“Victory in Vomit: The Sickening Secret of Mirror’s Edge”

November 17, 2008

Clive Thompson’s article for Wired.com explores the science behind how Mirror’s Edge can make even those gamers with the strongest stomachs feel like vomiting, due to “proprioception.”

That’s a fancy word for your body’s sense of its own physicality — its “map” of itself. Proprioception is how you know where your various body parts are — and what they’re doing — even when you’re not looking at them. It’s why you can pass a baseball from one hand to another behind your back; it’s how you can climb stairs without looking down at your feet. [. . .]

Mirror’s Edge, in contrast, does something very subtle, but very radical. It lets you see other parts of your body in motion.

This reminds me of how I felt when I started playing Portal for the first time. Watching Chell fall 200ft made me feel dizzy at times, and there was one occasion where I had to leave my computer for a few minutes to try to escape the feeling of nausea. I like how a video game can have the power to trick your senses into feeling like you are actually in the situation depicted on-screen. The borders are really blurring these days between what is reality and what is simply part of the game.

Here is a Penny Arcade comment that the article alludes to (click for the original):

Wired.com : Victory in Vomit


2 Responses to ““Victory in Vomit: The Sickening Secret of Mirror’s Edge””

  1. S. M. said

    I had this same problem while playing Portal.

  2. prettypinkninja said

    Glad I wasn’t the only one!!!

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