Re: [gundam][OT] The Matrix the deep philosophical debate!


Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Thu, 8 Apr 1999 16:51:59 -0700


Chien Ting Chin writes,

>It should be just old fashion sea-sickness. Or reverse sea-sickness (the
>eyes are seeing motions, but the balance sensors in the ears don't feel
>it).

  Right, something like that. The consensus seems to be that the primary
cause is the mismatch between the visual appearance of motion and the cues
delivered by the other senses.

>It's not that the brains got overloaded with information, it's that the VR
>helmuts are giving incomplete and inconsistent information that confuse
>the brain. The solution is simple, people can be trained to get used to
>it (sailors don't get sea-sick right?), or the VR system could be modified
>to provide the motion information too. And viola, you get the flight sims
>that Boeing etc used to train pilots.

   ...and that have been observed to produce widespread simulator sickness
effects. Do a search for "simulator sickness" and you'll see that most of
the case studies are based on either military simulators, or those used by
commercial airlines. (Aviation Week Online has an article on the subject,
at <http://www.awgnet.com/safety/library/simsick.htm>.

   And you don't necessarily get used it, either. The symptoms can last for
hours afterwards, and according to the study at
<http://www.cyberedge.com/4a7a.html>, adaptation to virtual environments
may have the unfortunate side-effect of producing simulator sickness
symptoms when you return to the real world...! I guess you could call that
"reality sickness." ;-)

>Or it could be something more technical, like if they didn't do the optics
>right, like bad eyeglasses give people headaches.

  That's a factor as well, but the mismatch effect is likely to be the
primary culprit. According to one info page
<http://www.education.siggraph.org/materials/hypervis/virtual.env/percept.iss/si
mulate.htm>, head-mounted displays and CRTs are the worst triggers. Maybe
that explains why some people get sick playing Unreal...

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons <mailto:scorpio@best.com>
MacAddict: the magazine! <http://www.macaddict.com/>
Gundam: the Project! <http://gundam.anime.net/>
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