Half-Life 2 makes you sick?

By Julio Franco ยท 26 replies
Nov 19, 2004
  1. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    It`s called motion sickness please see the following explanation.

    - Motion sickness (also known as car sickness, sea sickness, air sickness) occurs when two "motion messages" to the brain conflict. One "motion message" comes from the inner ear that controls balance and another "motion message" comes from the eyes. During changes in position caused by travel, these two "motion messages" conflict thereby causing motion sickness.
    - Motion sickness is usually caused by riding in a car, boat, airplane or any other passive locomotion.
    - Motion sickness can also be caused by motion in the visual surroundings while standing still (viewing a large screen movie that contains significant motion).

    Symptoms of motion sickness may include:
    - dizziness
    - nausea and occasionally vomiting
    - fatigue
    - pallor (loss of color)

    Treatment and prevention of motion sickness
    - Prevention may be accomplished by facing forward and looking outside a car, ship, plane, etc.
    - Staying busy and occupied with an activity that distracts the mind from the swaying environment may help.
    - Gazing at some distant fixed object like the horizon as soon as queasiness sets in may help.
    - Alcohol, smoking and greasy foods should be avoided.
    - Reading should be avoided while in motion.
    - Some fresh air on the open deck of a ship or seeking areas of lesser movement on the ship may help reduce symptoms.
    - Cold compresses may be applied to the eyes and neck.
    - Several non-prescription products are available for the prevention of motion sickness. (Specific products may be recommended by a physician or pharmacist.)
    - If recommended, medication should be taken 1 to 2 hours before travel.
    - Stronger motion sickness medications may be prescribed by a physician if necessary.

    Regards Howard :grinthumb
  2. Electrick Gypsy

    Electrick Gypsy TS Rookie Posts: 76


    Love it.
  3. Akio

    Akio TS Rookie Posts: 249

    Wow, that's weird! The only thing I get sick from is movies and cars. Like when I first saw Saving Private Ryan I felt kind of sick right at the beginning, (Omaha Beach) but it was kind of intense. I think they should seek help hahaha.
  4. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    You guys may think it's crazy, but I experienced some of this during the airboat level. Had to quit playing twice because of nausea. Since I finished that level, it hasn't been so bad, not enough to make me stop playing the game. But it's real. I haven't had this problem with any other game, but one ofmy sons cannot play games at all. He has this problem with all of them.

    Oh, almost forgot, I read somwhere that it helped to change the field of view from 70 to 90. I tried this and it seemed to help some. This is what I did. Went to the console and typed, sv_cheats 1, and then, fov 90 .

    I think that it helped me, but at the cost of a little performance.
  5. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    Yeah a few sites have really blown this outta proportion like it's some new problem only in Half-Life 2. It's not game specific, it's just a perceptual issue. Some people are affected some aren't, there's not much to do about it really on the developer side.
    As regards FPS games at least though the following usually do the trick;
    Disable view bobbing
    Disable weapon swaying
    Increase refresh rate

    The first 2 at least can be perceived by your brain as you moving while your inner ear tells your brain, nope, still sitting. Low refresh rate just tends to make things worse. Anyway, most FPS games allow you to adjust these so it's not to hard to compensate for it. Maybe I ought to do some sort of guide on it ;)
  6. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I get motion sickness sometimes while watching someone else playing a FPS. I never get it otherwise - all sorts of vehicles are fun, not nauseous and I can play games with no urge to throw up either.
  7. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    Ive been playing HL2 from 10am-10pm today and after about an hour 1/2 - 2 hours of not playing I still feel slightly nauseous. In my case, this problem has always been dependent on the specific game I'm playing. Some games will do it, others wont. It's usually a rare thing, because most games don't do it to me. The one I remember the most is Wolfenstein 3D when it came out years ago. It was probably the worst.
  8. vr5ken

    vr5ken TS Rookie

    I feel Dizzy

    I have the same problem that everyone has described with feeling sick after 1-2 hrs of playing Half-Life 2.
    I will have by some Dramamine if this continues!! This has only happen to me once before Jedi Knight 2. But I throught this was just me playing too long; 3 hrs at a clip. If this is becoming more common place Vavle & the other game manufactures should put some sort of warning on the box!

    I am curious to know if this occurs on other platforms like the X-Box & PlayStation for Half-Life 2 as well?
  9. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    LOL. They might as well put signs on busses and trains - "May cause motion sickness"

    Why would you need a warning sign? Noone forces you to play it. And I really doubt you would skip buying such a hyped game like HL2 just because it might cause nausea..
  11. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello Nodsu.

    I agree that no notice need be put on any form of transport as it is blatantly obvious that the user of the above is actually in motion.

    However I can see the case for putting a warning on software because most people would not expect to suffer these symptoms from playing a game.

    Some people can become severely disorientated when they are motion sick leading to dizziness and ultimately collapse with the inherent possibility of injury.

    Also a product warning would absolve the manufacturer of law suits whether true or false.

    In short, I believe a warning would benefit everyone.

    Regards Howard

  12. Shiney

    Shiney TS Booster Posts: 160

    How about this ?

    The Subliminal Scares

    by Jon Elliston
    Dossier Editor

    Do hidden stimuli pass stealthily though the doors of perception? If so, do subliminal messages have any effect on the minds they invade? In the late 1950s, the American public was troubled with such questions after concealed ads were reportedly shown to unwitting movie-goers. The initial obsession with subliminals was short-lived, however, as the controversial practice of advertising "below the threshold of awareness" was neither proven effective nor widely used. But the seeds of subsequent subliminal scares were planted, and the notion that what you don't see may be as important as what you do see would rise again and again into the American consciousness. This Dossier special report explores the hysteria surrounding subliminal messages, from the 1950s to the not-so-distant future.
  13. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello Shiney.

    May I ask what any of you post has got to do with motion sickness?

    Surely the subject of subliminal messages is an entirely different subject altogether interesting though it may be.

    If you have ever suffered from motion sickness you will be aware of how unpleasent it can be.

    Regards Howard :D
  14. Uncle Humjaba

    Uncle Humjaba TS Rookie

    I have never experienced anything like this in any game. Sometimes i get nautious when reading in a car, but never during a game. Maybe because my video settings are set all the way down (my comp sucks), but wouldn't this happen in counter strike source too? or at least half life source?
  15. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    If you know that you have a tendency to fall over and puke while playing 3D games then you shouldn't play them. And if this is your first 3D game you are buying then that warning label is not going to stop you.
  16. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Nearly every game I have has a warning about epilepsy in their booklets. Maybe they'll start adding motion sickness to them too in the near future (after the first lawsuits...).
  17. TS | Thomas

    TS | Thomas TS Rookie Posts: 1,319

    Yup, plaforms irrelevent. If anything consoles are worse though as it's unlikely they even allow to to change viewing bobbing settings in the first place, at least most PC games do :)
  18. Raven737

    Raven737 TS Rookie

    Here is the fix:

    Ok the game made me sick also, and it is becuase the fov os set to 75 degrees instead of 90 as in most games.

    You can change it though using the console "default_fov" command.
    (i.e. type "default_fov 90" in the console, that will fix change it)
    however the problem is that as soon as you get out of the console the game changes it back again.. very stupid.. they hard coded it to do that.

    However i fixed that too by modding the client.dll, i would post the modded file but don't have any way to do it here, so i'll just explain how you can do it too using any good hex editor:

    you need to change one byte to allow for changing the default_fov in game:
    at position 0x00116600 in the client.dll, change the byte from:0x74 to 0xEB

    To set the default of the default_fov to 90 (instead of 75) change the following two bytes: (also in the client dll, or alternatively add "default_fov 90" the the autoexec.cfg, in the hl2/cfg folder)
    Pos: 0x00292AB8, change byte from 0x37 to 0x39 and
    Pos: 0x00292AB9, change byte from 0x35 to 0x30

    and you done... i didn't get sick after i made that change.
    warning though if you have steam running with inet on then it will most likely overwrite the client.dll, to fix that you could make a prog. to change those bytes in memory one the module is loaded. anyhow for me it worked and made the game a lot more enjoyable!
  19. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,671   +988

    I have never experienced nausea while playing any kind of games, and I like to play FPS in particular so this came as a surprise to me, didn't have heard about it before either.

    I imagine that Half-Life 2 graphics resembling reality a bit closer than before could increase the possibility of getting the symptoms since you get a bit more immersed into action, etc.
  20. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    There has also been reports that changing sv_friction from 4 to 6 has helped alleviate the problem...
    You might need to use sv_cheats 1 first though...
  21. acidosmosis

    acidosmosis TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,350

    It's not the resemblance to reality. I had the same problem with Wolfenstein 3D (which is a very old game in FPS terms) and Halo but not with other games such as Doom 1/2, Quake, Unreal, Return to Castle Woflenstein, Rise of the Triad (lol), Deus Ex 2, Call of Duty, etc.

    I think the problem lies much deeper than realism.
  22. Shnig

    Shnig TS Enthusiast Posts: 170

    Well call me strange but I have been getting motion sickness playing fps's scince wolfenstien 3D!
  23. mindspin

    mindspin TS Rookie Posts: 40

    Isnt it just a combination of a low refresh rate (say 60hz) together with playing games for a long time (say 3 hours). I always try keeping my refresh rate above or at 70hz and stop every hour when im planning to play for some time. Headache is the thing which could deliver the motion sickness.
  24. Greeno

    Greeno TS Rookie Posts: 281

    I get motion sickness from playing UT2004 after about 30mins..i think i may sit a little too close to my screen, but reducing the view bob really helps..
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