I finished Half Life 2! For me, that’s unbelievable. I can finally play FPS’s without wanting to die from long lasting headaches and nausea due to virtual motion sickness.
For years, I always felt a twinge of regret whenever I perused various rankings of the best PC games (like Metacritic). After so many years, HL2 is still sitting pretty at the very top of the Metacritic PC game rankings. Incredible.
I’ve had HL2 installed on my computer for the past four or five years! It became part of my new computer routine to install Steam and automatically download HL2. As a self-proclaimed hardcore gamer, I felt I owed it to myself to finish HL2 at some point in my life. I would try to play it every couple months or so, but invariably the painful motion sickness would prevent me from playing for more than 15 minutes at a time. The nausea and headaches were so bad that I had to lie down and close my eyes for a long time before I felt human again.
I recently installed my brand new XFX Radeon 5850 (beautiful card, by the way). I was having fun going through my library of PC games and checking them out at the highest visual settings. When I got to HL2, I started maxing out the visual settings when I saw that Field of View (FOV) was a tweakable setting in the options. By default, the FOV is 75, so I raised it to 90.
My motion sickness went away! Some fast moving sequences and areas with small corridors did cause some minor headaches, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. I couldn’t believe that such a small change made a huge difference.
The FOV setting might be the reason why some games make me sick, while others are perfectly fine. I always thought it was strange that there were a small number of FPS and driving games that didn’t make me sick. Maybe these particular games had a FOV setting that didn’t trigger my motion sickness?
I don’t have the slightest explanation for why a small change to the field of view would mean the difference between throwing up and having fun. But I’m finally hopeful that I can play some of those action games that I’ve been drooling over for so long. Bioshock! Borderlands! Call of Duty! I hope I can tweak the FOV in those games as well.