I get dizzy and my head starts to hurt when playing games like Hellgate London, Star Wars: Jedi Knights series, third person RPGs like Risen, first person view in Fallout 3, some other first person shooters.

I remember getting pretty far in many FPS games, but also getting dizzy, some first person shooters, like Half Life 2 and Doom (1, 2 and 3) cause some dizzyness but not as much as the games above.

On the other hand, I'm totally fine when playing Unreal tournament 2004, where I've logged several hundred hours on, as well as the Mass Effect, Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic series, the Grand Theft Auto series and Persona series.

I'm also fine on games like Prince of Persia, where the camera isn't flying around based on the movement of the avatar.

I'm wondering if there's anything wrong with me? I'm pretty sure that it's the movement of the camera that's making me dizzy, in games that track the gait of the avatar, though I'm not sure on this.

I wonder if I should get my brain checked or something?

  • Have you ever suffered from Motion Sickness? Have you been playing all of these games on the same TV / Monitor? Nov 8, 2010 at 0:52
  • @Raven Dreamer I don't suffer from IRL motion sickness as far as I know. I rollerblade bike swim, i like rollercoasters. Not all the games I've listed are on the same monitor, but I've played for example jedi knight / ut2k4 on the same monitor and get dizzy from jedi knight and not ut2k4.
    – Mark
    Nov 8, 2010 at 2:10
  • 2
    This is a known phenomenon, as you can see in the answers below. You might be interested in this question, asking how to deal with it.
    – Oak
    Nov 8, 2010 at 8:04

2 Answers 2


One of the more common causes of dizziness from gaming is something known as Motion Sickness. This is the Wikipedia article, and from there are more useful links on actual medical data.

It is common for some people to experience this more frequently in a virtual environment, so it is not unheard of for people to suffer from motion sickness in certain video games but not in real life, if this is the case for you. I'm personally the opposite, I suffer motion sickness in the real world but never from video games no matter how tumultous they may be.

You might want to look into this question, which gives some advice on how you might be able to alleviate the symptoms. You'll also be able to see a decent gamut of people who also suffer from similar dizziness.

If you find yourself still worried after these readings, I suggest getting a check up with your standard physician. A diagnostic from a professional will be more accurate than personal readings, and is a better first step than trying to guess what specialist to see.

  • How do I tell if it's motion sickness? Why is it some games are dizzying but other fast paced games like unreal tournament 2004 ok?
    – Mark
    Nov 8, 2010 at 2:22
  • This is natural...I have experienced (nauseating)discomfort in some games like prey(FPS) and Myst - URU(3rdPS) . Fortunately never had any probs in HL2 or doom series. If it hurts your heart, please consult a physician! Nov 8, 2010 at 10:52
  • @Mark You can surmise it being motion sickness by comparing all of the symptoms you feel with the symptoms of motion sickness (headache and dizziness being frequent and what I personally suffer, for example). You can also try out the solutions from the question Oak and I linked: some of the advice (play in lighted rooms, change your position) should be safe to test, and may help you.
    – Grace Note
    Nov 8, 2010 at 13:21
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    @Mark As far as why it affects some games and not others, it's because different people adapt to different kinds of motion differently. Games render in their own ways, they may differ in frame-rate almost unnoticeably, the lighting in-game might affect things, as would the quantity and frequency of motion. Very fast motion can, for some people, be mitigated by the smoothness of the flow or other elements. So even though one game might seem more chaotic due to the fast pace, how it handles that motion can affect the viewer much more softly.
    – Grace Note
    Nov 8, 2010 at 13:23
  • @Mark: One of the easiest ways to tell if it's motion sickness is to play the game a lot, and see if it goes away. For nearly everyone, motion sickness ebbs after a while (though it can take days). For me, it'll usually take 10+ hours of playing over at most 3 days, then it'll stay gone until I've stopped playing for a few weeks. Nov 8, 2010 at 21:15

I'm not sure if this is far-fetched, but considering UT2004 has mostly darker levels, you should test if your monitor is setup correctly. Bright lights can cause headaches, if exposed for a long enough time.

Set brightness to a minimum, and contrast to a maximum, and test again with those games which give you a headache.

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