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VR to combat fatigue and general aches/pains

Zenbane
Level 16

Two days ago I received the first of the Moderna vaccination shots. I ended up suffering the more commonly reported side effects of: Arm pain, fatigue.

 

The arm pain was fairly straight forward. It was so bad that I pretty much couldn't use my arm for much of anything. Even lifting my arm to put on deodorant proved a daunting task! 

 

However, the fatigue is what was causing me the most disruption in my daily life. Trying to work and parent was rather grueling. My head was very cloudy and I had zero energy; causing me to have difficulties with physical activities and even the mental fortitude to engage in critical thinking. I was too tired to walk, too tired to eat, and too tired to think.

 

I would get a few bursts of energy throughout the day (kind of like that "second wind" feeling), but it would dissipate within 30-45 minutes. And the bursts only happened like 2-3 times per day.

 

Today, the cloudiness remains (albeit to a lesser degree) and the arm soreness has eased a bit. I still can't lift my arm above my head without feeling sharp pain, but at least it can move. Yet the fatigue was really hitting me hard a few short hours ago. I couldn't keep my eyes open no matter what. Both vanilla gaming and watching a TV Show or Film was pretty much acting as a lullaby, putting me to sleep within minutes. And trying to walk around to stay awake was difficult due to a complete lack of energy to keep my muscles activated.

 

Thus I decided to try an experiment...

 

I put my Quest 2 headset on and jumped in to VR. I purchased a new game, Swarm. Which is very similar to Windlands and the Spiderman experiences, mixed with arcade-style shooters like: Space Pirate Trainer, VR Invaders, and Serious Sam.

https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/3957610014306627/

 

I went through about an hour and my fatigue was completely eliminated. On top of which, I felt zero arm pain as I was throwing my hands/arms around like crazy; well above my head many times over.

 

After a solid hour, I paused to make this post. And of course, now that I'm out of VR, both my fatigue and arm pain have returned.

 

I find it very fascinating that VR's immersive factor can help the brain refrain from processing those fatigue and pain messages. So I figured I'd post my experience for anyone who encounters something similar. If you're ever tired or having muscle soreness (not counting serious injury), and you want to battle through it... then give VR a try. You can push through for 2 or more hours without feeling (or drastically reducing) the fatigue and aches/pains that impact you outside of VR. 

 

Also, if you are looking for a new game to challenge your ability to Spiderman-launch your way around a map while dual-wielding pew pew's to eliminate enemies coming at you ala Galaga-esque style... the Swarm may be right up your alley. Cheers!

18 REPLIES 18

Pixie40
Level 9

That's both interesting, and a bit worrying. Fatigue can be an indication that your body is low on resources for one reason or another. Such as because you ate too large of a meal and more resources had to be devoted to digesting it, or because your body is working overtime to produce antibodies thus resources are getting diverted to that task instead of other things.

Lo, a quest! I seek the threads of my future in the seeds of the past.

That is certainly a fair observation! In my case, I didn't want to sleep because then I would destroy my regular sleep cycle. This happens to me from time to time. Where I end up going down for a mid-day nap that lasts upwards of 2 hours. Then I can't fall asleep until 4am, yet have to be up by 9am the latest.

 

So I typically try to prolong sleeping too early.

Pixie40
Level 9

I'm lucky that I worm from home, and have very flexible hours. Thus it doesn't really matter what my current sleep schedule looks like.

Lo, a quest! I seek the threads of my future in the seeds of the past.


@Pixie40 wrote:

I'm lucky that I worm from home, and have very flexible hours. Thus it doesn't really matter what my current sleep schedule looks like.


Yes! I do get to work from as well, and it seems that it will remain that way for the foreseeable future. The percs of working in tech, right?

 

Sometimes I get lucky and can sleep until 10am or 11am, but that's super rare. Mostly because of family. I need to get up and being a dad! lol

 

But yes, working from home permanently is amazing. In fact, I recently ordered new home office equipment from Amazon. An extra wide monitor (non-gaming), a microphone, streaming camera, and other random accessories to construct a nicer Zoom Meeting setup.

 

I can't wait until VR becomes the go-to defacto meeting place!

Pixie40
Level 9

Replace "working in tech" with "working with tech" and you've hit the nail on the head with my situation. The bulk of my income is social security. But I have a supplemental income source in the form of getting paid via Paetreon to be a game master (and occasionally a moderator if someone else wants to GM) for a Pathfinder group using Tabletop Simulator. It doesn't earn me much, but it's enough to order out a few times a month. Most of the set-up work is already done. I have modular terrain for various locations, specific cities and towns premade, and modular pre-fabs for if I need a different city or town layout. I also have models of each npc and enemy I can just duplicate and/or drop into position, and so forth.

 

As such, once I know what will be needed for the next session, I can take an hour or two to set up the maps that will be used for that session, save them as an object that can be dropped into place, and if I'm running a published module read up on the parts that will be needed. If it's not a published module, I spend a few hours working to create the adventure and design the location maps/encounter tables. Oh, and take care of any book keeping. I use a program called Realm Works to track campaign details like npcs, events, and what the party is doing/knows.

 

Since pretty much everyone in the group also has a VR headset, I've been considering trying to set something up as a one shot adventure where the party goes on an adventure as their characters in VR. But that's a project for the future. I need to figure out coding in C++, get world models, and character models all nailed down first.

 

EDIT:

Amusingly, it wasn't my idea to get paid for being the group's GM. They all insisted I set up a patreon account, because they think I spend hours upon hours every week creating custom maps and digital miniatures via 3d modeling in preparation for each session. And they felt that if I'm going to treat GMing as a full time job, I should get paid for it.

 

What makes it so **bleep** funny is that the modular terrain I have set up and imported into Tabletop Simulator is stuff I made over the years with the eventual goal of buying a 3d printer and making my own physical modular gaming terrain.

Lo, a quest! I seek the threads of my future in the seeds of the past.

I'm actually thinking of buying a 3D Printer as well! Especially now that tax season has arrived. Back in 2014, I bought my first Rift + VR Ready Desktop, and tons of VR games. Last year I used my tax dollars to purchase a new Alienware laptop. The year before was a bull leather couch lol. This year... I'm looking at a 3D Printer.

 

A part of me wants to try making and selling parts to random things (since I've always read that it is profitable). However, the truth is, I want to try to 3D print home-goods lol.

 

My son is obsessed with Sirenhead. A fictional horror character that is makings its rounds on YouTube, Roblox, and even some VR games. Sirenhead isn't officially picked up by anyone, so you can't buy any professionally manufactured toys. There's random stuff on Amazon made by people and small companies out in China, but nothing overly alluring.

 

I have, however, found some 3D Print models of Sirenhead. Granted, We're taking $3,000+ for a quality 3D Printer. So I'm gonna do a bit more research about everything I'll be able to use it for before spending that amount of money just to print a horror character for my son lol

Pixie40
Level 9

Yeah, there's a reason I haven't gotten a 3d printer yet. You can get one that my research shows is pretty decent for less then $300. However they require a very stable surface and plenty of ventilation. That said, if you have one, making and selling stuff can be a good source of income. I've seen everything from custom tokens for X-Wing Miniatures to door stops for sale on Etsy.

Lo, a quest! I seek the threads of my future in the seeds of the past.

dburne
Level 16

I am retired and have more aches and pains than I care to think about, although I am constantly reminded of them.

I spend around 3-5 hours a day on most days gaming in VR. The vast bulk of time in flight sims with occasional foray in made for VR games like Alyx and Medal of Honor.

 

Most of my time of late has been spent in DCS learning the F/A 18C -Hornet. Have now gotten into some good single player campaigns with it. Flying OPS off the Super Carrier in the Persian Gulf is a blast. And gorgeous in VR.

Rift CV1| Rift S| Quest| Reverb G2| Index| Vive Pro 2

inovator2
Level 4

That's a very interesting post. I have heard of vr being used to help with pain and different ailments. I myself had chills and effects but not like yours. Buy I'd rather deal with that than covid.  I wish you a speedy recovery.