people during the beta which did not experience this before. Thatīs why I want to give some basic information on that topic first.
Gaming Sicknes or Motion Sickness is related to Travel Sickness but seems to be triggered differently. I traveled by ship more then once but do not get sick. Actually I have sea legs and enjoy a rough sea on a ship, I love it.
Gaming Sickness is caused when the brain is provided with different information from both the eyes and the body. Most first Person games can cause gaming sickness because of the immersion, which gives you the impression that you are the person running around in the virtual world. The eyes send pictures to the brain which indicate that you are running. But the rest of the body tells your brain that you are sitting, not going anywhere. Thatīs the trigger which causes the brain to react with nausea and dizzieness.
During the years computer games got more and more realistic. I experienced the first problems by the time I switched from a CRT monitor to an LCD, 1998. I did play Quake II a lot in the months before but was unable to play on my brand new LCD from the first day on. and I was not able to play First and most Third Person games anymore. I did play Assassins Creed, walking everywhere instead of running, and pausing the game every hour. When the second one was released I was surprised to find out that I do not had any problem playing it.
The Witcher III triggers my gaming sickness every time I use the build in Witcher Sense. But the devs implemented switches which alter the way how that works and I was able to play without problems.
During the Beta Phase of The Division I experienced heavy gaming sickness but a few months later the devs provided some switches for several mechanics and now I have no problems anymore while playing it. But once the devs released DX11 support I turned it on and got sick almost instant. No sickness with DX9, instant with DX11.
You see, sometimes it is hard to find out what exactly causes the Gaming Sickness and medical research on that topic started just a few years ago, but there are some triggers which are ease to identify like
Fast Movement - Fast Turn - Blurry Pictures - "Head Bobbing" - narrowed field of fiew
The faster the movement or turn the heavier the difference between the signals from your eyes and your body to the brain. Some of the triggers are related to graphic effects which are intended to make the picture more realistic by adding depth or 3d effects or blurry vision, like Motion Blur, Chromatic Abberation, film grain. Good thing is that the devs of most computer games are aware of the problem now and provide switches to turn those effects off.
Fortunately Funcom included some switches in the game for common triggers and there are some options you can try out (they should help with other games, too):
- deactivate Motion Blur, Chromatic Abberation
These are common triggers, Motion Blur simulates faster movement by adding a blur effect to the sides of the picture, Chromatic Abberation is a way to increase 3D Realism.
- Use DX9 instead of DX11
I had no problems here but in other games DX11 triggered gaming sickness almost instant
- Play in Third Person, Zoom out
You can do this by entering mouse mode (press the alt key) and use the mousewheel. You may try varios zoom levels, I decided to max it out.
- slow down turn movement
SWLs new combat system uses the mouse for turning. Fast turning is a common trigger and you can get rid of it by slowing down the mouse - but this will slow down the mouse in mouse mode, too.
- turn of reticle and/or do not shift your Char left or right
You can turn of the reticle - with a littlebit of exercise and without changing the zoom you will know where you are pointing to. If I remember right, there is an option to let the actual target "glow". Shifting the Char left or right will uneven the picture and may be a trigger
- play with a gamepad
There is no gamepad support in the game (yet?), but you can get a 3rd party application solution from my site. This was my answer to the gaming sickness I experienced almost instant while turning with the mouse during my first minutes of SWL Beta.
One last word: Some gamers use medicin for travel sickness to fight gaming sickness. I have not tested that, because most of the meds which may help are based on scopolamine and you need a prescription for that in my country.
Be warned: there may be some side effects which I personally donīt want to experience.
However, a while ago someone gave me the tip that ginger root has an effect similar to scopolamine but weaker. I bought ginger root capsules from organic farming and took capsules half an hour before a longer gaming session, which slowed down gaming sickness or weakend the effect. You may test that by yourself either with capsules or with raw ginger but I give you a warning: Not everyone likes how it tastes.
I hope these tips here are helpful.