We really do need more VR content
There are so many new VR games in development, and as game designers we do
tend to wonder what research is going on about the technology we use. To be clear,
we are not researchers, and this is in no way a scientific survey, but a marketing
discussion on some of the conclusions to studies that highlight the need for further
research. More water cooler dialogue than drawing board discussion.
One area of interest to us is the motion sickness effect with respect to head gear.
One study seemed to hint that though there have been advancements “in VR
technologies, many users still experience sickness symptoms. VR sickness may be
influenced by technological differences within HMDs such as resolution and refresh
rate, however, VR content also plays a significant role.”  That last bit is
something we have input into and are particularly mindful of. The same study noted
that those younger than 35 handled the motion sickness quite well in the “visual
stimulation, locomotion and exposure times” categories. But again, the sample size
was too small to be definitive.
A second study went as far as to conclude that children handled fully immersive VR
experiences without noticeable effects. However, it concluded that it may well be
that this group is under-reported. 
If we consider longer and frequent gaming sessions of up to an hour, it makes sense
to consider long term effects. An Australian study, from the University of South
Australia, investigated motion sickness effects while playing one of the most
popular VR rhythm games on the market for intervals of 10 and 50 minutes. It
covered vision, cognition, and well-being changes over these intervals. The study
found that Beat Saber was handled well, and that those who reported high levels of
sickness over a long duration of play, reported the same over a short period as
well. The study concluded that Head Mounted Displays had not been studied
enough to be conclusive. 
The research is interesting, but more than the data, the takeaway is that there just
isn’t enough known about VR. This is where more content becomes crucial. It’s
games on the market and those in development (like ours) that will provide
interesting content to be tested. We look forward to a time when larger data sets
and more studies provide significant and beneficial outcomes related to VR.