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Virtual Dictionary

Platonic Realism

Originally created by the Greek philosopher Plato, Platonic realism is one of several philosophical viewpoints that actually dopes a better job of describing workable ways to construct a virtual world, than it does at describing the physical world we inhabit.

It is a philosophical view in which there are universal primary copies of every item in existence, like classes in programming code, and every instance in the world is an object.

For example, if you have an apple, that is an instance of the class apple, which exists outside the world, as a predefined structure with a variance range in its parameters. Thus two different apples, with different size, different colouration, perhaps a different shape, are still instances of the apple class, despite their differences.

It also means that the things the apple class explicitly demands without compromise, apply to both. They both have the same basic structure of seeds in the same sweet tasting soft goo surrounded by a thin but tougher coloured skin. They both have a stalk in the middle, and they both are inherited objects from the same tree class.

In other words, Platonic realism as applied to virtual reality gives us a way to construct a world such that objects can be different from one another, but still have the same core attributes. Every object in world is an instance of a defined class, as opposed to a simple model, whose attributes are randomised within a constraining range.

See Also: Substance Theory, Essentialism

Below, we offer a selection of links from our resource databases which may match this term.

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Platonic Realism


Resources in our database matching the Term Platonic Realism:

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Dangerous Realism
To paraphrase the article: Many of today's worlds seem to be striving for realism: 'realistic combat system', 'realistic trade', 'realistic medieval theme' or even 'realistic magic system'. However realism is not always a good thing - sometimes it can be dangerous as far as enjoyment is concerned.

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Simplicity Versus Realism in Medical VR
We are so caught up in our desire for ever greater realism and ever greater accuracy when using VR and modelling tools to render the human body for diagnosis in whole or in part, that we often forget the benefits of simplicity. HemoVis, a medical VR tool for assessing weak points in the coronary system, achieves far better results with a 2D system than 3D with all the bells and whistles used more commonly in diagnosis.

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Inexpensive Underwater Caustics Using Cg
A look at creating aesthetically pleasing, realistic water movements, using caustics - for ultra-realism for low processing power.

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Our uncanny ability to spot a fake
A BBC article on the difficulty of maintaining the metaphor inside virtual space, and the issues with uncanny valley that make CGI realism so elusive.

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Video games need 'realism boost'
BBC article about how to add authenticity to VR, goes beyond graphics, also encompassing extensive use of motion capture to catalogue how stance, gait and the tiny movements of facial muscles combine when people display different emotions.

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Large Image Display: AWGate 5.0: Showing the Rooms
ActiveWorlds' gateway shows off it's resource rooms for creating your own virtual world on their platform, and links to third party instruction manuals for coding bot programs to increase the realism.

Michael Heim, the author of this book, describes modern 'VR' as a pale imitation of real VR. On this point, he is of course, all too correct. He then goes on to state that the real thing is fast approaching. We'll soon be able to totally immerse ourselves in detail-rich, highly interactive artificial worlds....

Burning Chrome is a collection of ten of William Gibson?s short stories. All published before Neuromancer, his first novel; these ten mark his early career as a different type of writer. Whilst not all are cyberpunk, all have that same gritty realism, that make his work so absorbing.

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Scientific Realism
Theory of Objects taken to its scientific extreme says that every real object has physical properties that do this,that, and the other. This opposing argument for virtual objects as being the same, points out that everything we 'know' about many physical objects is actually inferred from theory, and we 'know' little at all.

Scripting is the spice of Second Life, and this official guide to the Linden Scripting Language (LSL) is the complete scripting resource for making your Second Life creations come to life, interacting with players, creating dazzling special effects, and adding realism to the virtual world.


Industry News containing the Term Platonic Realism:

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A US $6-million virtual reality 'immersive room' is opening the door to new ways to treat phobias and other disorders.

St?phane Bouchard is a psychologist with drive. He is Canada's Research Chair in Clinical Cyberpsycholo...

An new breakthrough in liquid crystal displays offers screen brightness and colour depth over one hundred and twelve times that currently available, eliminating the need for multiple ranges of brighness on a display....

Elite graphics chip maker NVIDIA announced Monday that Electronic Arts and 2K Games will use its PhysX technology to add realism to their videogames.
PhysX makes its EA debut in a personal computer version of "Mirror's Edge," an i...

FPS games have long been a staple of the drive for graphical realism, NPC AI and several other invaluable fields. Now, we see the continued edge of that development with Far Cry, a new release from UbiSoft.

Graphically, the l...

On the heels of ?Red Light World? in 2004, a new adult-only, sex-based MMO world is under intense development. Hollywood-based developer Republik Games' Spend the Night is expected to launch by third quarter 2006.

Robert Cos...