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All in a Virtual World

07/12/2011 @ 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm

Lights, Sound, Computer, Mind, Action!

For A Dream Within A Dream?

Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?…

Certainly seems so virtually…

This ‘talk’ is more of a video show and musical dance through alternate worlds and developments spanning a selection of virtual realms across the decades. Hopefully, all resolving into something to expand your minds and perhaps even your musical tastes a little…

So for a superluminal whoosh through the real-world-resolving of bits and pixels and voxels and virtuality, adventure onwards to our usual venue in our Real World on Canal Street:


Fellows Morton and Clayton
54 Canal Street
Nottingham, NG1 7EH
Telephone: 0115 9506795

To find us,  go through to the back of the pub and we’re up the spiral staircase in the restaurant. Just ask one of the friendly bar staff for NLUG if lost.

Food is also served through into the evening.


Wednesday 07/12/2011:

  • 7:30pm: Meet
  • 8:00pm: Virtual Talk
  • 9:00pm: General discussions

Cuddly Gnus, Penguins, Avatars, and All welcome!





All resolving into…

… quite a fun show!

A teaser/taste was given of the cross-over in both directions between what we understand to be the real world, and the various virtual realities that we construct and exercise via various technology.

A few things learnt from putting that not-so-little lot together are:

  • Video editing is hellish time consuming!
  • Once familiar with the source material, you’ve got to take advantage of ‘speeded up’ playback or time skipping, rather than plod along at ‘normal’ time;
  • Multithreaded encoding is a must-have to bolt together the end result in reasonable time;
  • A multi-core CPU helps also with that;
  • A good sound system helps nicely for good effect with the visual;
  • Memory sticks are rather slow and can even be too slow for playback for hi-res work.

For those that missed it, we went on a voyage from the days of Colossal Cave through a sampling of “Beyond The Mind’s Eye” and onwards through and behind some of the techniques and tech of various virtual realities seen today. It was quite interesting to recognise and note the scenes or features parodied between films and virtual worlds. Also shown were brief examples of augmented vision where the virtual is superimposed upon the real in the real world. We can expect that is going to be seen more and more…

Some links from our discussions are:

Was this all started with Colossal Cave Adventure?

Colossal Cave Adventure Map

DC’s Colossal Cave blog entry

Colossal Cave Adventure
Graham Nelson’s Inform Designer’s Manual presents “Advent” as the pioneer of the three-part structure typical of 1980s adventure games; he identifies the “prologue” with the aboveground region of the game “whose presence lends a much greater sense of claustrophobia and depth to the underground bulk of the game”, the transition to the middle game as the “passage from the mundane to the fantastical”, and the endgame or “Master Game”.


[… An awful lot of stuff!… 🙂 ]


Matrix (Doctor Who)
The Matrix is first introduced in the 1976 serial The Deadly Assassin, twenty-three years before the release of the film The Matrix, six years before William Gibson’s 1982 “Burning Chrome” and years before the advent of virtual reality in the 1980s. …

The Matrix: Visual effects
The film [released 1999] depicts a future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality created by… Note also the rich and thoughtful philosophy and parodies deep in the film and storyline.

Avatar: Visual Effects
… the method allows the filmmakers to transfer 100% of the actors’ physical performances to their digital counterparts. Besides the performance capture data which were transferred directly to the computers, numerous reference cameras gave the digital artists multiple angles of each performance. A technically challenging scene was near the end of the film then the computer-generated Neytiri held the live action Jake in human form, and attention was given to the details of the shadows and reflected light between them.

Simulated reality


All good fun and a very good excuse to wake up at least one part of the pub!


And for those firmly grounded in the very real world, there is an interesting view for our own reality whereby quantum effects might be an artefact of The implications of a holographic universe for quantum information science and the nature of physical law (pdf)

‘Lighter’ reading on the subject can be found on:

The Holographic Principle and M-theory

The Holographic Universe


And ultimately: Is all that we see and seem, but a dream within a dream?



7:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Event Category:


Fellows Morton and Clayton
54 Canal Street
Nottingham, NG1 7EH United Kingdom
+ Google Map
0115 9506795

1 comment to All in a Virtual World

  • Martin L

    The virtual merges with the all-too-real?

    War or gaming fun? Spot the difference

    … The world of video games has progressed too. Some seem real, as highlighted by a recent Ofcom ruling that ITV misled viewers by airing footage claimed to have been shot by the IRA, which was actually material taken from a video game.

    Labelled “IRA Film 1988”, it was described as film shot by the IRA of its members attempting to down a British Army helicopter in June 1988. However, the pictures were actually taken from a game called Arma 2. …

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