What is Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness, also known as kinetosis, is a disorder that occurs when there is a mismatch between visual perception and the vestibular system (when the movement you see is different from what your inner ear perceives).


The main symptoms of motion sickness are:


  • The urge to vomit (nausea).


Nausea can be very serious. Most people feel miserable in this state. Vomiting often occurs, but even if it does, the nausea doesn’t go away.


Other symptoms may include:


  • Dizziness
  • Cold sweat
  • Extra spit in the mouth


Once motion sickness has started, it usually doesn’t get better until you stop moving or engaging in the activity that caused it.


This disorder is often equated with naupathia, as well as cyberkinetosis, simulation kinetosis or virtual motion sickness. Simulation sickness, or simulator sickness, is a form of symptoms similar to kinetosis when playing computer/simulator/video games that feature fast-moving images, spectacular movements or the induction of a sensation of motion.


Like classic kinetosis, video games can disrupt sensory balance and affect some people in different ways. If you’re prone to motion sickness while playing, especially when playing first-person games, there may be a mismatch between what your eyes see and what your inner ear detects. On the one hand, you see realistic movements on the screen, designed to immerse you in the game. On the other, your inner ear is telling your brain that there’s no movement at all, that you’re just sitting on your couch or your beloved gaming chair. These conflicting messages cause the brain to panic and generate a stress reaction, and that’s when motion sickness sets in.


Motion sickness is a real problem for many gamers. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions which can partially or totally resolve the symptoms of kinetosis, and which can be applied before playing or as a regular treatment.