We were introduced to our new module called Design For Simulation. We discussed what is simulation? and what we have to do to complete this project?
Assignment 1: Concept and Prototype Presentation.
We will give a 5 minute presentation of the concept and prototype idea and submit a 400 word project proposal.
Assignment 2: Presentation on the Final Project.
We will make a simulation prototype and present to the tutor and groups. We will do a 10 minute presentation, 1000 word project synopsis and blogs.
Why produce a simulation?
A simulation can be a safe place to experience something or have new sensations, a place to play or bring alive a historical event or used for escapism.
Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007)
A French philosopher and a cultural analyst. He believed that our realities have been replaced by simulated realities where we often experience things without actually physically going there first. For example before going on holiday we go online and look at the place we want to visit. He believed that the images were copies of the place and not the place itself.
He also believed in ‘the death of the real’ because we are living our lives in hyperreality as we connect more and more to media including television and video games.
How does a simulated environment add value to reality?
Simulation can be used in learning environments in various fields eg, education, medicine, military. The environments can be very realistic that a pilot practicing in a flight simulator or a doctor trialing an operation can do so after a while in the real world because the simulation and the reality seem to merge into one and it seems like the simulation is replacing the reality
‘to simulate is not simply to feign…feigning or dissimulation leaves the reality intact…whereas simulation threatens the difference between ‘true’ and ‘false,’ between ‘real’ and ‘imaginary’ (Baudrillard).
What is the relationship between the term representation and simulation?
Simulation is a way to represent something, which imitates the real through movement and can create an extremely immersive environment. The representation is a still image bought to life by the simulation.
For example, a photograph therefore a representation is simply an image of someone or something and except for the image itself it does not show any emotions or behavior. The simulation is the actions of the representation, which incorporate movement and feeling and therefore more convincing.
What does the term simulacra refer to?
“a material image, made as a representation of some deity, person, or thing,” as “something having merely the form or appearance of a certain thing, without possessing its substance or proper qualities,” and as “a mere image, a specious imitation or likeness, of something” (Oxford English Dictionary)
Simulacra are often used to represent images that feel as if they are more real than they are and often deceive us into believing something, which is not quite true.
Photoshopped images of celebrities are a form of simulacra because they do not actually exist in reality. They are perfect images.
Adverts showing that by wearing a certain brand of trainer makes us run faster.
Is there a danger in entering the world of simulacra and hyper-reality?
Hyper reality is where the real and fiction are blended together and the difference cannot be easily distinguished.
Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007), a French philosopher believed that experiences such as entertainment have become so real and intense that we have blurred the lines between the real and simulations. An example he states is Disneyland:
‘Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, when in fact Los Angeles and the America surrounding it are no longer real, but of the order of the hyperreal and of simulation.’
He believes that we don’t understand reality as it actually exists now but realities that are made for us in the media.
‘The very definition of the real has become: that of which it is possible to give an equivalent reproduction…The real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced: that is the hyperreal…which is entirely in simulation.’
The Truman Show (1998) a film, which tried to show how hyper reality effects the lives of people every day is a good example of how we like to live our lives through watching others and how the audience is manipulated by the media in their ability to understand the difference between what is real or a simulation.
Hyper reality can be dangerous but at the same time simulations can be educational or a form of escapism for a little while.