ByKen McDonnell, writer at
Now Loading's sentimental Irishman. I can't stop playing Overwatch, please send help.
Ken McDonnell

PlayStation VR will mark the advent of virtual reality on home consoles in two weeks time. We're terribly excited.

But some aren't willing to share our sense of enthusiasm. In fact, they've taken our excitement, shoved it down our throats and then somehow lit it on fire. I know, it all seems very extreme. But are these concerns valid? Well, according to one dude (a doctor), they most certainly could be.

Get Ready For A Vom-filled, Eye Disease 'Epidemic' Courtesy of PlayStation VR

Help! It's slowly killing me!
Help! It's slowly killing me!

In conversation with leading lazer eye surgeon Dr David Allamy of London's Focus Clinic, The Mirror received some rather alarming responses to their questions. When enquiring about the negative aspects of virtual reality, the good doctor answered:

With virtual reality headsets about to experience a real boom, we are setting up the next generation of gamers for some potentially serious eye problems.Parents and younger people need to know the risks. With VR, we're going to potentially see more and more people suffering from a lack of exposure to daylight - something which affects the way our eyes naturally grow and which can lead to short-sightedness, or 'myopia'.

Yikes. Myopia describes the quality of being short-sighted. It also means "lack of foresight or intellectual insight," but that couldn't be more unrelated. Unless of course we want to engage one another in the psychological question of whether our myopic approach to PlayStation VR will literally blind us all. But I'm rambling.

Allamy went on to say that,

Many VR users have complained about dry eye or eye strain from wearing headsets, a condition exacerbated by the fact that some wearers, when in a stressful situation and immersed in a 3D action environment, simply neglect to blink as often as they should be to really lubricate the eye.


These supposed dangers might not be made immediately apparent, but it's true that, over periods of long-exposure, no one really knows how VR will affect the human eye.

Over a prolonged period of time, dry eye can lead to extreme pain, with sufferers sometimes describing it as being stabbed in their eyes.


As if that wasn't enough, Allamy said that the device could even lead to neurological damage, with The Mirror citing a research initiative in Los Angeles that found, when tested on rats, "a virtual experience caused 60% of the brain cells in the Hippocampus region to "shut down"." That's the part of the brain where dreams come from! And other stuff like memory and the ability to learn... but dreams, man!!

Will these controllers aid me in my battle against blindness?!
Will these controllers aid me in my battle against blindness?!

Another negative aspect of PlayStation VR the Doc referenced was something we've all been talking about: Nausea. Plenty of people have reported feeling nauseous after spending time with the Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, the HTC Vive and the tea cup rides at fair grounds. It isn't pretty.

One journalist writing for Engadget described being on the "brink of vomiting for 10 minutes" following her time with the recent Resident Evil VR demo. Maybe the game was just terrible, but she attributed the feeling to the PlayStation VR. I'm inclined to believe her.

So what can we do to avoid becoming a generation of incessantly vomiting blind gamers?

What can help is spending more time in natural light. Dopamine is produced in the eye in response to sunlight, and acts in the retina as a neurotransmitter which helps different cells talk to each other.

Go outside every so often and improve the communication of my eye balls? That's easy! Thanks, doc.

What do you make of this PlayStation VR news?

Sources: [The Mirror]


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