A survey about VR sickness and gender


A number of months in the past, VR Heaven — a weblog that we, Aaron Santiago (VR software program engineer) and Winston Nguyen (VR marketer), run — posted an off-the-cuff survey on Reddit asking members how usually they skilled VR motion sickness and their gender.

They may reply continuously, generally, hardly ever or by no means. These are the outcomes:

The complete knowledge and our assortment methodology is at VR Heaven. Notice: This isn’t a scientific survey; it’s casual. It had 292 members, most coming from Reddit, with some coming from Discord teams and household/associates we reached out to on Fb.

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Over 3 times as many ladies reported experiencing movement illness “continuously” than males (22.6% vs. 7.2%), and 22.6% of girls additionally reported experiencing it “generally” vs. 13.8% of males.

In the meantime, males usually tend to have “by no means” or “hardly ever” skilled VR movement illness.

This makes us surprise why this disparity exists? What’s it about VR that makes ladies extra liable to movement illness than males?

Modern analysis

Based on up to date analysis, women are just more prone to motion sickness in general than males. They’re extra vulnerable to movement illness in automobiles, boats, planes, curler coasters, and different autos.

Should you took into consideration these elements, the discrepancy in VR illness ought to disappear, which means VR doesn’t have something to do with gender-related movement illness.

Apparently sufficient, our survey confirmed a unique outcome. We requested individuals how usually they expertise movement illness in automobiles, boats and airplanes with the identical a number of alternative solutions as earlier than: continuously, generally, hardly ever, or by no means.

After taking into consideration individuals’s susceptibility to normal movement illness, we nonetheless discovered a correlation between VR movement illness and gender:

So what’s it about VR that performs a think about intercourse and movement illness? There are a number of believable theories on the market:

Headset design

Males dominate the tech business, so it’s no shock to listen to theories about how headsets had been designed with specs based mostly on males. Whether or not that is junk science or not, we will take a look at the primary argument about interpupillary distance:

Interpupillary distance (IPD) is the gap between one eye pupil to the opposite. Some experts say that if the IPD of a headset is simply too excessive, it results in discomfort and may trigger movement illness.

The default IPD on most VR headsets is bigger than the average IPD of the population, and males have increased IPDs than ladies on common, so this design fits males higher than ladies.

This argument kinda is smart: an incorrect IPD is like carrying glasses which are the unsuitable prescription. This will certainly result in movement illness relying on the severity of the IPD mismatch.

Gaming expertise

A consumer’s expertise ranges with flat-screen gaming can predict VR illness. A ability known as “psychological rotation,” the potential to work with and discover 3D area in your head, can have an impact on how susceptible a user is to VR sickness.

Based on a 2017 report from Statista, males play extra video games from genres resembling 3D motion video games and first-person shooters, that are each varieties of flatscreen video games that enhance psychological rotation.

Genres that don’t contribute, like puzzle video games and household/farm simulators, are those that girls play greater than others, like first-person shooters. This distinction between feminine avid gamers and male avid gamers may clarify why ladies nonetheless get sick extra usually.

Cultural variations

In comparison with males, ladies are a lot much less prone to name themselves “avid gamers.” Despite the fact that the statistics say that girls play video games greater than males, it’s not part of in the present day’s tradition for feminine avid gamers to take this hobby on as an identity.

Even with the appearance of top quality standalone 6-degree-of-freedom headsets, VR remains to be thought-about an fanatic’s passion, and software program purchases in VR closely favor video games. It’s straightforward to see how having and utilizing a VR headset constantly is one thing that feminine customers could be hesitant to do.

Many customers say that the extra you employ VR, the much less you get sick in VR, generally known as “VR legs.” If ladies are much less seemingly to make use of the expertise usually, then additionally they would develop their VR legs much less usually.

Different causes

There are a pair different causes for why ladies would possibly get VR illness greater than males:

  • Hormonal variations. Research have proven that girls are most vulnerable to VR illness throughout ovulation.
  • Variations in depth cue recognition between genders, though the experiments testing this speculation had been inconclusive.

Does gender play a task in overcoming VR movement illness?

We collected knowledge about VR legs, asking members in the event that they had been capable of overcome VR movement illness.

Greater than two-thirds of all members who skilled VR illness had been capable of develop their VR legs.

Apparently, our feminine respondents overcame VR illness a lot much less usually, at lower than half.

This means that there’s some relation between VR legs and gender. It could possibly be that girls are bodily much less capable of overcome VR illness, or like we urged above, they’re much less seemingly to make use of VR constantly.

Route for future analysis

There may be little analysis on the results of a mismatched IPD on VR illness, and even much less analysis on the impact of gaming expertise. We might like to see extra analysis on VR legs as effectively. Analysis like this might assist the expertise change into extra inclusive and extra palatable for everybody, and will convey on the fabled VR revolution even sooner.



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