The Uncanny Mountain / by Bryce Hidysmith

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Been thinking for several years about the "shock" of increases in visual simulation technology. It's something akin to the inverse of the uncanny valley. Comparatively low-fidelity graphics can confuse the mind into rounding them up into something that reads as realistic even when it isn't remotely. The rhetoric around the release of both Half-Lifes, the original Far Cry & Crysis points to this being a fairly universalizeable phenomenon that's continued through the years, though at least from my perspective commercial grade computer graphics have stalled a bit since around 2013, leaving me with two data points rather than three. Pippin Barr's V R 3a lovely little museum of digital water, got me thinking on the subject again. 

We might term this the "Uncanny Mountain" where the suspension of disbelief in known virtual environments allows graphics to take on their relative rather than their absolute quality in the mind of the viewer. This is derived in comparison both to the fidelity of real life and the fidelity of the next-best graphical representation of the subject. This seems to likely be the causal variable in the success of a given graphical system that's attempting for realism, rather than artistic acumen. This of course might be extended to any kind of simulation in which the simulation is fetishized, rather than solely an attempt at trickery.