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Why The Witness makes us Blow chunks

Life is often full of pains and struggles but when you want to relax and have fun, then that’s just what you deserve; a nice, peaceful time, and pure escapism. Sometimes, however, real-life issues can suddenly punch you in the stomach before you realise it.

If you have ever felt unwell and had a stomach bug of some form, then you’ll know that uneasy feeling you get the hours before knowing it was coming. Your oesophagus feels weird, your stomach feels like it’s about to regurgitate something, and then, BAM, before you know it The Witness has hit you with a blasted headache.

the witness sickness

Why The Witness is making gamers feel sick
Why, you wonder? Well, The Witness is released with an FOV (Field of View) of approximately 80 (horizontal), and the game’s engine uses a vertical field of view, hence the horizontal approximation. 80 seems to be the middle ground for FOV when it comes to both console and the PC. The further you are away from the screen then the FOV can be less; console FPS games typically use 60 or 65 as you’re sitting a long way from the screen. The FOV for PC FPS games tends to be at around 95 or 100 as you’re often sitting next to the screen.

With this in mind you can start to see what’s happening. The effect you get is Tunnel Vision, and for PC users this can be highly nauseating as it can cause motion sickness for many gamers. Console gamers rarely have this issue, but if sat too close to the screen, or the FOV is set higher, then there is too much information processed. The world behaves different, and you start to get that fish bowl effect on the screen.

If you experience either of these effects in The Witness then you will most likely be feeling sick at some point. For me this was the first time it has ever happened and it’s the reason why I feel that, not only PC games, but console games should have an FOV slider in the options too.

Jonathan Blow is currently working on adding the FOV slider into the PC version. However, I am unaware if this option will be available for the PS4 release. Seeing and hearing about the amount of people feeling sick while playing this game is quite unusual, so let’s just hope that future patches sort this out.

Can it affect the puzzles though? Well, after changing my FOV to 105 on the PC (by editing the INI), I did notice that some of the environmental puzzles have changed positions but it’s ever so slight and doesn’t really affect solving the puzzles itself, so you shouldn’t have a problem once there’s a fix for the PS4.

Have you been feeling like you’re out on the rough open sea?