Tech Report CS-99-09

A Discussion of Cybersickness in Virtual Environments

Joseph J. LaViola Jr.

May 1999


An important and troublesome problem with current virtual environment (VE) technology is the tendency for some users to exhibit symptoms that parallel symptoms of classical motion sickness both during and after the VE experience. This type of sickness, cybersickness, is distinct from motion sickness in that the user is often stationary but has a compelling sense of self motion through moving visual imagery. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can cause cybersickness and there is no foolproof method for eliminating the problem. In this paper, I discuss a number of the primary factors that contribute to the cause of cybersickness, describe three conflicting cybersickness theories that have been postulated, and discuss some possible methods for reducing cybersickness in VEs.

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