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What Happens When DIY Motion Simulators Work Too Well

In electrifying news, it turns out that DIY motion simulators sometimes work too well.

YouTuber Mean Gene Hacks pushed his technical tinkering skills to new limits in a recent video where he tested out a homemade racing motion simulator with the game "BeamNG.drive." As Mene Gene Hacks broke down in the video, motion simulators are typically quite complex, so much so that sometimes they take up an entire room. As an alternative, he created his own using a combination of custom software and a homemade Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) device.


According to Kotaku, GVS works by stimulating (AKA shocking) the nerves in charge of balance through the application of electrodes right behind the ears. This sensation manipulates a person's sense of balance and movement. In fact, this technology has shown the potential to mitigate motion sickness. Plus, the tech seems to have promising applications for gaming.

So, how did GVS work for gaming? Surprisingly well. Mean Gene Hacks' video is not only wild to watch, but also quite groundbreaking. As he wrote in the video's comment section, "This is the first time Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) has been used in a video game (that I am aware of)."

The 18-minute video thoroughly breaks down the mechanics of building the simulator, all with under $50 of equipment. After unpacking the technology, the YouTuber took things for a spin, testing out everything from first-person driving to jumps, crashes, and more.


Currents and Cars

Throughout the video, Mean Gene Hacks is tossed side to side in his chair, practically falling out of it at some points. He explained the intensity of feeling every turn. As he described early on in the video when testing out the GVS, "It doesn't hurt, it just feels like you're dizzy ... It feels like the horizon has changed; even though your eyes recognize the horizon hasn't changed, you just feel like it. It's kinda strange." Judging by his movements and exclamations throughout, he was definitely feeling each turn's full effects.


Things only escalated for Mean Gene Hacks as he tried out more intense driving stunts. When describing the turns later on in the video, he said, "You feel like you're falling over! There's nothing to grab onto. I'm sitting in this chair, and I'm scared I'm gonna fall out." Though it was an odd feeling, the YouTuber clearly had a blast demonstrating the potential for GVS in VR gaming.

All in all, Mean Gene Hacks had a successful and only slightly nauseating run. He also reminded viewers that there is still room for VR technology to evolve. After all, it seems like just yesterday that the now-discontinued Google Cardboard was a revolutionary development. Xbox VR headset rumors have the world spinning, and there's evidence that PlayStation is working on potential next-gen VR products, like the long-awaited PSVR2 — only for those who play nicely.