VR Locomotion Is A Problem That Has Many Half-Solutions

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Aug 31, 2015
"A vestibular mismatch can even trigger nausea or vomiting in extreme cases."

This vastly misstates the seriousness of the problem, probably becuase the younger you are the less likely you are to be affected. But at least a quarter of people will suffer from crippling nausea for half an hour or more after 15 minutes of disconnected VR movement.

"Vestibular mismatch problems became apparent in the early days of Oculus VR development."

That's right, there was no VR before Oculus! They literally invented VR from scratch! Nothing about VR motion sickness was known before Luckey Palmer came down from the mountain and presented the result of his genius to the unwashed masses!


Contributing Writer
Mar 24, 2015

You are vastly overstating the problem. And you are mistaken about younger people being less affected.
25 to 40% of people are affected by "some degree of motion sickness." It's not nearly as common as you suggest for poeple to be crippled to that level from VR sickness. It happens. I've experienced it from a poorly designed game, and one of my closest friends suffers from terrible motion sickness, but to say a quarter of the population suffers that badly is to mislead the public.

And the older you get, the less likely you are to experience motion sickness. Most people over 50 aren't vulnerable to the effects as much. Vestibular mismatch is much more likely to occur to younger people, particularly kids and teenagers, who's eyes and peception mechanisms are still developing.

"Children over age 2 seem more prone to motion sickness than adults. Some experts think children's extra-sharp senses may make them aware of even a slight mismatch. Adults in their golden years seem to experience motion sickness less often—perhaps because of habituation."

I never said it didn't start before Oculus. In fact, we've written about that fact many times.
Doesn't change the fact that there were very few people working in that field until Oculus came around with its dev kits and exposed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of developers to such realities. The research community discovered the problems relating to the vestibular system, but software developers didn't catch on until much later. It took hands-on experimentation to drive the point home.





Dec 1, 2016
You're incorrect regarding the age issue. As you get older, you are more prone to motion sickness. That's the main reason older people have trouble with rollercoasters and get motion sick in their 40's when they never had an issue with them before. I am proof of one of those people. I could ride rollercoasters all day when I was younger but now I can't even go once without getting motion sick. I also get motion sick in VR often. Most younger people I talk to tell me they don't get sick at all. So unfortunately age is a factor.


Feb 3, 2015
46y here, I play allot of E:D, can play hours doing combat or even on surface in SRV. The latter I can feel a bit, but otherwise I am fine. I am only of those that HATE teleportation, and is the main reason I have not even bother with any game that supports that. What I like most to day it movement was in what was used for Luckys Tale. I hated Chronos for it movement of choice too. Would love to play a game like Dark Souls but with Lucky Tale follow camera movement.

My experience with VR sickness had been that the more I played (not pushing yourself thought), the less it impacted me. The concept of VR legs for me was real. Quickly I moved up to be able to play for hours on end with minimal discomfort.

Lucky I am more of an E:D player, and the only reason I got VR. Tactile Transducers in office chair + HOTAS in E:D VR is truly a great experience. My only grip is I would like to see double the resolution we have right now in VR. The bad resolution in VR is really off putting, making me enjoy E:D more at 34" 3440x1440p with a head tracker compared to VR.

Come on, can we get the next gen VR units already.


Jan 4, 2015
"I still like the frictionless running pad. It wil turn gamers into Olympic athletes."

Agree so much. I know it's expensive, large and inconvenient. I know it doesn't work for certain people, such as those with disabilities. I know it provides a disproportionate advantage to those with a natural athleticism. I just don't care, it looks like the single most immersive system I've ever seen.

That's an interesting method, though it seems far more limited in the kinds of games it can support. Essentially, you're moving one-to-one around a small area, but the rooms are changing just out of sight to give the impression of entering new areas. I imagine it wouldn't take long to feel like you are moving in circles though, especially if a game were to not have something like those zig-zagging ventilation ducts to get you crawling back and forth after every couple rooms. The navigable space within each room is always going to be small, and you'll never gain a good spatial awareness of your surroundings, since all rooms actually overlap one another. It might work fine for that game, or maybe something like a dungeon crawler, but ultimately its uses seem limited, where this article seems to be focused on locomotion methods for larger spaces not restricted by one's accessible space.

It requires a fair amount of physical space too. Most room-scale VR games allow players to work with whatever space they have access to, while this seems like it simply wouldn't work on an area much smaller than the Vive's maximum.
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