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Thinking the impossible: Synthetic physics

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Physics in our real universe is a topic of intense investigation, but cannot be modified. This holds no longer true for virtual computer-generated worlds, in which arbitrary 'physical' laws can be implemented. After a brief survey of such synthetic physics, some critical boundaries of synthesizing physical laws are discussed with the conclusion that a human-centred design of virtual worlds is required. It is suggested that designing artificial physical systems has an enormous yet unused potential not only for education, as proposed by previous work, but rather for creative work and artwork in general. The next decades may thus witness physical laws becoming a medium and playground for artists.

Keywords: artificial physics; artistic media; perception; physical law; sensorimotor; virtual world

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Ludwig-Maximilian University

Publication date: June 19, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Metaverse Creativity is a refereed journal focusing on the examination of creativity in user-defined online virtual worlds such as Second LifeĀ®. While such creative activity includes artistic activity, this definition should in no way be limited to artistic output alone but should encompass the output of the various disciplines of design - such as fashion and object design, landscaping and virtual architecture - that are currently all amply manifest in Second LifeĀ®.
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