Sick to Death of FPS

Don’t even get me started on The Orange Box.
Hell, even Call of Duty

I doubt anyone would argue their relevance in the history of next generation games. Whether it’s saving Planet Earth from a hostile alien takeover, submerging to the bottom of the sea to battle Big Daddies or destroying an opposing team with a rocket launcher up the booty; there are hours of fun and mayhem to be had with them, unfortunately just not for us all.

These titles are among the growing number out there that I like to label – unplayable. Not for lack of content, poor quality graphics or impossible controls; but for the simple fact that my brain can’t handle their first person perspective without telling my stomach to toss my cookies.

Yes my fellow gamers, I suffer with motion sickness; to a point of embarrassment when it comes to games.

In recent months there have been quite a few blogs talking about the role of the achievement score, or many a rave (and rant) about some of the above mentioned games; and every time there is I feel more than my fair share of anger and annoyance at the fact I cannot physically play so many titles without the need for a sick bucket.

Having enjoyed many a side-scrolling platformer in my youth, and having more than a few hours worth of RPG racked up on my PS2, my aversion to first person perspectives only truly began to show itself a few years ago, during a gaming (and drooling) session with the then new Xbox 360 and specifically a title called Prey. Now I know I’m not alone with that one, as its upside down antigravity malarkey made more than a few feel their stomach churn. Unfortunately it wasn’t the first, and undoubtedly won’t be the last to have an effect on me.

Who the hell wants to be able to go upside down anyway? Antigravity is overrated!

As many of my fellow gaming girlies have and will discuss, when it comes to being a bird in what is so obviously seen as a bloke’s world, there is always a burning desire to hold your own. So what happens if you’re like me and you can’t actually attempt to play so many titles and earn your gold star from the gaming boys? I wouldn’t be as annoyed if it wasn’t for these pesky achievements you see. Before now, not having played the latest game was an easy brush off as no one could really keep track or score.

Recently I had a new add to my Xbox Live friends list, who took a keen interest in scouring my game history and no doubt summing up my worth as a gamer by what I had played and achieved. It wasn’t until he started reeling off “Have you not played this? I can’t believe you haven’t tried that!” with such an air of shock and surprise, like many of them were gaming rites of passage, that I realised just how damn annoying my affliction is, how much I’ve be missing out on and just how dented my gaming experience could be in the future.

Dead Space: Technically not an FPS but dodgy for the Loz noggin all the same!
Dead Space: Technically not an FPS but dodgy for the Loz noggin all the same!

I’m quite proud that I managed to get myself through Halo 2 and 3 by playing 15-20 minutes at a time, or getting myself killed off frequently in online matches so I could gulp cold water in spawn time. I’ve also found a way to partially enjoy many first person perspective games by the other half playing while I watch out of the corner of my eye, but that’s no way to really get your teeth stuck into a game, especially the iconic ones!

Thankfully not all games tend to have this effect on me, for some reason I can manage to get myself through Left 4 Dead for a good few hours, which leads me to believe it’s as much about the way the character moves as the view, but that’s really a discussion for someone more technically minded about programming and the human body than me.

From what Wikipedia tells me it’s all down to a conflict where my brain can’t understand why my eyes think I’m moving when I’m actually on my bed with a controller… I guess some gamers just have all the luck!







6 responses to “Sick to Death of FPS”

  1. wcd45 avatar

    Wow, that really does suck Loz, i wasn’t even aware of that condition.
    Have you tried playing stood up? I know it sounds stupid but one of the guys on my friends list does this all the time and he says he plays better that way. Maybe it’ll unconfuse your brain, hell anything is worth a try. Good luck.

  2. John avatar

    I’m right with you Loz. It TOTALLY sucks not to be able to take part of the frag-fest du jour simply because your brains feels like it’s melting and falling out of your eyes.
    Quake was my first negaitve experience and I’ve suffered ever since. Even some over-the-shoulder games to this to me, Gears of War for example. Thought I’d be OK but after 10 minutes (yes the training missions) BLEH!

  3. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I was surprised while reading this, not at the games you haven’t played, but because of what FPS games do to you. You had done most of L4D as far as I recall and that is a FPS game too, but you then mentioned this at the end. Strange that it didn’t effect you like the others. Do driving games have this effect on you?

    There are games or genres that I don’t play because I’m not a fan, I can’t imagine what it must be like to not be able to play a certain game because of how it effects your senses though.

    Many years ago, a friend of mine always felt sick playing a level of Crash Bandicoot which involved jumping up the side of a castle during rainfall. It’s a strange situation.

  4. Simon avatar

    I know people that have the same issue Loz.

    I’ve luckily always been fine with games and motion sickness. I get travel sick sometimes, I don’t know what specifically triggers it on some journeys that fails to on others.

    Cloverfield had some chundering at the cinema, but I was fine with it.

    However, last week I was forced to sit through my “steadicam” recording of the office Christmas party. Shaky to say the least. I was sat right close to the projector and I felt so ill after 10 minutes or so.

    Maybe for some people it can be to do with how close they are to the display.

  5. Loz avatar

    It is totally bizarre that it doesnt happen with all games in the genre but it is sooo frustrating. I think I’m feeling it more so now Bioshock 2 is so close to coming out, will be a sore point to miss out on that baby. AvP looks amazing as well, I’m really hoping that will be one I can get away with or I might cry!

    Racing games do it too me as well Rook im afraid to say, the more recent ones more frequently than the older ones. Nothing is safe for me hahaha! Unfortunately ive tried being so far away from the screen I can’t read anything and I just get eye ache as well as chunder splunders lol!

    Will have to try the standing up thing, thanks for the tip!

  6. Simon avatar

    Aliens Versus Predator…….

    Walking on the ceiling as an alien, leaping, spinning 720 degrees on your axis onto a bloke and then eating his brain……….

    Yep. That’d do it :X

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