Cybersickness Influences the Affective Appraisal of a Virtual Environment
Alexander Toet*, 1
, Erik D van der Spek2, Joske M. Houtkamp2
1 TNO Human Factors, P.O. Box 23, 3769 ZG Soesterberg, The Netherlands
2 Utrecht University, Dept. of Information and Computing Sciences, Center for Advanced Gaming and Simulation (AGS), P.O. Box 80.089, 3508 TB Utrecht, The Netherlands
We investigated if cybersickness has an effect on the affective appraisal of a virtual environment (VE). For many applications it is essential that users experience the simulated environment in a similar way as the corresponding real one. Navigation through VEs is known to negatively influence the physical well-being of observers by inducing cybersickness. Since people tend to misattribute their feelings to the environment they perceive, cybersicknesss may influence their affective appraisal of a VE. Participants passively watched a simulated walk through a VE, while the visual scene continuously performed a quasi-sinusoidal frontal roll oscillation. Immediately after the exposure, they reported their experienced level of cybersickness and assessed the environment on a semantic differential scale. People experiencing cybersickness rated the environment as less pleasant and more arousing, as compared to people with no symptoms. Thus, users suffering from cybersickness misattributed their unpleasant feelings to the affective qualities of the VE. Applications that rely on VEs to evoke the same emotional and affective user responses as their real equivalent should therefore minimise or account for the incidence of cybersickness.
open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.
* Address correspondence to this author at TNO Human Factors, P.O. Box 23, 3769 ZG Soesterberg, The Netherlands; Tel: (+31) 346 356 237; Fax: (+31) 346 353 977; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org