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How To Get Rid of Motion Sickness From Video Games

Why Video Games Make You Feel Sick

Dr. Joel Warsh Profile Photo

Written by Dr. Joel Warsh on May 12, 2021

Video games are hugely popular with kids, not just now, but for decades and decades past. In fact, most parents have to struggle to convince their children to go outside and enjoy some old-fashioned outdoor play. To be fair, we’re in a time where lots of parents like playing video games, too. Fortunately, there are plenty of family-friendly games to choose from.

But the recent increase in new gamers has also caused many more people to experience motion sickness from video games. Even though video games don’t force you to move around, lots of folks now wonder why video games make them feel sick in the first place.

No need to worry. If you or your child experiences motion sickness from video games, we’ve got good news: we can help you get rid of it!

Let’s break down the main causes of video game motion sickness and explore some ways in which you can treat the symptoms.

The Source of Dizziness and Discomfort

In a nutshell, regular folks around the world experience motion sickness because of how our bodies balance themselves. Our inner ears are key places for our balancing systems.

There’s a special kind of liquid in the semicircular canals within our ears that helps our bodies sense when we’re in motion and when we’re standing upright. Think of that liquid like the fluid in a level that you use to tell when a surface is flat or at an angle.

But sometimes our brains can get confused, especially when we play video games. When we sit in front of a screen and our eyes track rapidly moving images while our bodies stay still, our brains might trigger alert responses that can cause us to feel dizzy or our stomachs to feel queasy.

Doctors even have a specific term for motion sickness you get from playing video games: simulator sickness.

Why Do Kids Get Dizzy More Often?

Most parents know from experience that kids enjoy being dizzy much more than adults! That’s because kids’ inner ears aren’t fully developed. They aren’t as balanced as adults, but they’re also less susceptible to motion sickness.

However, kids also play way more video games than adults do on average. Kids are more likely to experience simulator sickness just because they’re also more likely to sit too close to the TV and spin a 3D avatar around for fun.

Video Game Factors That Can Induce Discomfort

So, why can video games specifically cause an upset stomach or dizziness? There are a few major reasons why one of the world’s most popular hobbies can be nauseating for lots of kids (and adults!).

First-Person Viewpoints

For starters, many popular games are played with a first-person viewpoint. A first-person viewpoint depicts animation as if you were seeing the video game world through the eyes of your character in the game. This viewpoint is so good at simulating a real first-person environment that it can be confusing and dizzying if your body isn’t prepared for it!

In fact, first-person viewpoints might be the single most important factor that causes simulator sickness. The first-person perspective can easily trick your brain into thinking you should be moving even though your body is staying still.

Lots of Rapid Motion

Video games in general, regardless of the viewpoint, can still cause motion sickness if the screen shows a lot of rapid motion in a few short seconds. Some people get dizzy or feel nauseous when they watch a racing game or a flight simulator for these reasons.

Sitting Too Close to the Screen

Kids are sometimes susceptible to getting motion sickness from video games since they often sit too close to the screen.

They might be really excited to play their favorite game after school and plop themselves down in front of a huge flatscreen TV, which fills their vision with a rapidly spinning simulated world. Even though they’re less susceptible to dizziness in general, this can still do a number on their stomachs!


Ways to Limit or Eliminate Video Game Sickness

If your little one is feeling sick after playing video games, don’t worry -- there are lots of ways to alleviate nausea from video game sickness and calm your child’s upset tummy.


Have Them Sit Farther Back From the Screen

If you want to protect your kid from feeling nauseous every time they go to play their favorite games, teach them to sit a little further back from the screen. Kids probably won’t do this themselves without some good ol’ parental guidance.

For the best results, designate a specific spot on the floor or on a couch where they can play video games from.

There’s no single distance best for everyone, so work with your child and see what distance feels best to them while still letting them enjoy their favorite console or computer games.


Give Them Medicine for Upset Stomachs

If your child’s nausea symptoms are a little intense, consider giving them an antacid like Genexa’s Kids’ Tummy Relief.

It’s real medicine made clean, featuring the same active ingredient as TUMS. But unlike TUMS and other common OTC antacids, Genexa’s Kids’ Tummy Relief only has clean inactive ingredients - meaning no artificial inactive ingredients - to help alleviate your child’s upset stomach symptoms.

Thanks to a combination of simple and clean ingredients like calcium carbonate, organic beet root, organic rice bran extract, and more, this tummy relief medicine can help to alleviate nausea caused by video game motion sickness. Genexa’s tummy relief medicine is totally free from unnecessary chemicals and extracts like talc or dyes. Best of all, it’s safe when used as directed for children aged 2 and up, so it’s perfect for any kids getting into games for the first time.


Have Them Take Regular Breaks

To prevent your child from getting video game motion sickness in the first place, encourage them to take regular breaks. In fact, it’s good for kids to go outside and play more often in general, not just if they’re gamers.

Try not to let your child play video games for over an hour at a time to limit the possibility of simulator sickness.


Increase the Game’s “Field of View”

These days, many of the most popular video games have field-of-view settings. The field-of-view settings allow you to tweak how wide the game’s perspective is. A narrower field-of-view can feel like tunnel vision and make it much easier for your child to get motion sickness while gaming.

In contrast, a wider field-of-view can make the game world seem less disorienting. See if your child’s favorite games have these settings. If they do, widen the field-of-view as much as possible.


Avoid First-Person Games Entirely

Lastly, encourage your child to avoid first-person games if they’re really sensitive to motion sickness when gaming.

Third-person games are less likely to cause motion sickness since they usually have wider fields-of-view and are less likely to trick the brain into thinking it should be moving while the body sits still.


Summary

In the end, you can get rid of your child's motion sickness from video games with a few simple strategies (and by providing them with clean, simple medicine from time to time). Plus, all of the above tips and tricks can be used if you also get motion sickness while playing your favorite games.

If you’re interested in other clean medicine options for your child and your family overall, explore Genexa’s clean medicine bundles here to give your medicine cabinet a much-needed update!


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