IT'S TECH TUESDAY
In this edtion of Tech Tuesday we do not focus on a technical component of the simulator, but on the consequences that a ride in a simulator can have in rare cases: simulator sickness.
Motion sickness manifests itself through symptoms such as paleness, headaches, dizziness and nausea and can be caused by unusual passive movements. Passive movements occur for example when travelling by train, bus or car. This results in our body not being able to correctly interpret the different signals being sent by our sense of vision and sense of balance. Many know the scenario; you’re sitting in the car reading a book and you start to feel sick. This happens due to the eye registering motionless reading, while the sense of equilibrium registers motion in your peripheral vision – these contradicting sensations are a challenge for our brain. If, on the other hand, you look out the window your vision perceives the motion that your sense of balance is registering, and the signals are passed to the brain correspondingly.
The (outdated) protection mechanism
Not so long ago, we did not yet travel by motorized vehicle. In those days we moved only by the power of our own muscles and thus the sensory perception of eye and sense of equilibrium were always the same – unless you were hallucinating. Hallucinations are in most cases caused by the ingestion of toxic substances and must leave the body as quickly as possible. The body then reacts by vomiting. This is a protective mechanism that we still have to this day, some being more and some less sensitive to it.
The simulator sickness
In some people, driving a simulator can trigger this protective mechanism. Even though the very wide screens used in the Racing Unleashed simulators show motion and the advanced motion system even simulates this motion, the eye registers that in reality nothing is moving around the simulator - the signals sent to the brain do not match. We can protect you from simulator sickness by constantly improving our gameplay with the goal of reducing latency. Latency describes the time delay between inputs in the system (e.g. turning the wheel) and the input’s execution in-game. The higher the latency, the more belated we see the movements we made appear on screen and the higher the chance of feeling sick. All Racing Unleashed simulators have a latency of less than 20 milliseconds.
You’re sitting in a simulator and you’re starting to feel dizzy? Please inform one of our lounge crew who will be happy to assist you in getting out of the simulator. It helps to lay on your back and close your eyes, so the perceptual stimuli are reduced, and you can relax. Normally, the symptoms should subside within a few minutes.