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Oculus Connect Attendees Have to Sign a Motion Sickness Waiver

"If you are susceptible to motion sickness, please advise the attendant or developer before participating."

Last October at the Gaming Insiders conference, Oculus VR CEO Brendan Iribe said the improvements in virtual reality technology were headed toward a “no-motion-sickness experience,” and the second development kit of the company’s VR headset made big strides toward that goal.

Buuuuut, just to be on the safe side, everyone at Oculus Connect, the company’s first developer conference, has to sign a waiver saying that yes, they know VR content might make them sick. At registration, a line worker passed out copies of the “health and safety acknowledgement,” which were then traded for name badges at the front of the line.

“Some people may experience symptoms when experiencing virtual reality, including motion sickness, nausea, disorientation, visual abnormalities, or other discomfort,” the waiver reads in part. “Some demo content may be in a rough or unfinished state, which may heighten or increase the likelihood of experiencing symptoms.”

Although it’s still very possible (and evil) to intentionally make nausea-inducing VR content, the second Oculus development kit, a.k.a. “DK2,” works with less latency than its predecessor, “DK1.” That means that when you turn your head in virtual space, your view of the virtual world around you updates that much faster, closer to the way normal real-reality vision works. DK2 also included a positional tracking camera that detected where your head was in 3-D space, making it possible to lean in close to inspect something only visible in the virtual world.

Those are hardware protections, but hardly guarantees of what sort of software developers might show off. After a series of keynotes from Oculus execs tomorrow, a free-for-all demo floor will open up for attendees. Multiple developers told me they will be demoing their latest work even though they didn’t have to formally reserve booth or table space.

“If you are susceptible to motion sickness, please advise the attendant or developer before participating,” the waiver suggests.

The best part of the waiver, though, is the last paragraph.

“Do not participate in or go through a demo experience if you have been consuming or are under the influence of alcohol.”

Not 10 feet from the front of the line, hotel waiters offered up free beers to attendees.

Here’s a (slightly blurry, but hopefully not motion-sickness-inducing) picture of the waiver:

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