A virtual reality wild ride

During a visit to a popular amusement park , my friends and I enjoyed going on exciting rides that jostled, turned, climbed, and dove at high speeds. Then we found a "ride" just as exhilarating, but which really didn't go anywhere. We sat in seats on a platform that tilted slightly different ways, but most of the sensation of movement came from the motion picture projected on the screen in front of us.

The designers of this ride had done a masterful job of creating the illusion that we were taking a wild trip through space. Such a good job that, as soon as we started on our "journey," I began to feel the effects of motion sickness.

My first thought was, "Now this is ridiculous!" The only time all day that I was experiencing adverse effects of motion was the one time I was actually sitting still. When I realized that it was just the illusion of motion that was affecting me, I closed my eyes for a moment, and the sick feeling disappeared—along with all the fun things happening on the screen.

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Leading a life of 'superclarity'
June 30, 2003

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