Virtual Reality (VR) sickness (Cybersickness) is an affliction and a challenge, common to users of virtual environments. We therefore asked ourselves this research question: “Can video content type influence users’ VR sickness and physiological response?” We conducted a study with 26 participants, who watched two omnidirectional videos of different content types (neutral and action content) on five distinct video conditions: 2D TV screen, three generations of Oculus Rift VR HMDs (DK1, DK2 and CV1) and on the mobile Samsung GearVR HMD. The Simulator Sickness Questionnaire and the Subjective Units of Distress Scale in combination with the measurement of the physiological parameters (electrodermal activity and skin temperature, respiratory frequency and heart rate) were used to assess the VR sickness effects. The results show that video content type as well as users’ background preferences (preference to adrenaline sports) affected the users’ VR sickness perception. Considering various video conditions, significantly less VR sickness effects were reported with the TV condition than with any VR devices. The results of the subjective questionnaires were correlated with the objective physiological measurements, whereby skin conductance strongly correlated with the VR sickness effects. The effects were also more pronounced in cases of action video content type. Furthermore, we show there is a strong correlation when assessing the VR sickness effects using subjective questionnaire-based methods (the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire and the Subjective Units of Distress Scale) of various complexity, indicating the simple methods (only one question), can effectively be used as well.

GUNA, Jože, GERŠAK, Gregor, HUMAR, Iztok, SONG, Jeungeun, DRNOVŠEK, Janko, POGAČNIK, Matevž. Influence of video content type on users’ virtual reality sickness perception and physiological response. Future generation computer systems, ISSN 0167-739X. [Print ed.], Feb. 2019, vol. 91, str. 263-277, ilustr., doi: 10.1016/j.future.2018.08.049.