Researchers demonstrated this by playing motion-heavy videos for study participants through Oculus Rift – a 3D virtual reality headset worn like a pair of goggles. Nearly two-thirds of the study subjects quit watching the videos early, overcome by nausea in the virtual environment for much the same reason that discomfort catches up to people in real-world situations.

Motion sickness is the product of mismatched sensory information. "The classic example is reading in a car," said Shawn Green, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"Lots of people can't read in a car because if you have a newspaper in front of you, your visual system says you're still," Green said. But you're not still. While the newspaper may not be moving, the car speeds up and slows down, turns corners and climbs hills.

Oculus produces that mismatch in reverse, according to Bas Rokers, UW-Madison psychology professor. While the 3D movies depicted flying over forests and under bridges, the headset and the viewer are not actually moving.

Researchers found that the people in their study who reported the most discomfort were also best at judging the direction of objects moving towards or away from them.

The study was published in the journal Entertainment Computing.

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