The attraction of hyper-realistic video games
Simulated games have been around for decades but a new crop of hyper-realistic simulators are gaining a mainstream audience.
The 1995 game Desert Bus took the ordinary task idea to its extreme, and coined the term "verisimulator", meaning a game so close to reality that it can hardly be called a game at all. In it, the "player" drives a bus between Tucson, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada, all in real time. If you manage to crash, a tow truck drives the bus back, also in real time. The trip takes 8 hours.
Several sub-pages dedicated to simulation games have sprung up on the message-board Reddit. We spoke to three commenters from those sites, Glen, Chris and Jared, who each play several different highly-realistic simulators.
We also spoke to video game historian and freelance journalist Richard Moss about the beginnings and rise of simulators, as well as the author of Philosophy Through Video Games, and Professor of Philosophy, Mark Silcox about how these games are able to help us find enjoyment in even seemingly mundane tasks.