There's a bunch of sci-fi that depicts simulations of reality. From crude virtual reality in things like Lawnmower Man, to the more recent Matrix or Inception (maybe even Tron?). The underlying mechanics for how the simulation works tends to vary, but the idea of an unreal world that's similar to the real one is a long-running sci-fi/fantasy trope.

I don't think we have a tag for this. What would be a good tag for works involving fake realities?

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  • What about those situations where it isn't really a simulation, but more of an alternate, created reality. The game world in Tron, for example, is not a simulation - there is no attempt to simulate any aspect of our reality. Rather it is a different type of reality that contains elements with a passing resemblance to our own reality. – Donald.McLean Sep 24 '13 at 15:30
  • @Donald.McLean I disagree. Tron is essentially an emergent or accidental fake reality. When the makers of the Encom system built it, they didn't intend for there to be programs running around inside it in a virtual world that's vaguely similar to our own. But somehow, that's what happened. – user1027 Sep 24 '13 at 15:34
  • Part of my specific objection to applying this tag to Tron is the part where "unreal world that's hard to distinguish from the real one". In Tron, there is no intent to simulate the real world and no attempt to make it like the real world. It's more like the game world in Wreck It Ralph, which is also artificial, and also quite distinguishable from reality. – Donald.McLean Sep 24 '13 at 15:41
  • @Donald.McLean I edited that to jive better with the sentence preceding it. – user1027 Sep 24 '13 at 15:47
  • that's still not really a "simulation", since it is lacking intent. Nor is it fake - the game world in Tron is quite real, it is just a different kind of real. – Donald.McLean Sep 24 '13 at 16:22

While I like Kevin's suggestion, in what way does the existing not suffice?

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  • I missed that one, my bad. – user1027 Sep 25 '13 at 14:41

I'm thinking .

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  • This works fine for those that are actually simulations of our reality - but not for Tron. – Donald.McLean Sep 24 '13 at 15:32

How about or simply ?

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