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Virtual Vignettes Take Two: Realism vs. Surrealism – Part 1 | The Metaverse Tribune
Monday, June 1st, 2020
Editorial: Virtual Vignettes Take Two: Realism vs. Surrealism – Part 1

by Jamie Wright
Published May 23, 2012

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Part 1 – Realism

Building virtual environments is a three dimensional branch of visual art. Within art there are ideological constructs. I find it fascinating that as virtual reality interprets reality we can explore those constructs here; particularly realism and surrealism.

“In general, realists render everyday characters, situations, dilemmas, and objects, all in a “true-to-life” manner. Realists tend to discard theatrical drama, lofty subjects and classical forms of art in favor of commonplace themes.”[1]

A realist in virtual environment tries to recreate reality down to the fine details. One of the most compelling examples of this is illustrated by the fact that almost every virtual world contains a recreation of the Titanic.

Metaverse Tribune’s own Stary Dreamscape wrote extensively about the Second Life one here:


You can also read about the OSGrid Titanic designed by stiofain nbmcmedia here:


I’d like to point virtual realism seekers in the direction of a few other gems in the field of this building form.

OSGrid’s New Tenebrae and a real wetland

OSGrid has a region called New Tenebrae which is an extremely authentic wetland. When you are within the center it is so immersive you almost could forget you’re viewing pixels and not real marsh land grasses. The land is tagged as group owned but the avatar who founded the group is Wendy Steeplechase so she may be the organizer and or main builder of the region.

New World Grid has many collaborative educational projects that comprise a large number of the regions there. One such region that completely blew me away is the Pic Du Midi. Pic Du Midi is a famous mountain in the French Pyrenees with an astronomical observatory. For various financial and political reasons its construction in the real world ebbed and flowed between 1878 and 1980. The virtual counterpart appears quite genuine in its likeness. The region’s owner is listed as Aime Socrates.

New World Grid’s Pic Du Midi and the real Pic Du Midi

Many virtual cities have been created with a keen eye for realism; attempting to be a true mimic for a real world location. InWorldz Planet London is a great example of this. Sade Trafalgar truly designed a proper slice of the historic city to serve up with your cup of Earl Grey. It even has an underground complete with graffiti. Mind the gap!

I am indeed specifically looking at these ideas in the area of design however; a recent article expanding on the application and design philosophy for use in education is written by Chris Collins here:


Metaverse Tribune readers feel free to answer the question in the comments; are you a virtual realist?


1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realism_(arts)

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