Feeling sick? Me too

Doom Sickness is sort of the flipside to regular old mal de mer. On a boat, your eyes are telling your brain that you’re fairly stable, but your inner ear is telling your brain that you’re moving up and down. With many video games (and some movies shot with handheld cameras), it’s just the opposite: Your eyes are telling you that you’re jerking around erratically, while your inner ear says that your body is quite still. Either way, your brain is getting conflicting signals, and the result is that awful queasy feeling.

(This only happens to certain people at certain times, of course. Most gamers can play any video game for hours on end with nary a gut twinge.)

But there’s hope for those of us who are prone to Doom Sickness. The other day I was playing Katamari Damacy, a bizarre but utterly addictive Japanese game in which you roll a sticky ball around the world and pick things up with it, starting with small stuff like thumbtacks and working your way up to people, cars and whole buildings. I’d played it several times before with no trouble, but this time I had that “I’ve got to stop right now” moment. (link)


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