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This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 12 January 2022 and 22 April 2022. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Needtolearnnow, Jessejoseph21, Rhi2402 (article contribs).


Kenneth Burke probably deserves a mentionWblakesx (talk) 00:03, 19 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Ecorral05. Peer reviewers: Ebrasmussen.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 00:09, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hyperreality Definitions --must have reference[edit]

Hyperreality describes the non-distinction between reality and fantasy in a technologically advanced society where media shape and filter what we consider to be real. For Baudrillard, the hyperreal manifested itself in a variety of ways, from media (television or movies) to experiences (politics or the Gulf War) to objects (money or art) (Gane, 1993; Hegarty, 2004).

“[Hyperreality] is a question of substituting the signs of the real for the real, that is to say of an operation of deterring every real process via its operational double…” (Baudrillard, 1994, p. 2)

“Everything is destined to reappear as simulation. Landscapes as photography, women as the sexual scenario, thoughts as writing, terrorism as fashion and the media, events as television” (Baudrillard, 1988, p. 32)

Baggott (2005) notes: “We now live within a reality that has become a complete invention of our postmodern urban, industrial society and media culture. To some it has become a dreamworld, a hyperreality, no longer based on anything identifiably real” (p. 19). In this manifestation, society manufactures the real from the unreal: “We construct a reality based on models of how we would like that reality to be, not on reality itself” (Baggott, p. 21) --Roekeloos (talk) 14:40, 22 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hyperreality in the 9/11 truth movement[edit]

"Hyperreality: the inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from fantasy, especially in technologically advanced postmodern cultures." => Can we consider the investigations of the 9/11_Truth_Movement to be part of a Hyperreality? --Rougieux 22:51, 14 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It is hyperreality in the technical sense as far as I'm concerned, but it isn't really in the spirit of the theory.-- (talk) 02:53, 19 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hyperreality as Hyperreality[edit]

The very belief of hyperreality makes one believe the world we live in is a copy world where we seek simulated stimuli. Thus hyperreality detaches the mind from common sense reality and the individual begins to live in the non-existent hyperreal-world. And even though hyperreality is not an accurate depiction of reality, for the viewer, the reality of "reality" becomes something non-existent. Yes, this is a joke.

Hyperreality in Art[edit]

I think another good example of hyperreality might be found in "fine art" a painting that of say a landscape where the viewer can see more acuratly what the lanscsape actually is than they could see looking at the real landscape. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Leroy1213 (talkcontribs) 21:11, 19 March 2007 (UTC).Reply[reply]

I argue that a hyperreality can be created when there are some sort of interactivity in a artwork, specifically art that utilizes technologies such as computers, cameras and sensors. The hyperreality exist in the fact art(which is meant to speak about reality or a interpretation thereof) is created by the viewer manipulating an interface created by the artist, thus a reality obscuring the real but at the same time commenting on it. -make sense to anyone? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:22, 22 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia as Hyperreality?[edit]

I'd like to see more thoughts on Wikipedia as hyperreality.

- I would too, will include Wikiality on the Hyperreality page -Psychologesetz 18:28, 6 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Video Games[edit]

I don't see that video games are much more hyperreal than any other form of fiction. There is a difference between games and traditional media; games are interactive. However, for the most part video games do not serve to supplant or obscure reality. It could be argued that MMORPGs are hyperreal but I can't see Pong or Tetris fitting the definition. If video games are hyperreal, then many television programs, movies, works of art and works of literature are as well. Examples: Soap operas, reality television, "mockumentaries", trompe l'oeil paintings, the War of the Worlds radio broadcast. I believe video games should be removed from the list and / or some of these examples should be included. --ccherlin 14:50, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I could see video games as a sort of analogy for hyperreality, but not an example. A better one, as you pointed out, would be reality TV or possibly soap operas, which people in a sense believe is real without believing it is real, and TV and movies in general, which are more real than real, or at least in a sense preferred to the (supposedly nonexistant) real. I don't know about the War of the Worlds radio broadcast - that he was able to tap into people's anxieties and uncertainty about their place in the universe doesn't quite jive with hyperreality, I think. Yeah, I agree - video games off the list, unless Baudrillard mentions them specifically, which, its been a while, but afaik he doesn't. -Seth Mahoney 17:19, Oct 13, 2004 (UTC)
I am in agreement with Clement, we shouldn't overuse the term to a cliché, and therefore video games should be carefully scrutinized before accepted as hyperreal. However, I am of the opinion that MMORPG's are in fact hyperreal because their sole purpose is to provide an entire simulation of the human experience, and many users become addicted to them, because the RPG universe is more desirable than the 'real world'. A Matrix reference may be warranted here. Would I be wrong to say that the Matrix is at the same level of reality as the 'real world', but the 'perfect' Matrix Agent Smith spoke of is hyperreality by definition? --Navaburo 03:06, 6 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What about games like grand theft auto, they seem like the best examples of hyperreality in videogames. They are modeled after the images and style of real cities. -User:Malcom-x-mass 15:23, Dec 8 (EST)

I guess my main problem with video games in general as examples of hyperreality is that they are games, and people playing them go into them knowing that. That we go about playing video games as games sort of sets up a line between real and unreal that seems to be more blurred when dealing with, especially, reality TV and a lot of movies. The other thing is that, as I understand it, hyperreality is more real than real, while, at least with current technology, video games are decidedly less real than real. GTA and maybe sports games are probably the best examples of games approaching something like hyperreality, but at least I think they still fall short. Anyhow, just my 2 cents - mine is far from the sole vote. -Seth Mahoney 00:10, Dec 11, 2004 (UTC)
There are some who invest MORE in the "reality" of the game than they do in the reality of their own life. When one makes more of an emotional or intellectual investment in things that do not really exist than in things that do, one enters - or exists in - a hyperreality. -Anonymous

Video games are NOT an example of hyperreality. This is because they do not seek to enhance and confuse reality. Compare with pornography (Baudrillard's favorite example)... pornography is better than sex, it is kinkier than sex, more erotic than sex... all of which are paradoxes because pornography is not sex. - Abscissa 16:32, 25 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So video games are an entity now 'seeking' something, as well as las vegas etc... from the above post it seems a performative contradiction to state that. Games do not have any intentions in and of themselves, and that we are antropormorphising them as such will be an example of how they are hyperreal. If not distortions of their actual 'real' selves.

How about this : video-games as a medium are not necessarily hyperreal, just like video is not necessarily hyperreal. But a video of pornography is. So what about a video-game of say... football? A video-game of football is more fun and footballier than an actual game of football. Does that make sense? Vechs (talk) 14:26, 1 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Video games = Hyperreality. (1) "Video games cannot be hyperreal, because they are games and every player knows that (or thinks that they know that)." No, in this respect, video games are the same as pornography and Disneyland and Las Vegas. In all these cases, the participant (thinks that) they can distinguish reality from fiction. Afaik the pornography watcher doesn't consciously claim that pornography watching is (and is more than) sex itself. Gamblers know (or think they know) that the casinos of Las Vegas are intentional escapism. Nonetheless, Las Vegas casinos succeed at being hyperreal. Just because you know its fake (only a game) doesn't mean you are successfully able to detach from it and contain it. (2) "Video games cannot be hyperreal, because they are less real than real." This is not the litmus test. Again, video games are parallel to pornography, Disneyland, and Las Vegas. Pornography takes place on a 2-dimensional piece of glass. Disneyland has crushed waffle cone stains on asphalt, ticket vendors taking your money, and big iron cranes to hold up flying carpets -- hardly the romantic vision of real fairy castles. Is the video game designed to create a surrogate experience that is more entertaining, attractive, and desirable than reality? Yes. The success of a video game depends upon its ability to entertain more effectively than other forms of escapism. Many of the most successful video games are the ones that are the most engaging and addictive ... indeed, the very video games that successfully enhance, supplant, and/or confuse reality. To measure whether something is more real than real, ask the question: Are the video games immersive enough that they blur, confuse, or distort our perceptions of the rest of reality? Many researchers would say Yes. For example, some players develop distorted expectations about how real life "should be" based on their video game experiences. The bibliography on pages 43-48 of reviews some studies in the debate (e.g. does a tense game of Counterstrike induce more aggression afterward than a tense game of Tetris?) I would argue that Grand Theft Auto, Counterstrike, and World of Warcraft are hyperreal, along with the reality TV shows (such as Marry a Millionaire or COPS). Video games like Grand Theft Auto are more hyperreal than Duck Hunt or sports simulations, while video games like Sudoku are not hyperreal. -Brokenfixer (talk) 21:21, 5 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


 – Moot. Offending passage long since deleted.

That bold part in the middle is really preachy. It made me immediately think the writer was a wacko. The crazy emphasis didn't help the explanation at all. However, I will leave this revision to someone with at least one clue. Otherwise, thank you! This article was very interesting.

I agree with the above writer - what should be a straightforward definition comes across as a paranoid rant against technology... There are a lot of assumptions and politics couched in this article... It badly needs a more balanced rewrite IMHO...

I agree totally, to many assumptions not enough hardfacts. Buts thats the problem with most of wikipedia, to many 'enthusiasts', not many impartial academics. RoloTamassey 12:18, 20 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You guys are missing the point. The point is that soon enough, we'll be IN the video game.

What part is being referred to here? -Abscissa 16:35, 25 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Las Vegas?[edit]

Seems to me that there are much better examples of hyperreality than Las Vegas, as set forth in the article. The Gulf War is interesting and very well substantiated by Jean Baudrillard in his book 'The Gulf War Did Not Take Place'. Is Las Vegas referred to in the literature base?

--Furste 22:42, 5 December 2005

Yeah, he writes about Vegas in America. -Seth Mahoney 22:45, 5 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll second that. Las Vegas is an essential example for Baudrillard's postmodern theory. Szpak 07:01, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See the official Las Vegas motto, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Kevin143 08:50, 25 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Definately -- Las Vegas and Disneyworld are two places Baudrillard loves to pick on. Think about it... can you get more simulated than either of those places? -Abscissa 16:37, 25 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dubai..? 23:28, 26 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dubai isn't really "designed to be fake" the way Las Vegas is. I disagree that it is an illustrative example, but we sorted this out before and I agreed to leave it. - Abscissa 04:52, 21 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion of Examples[edit]

"entertainment news programming and supermarket tabloids" -- I don't think this belongs as an example. But then I thought it over, and didn't delete it because I thought it did fit after all... but I still don't think it is an illustrative example. - Abscissa 16:38, 25 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It almost seems like, especially supermarket tabloids, are designed to be fake in a way that fits, but not taken for real, which doesn't fit... -Smahoney 04:59, 21 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think the implication of hyperreal is much more serious and far less literal than "a sports drink for a flavor that does not exist." The concept of hyperreality brings into question all systems of order we have, of identity, sex, gender, race, class, nationality, etc. So a brief read through of the examples, like pretty gardens, sugary drinks, plastic christmas trees, is not helpful to anyone who actually wants to understand what hyperreal means. The examples section should be turned into links to essays or excerpts from essays by published academics in the field (I'm only familiar with Baudrillard but I'm also not well read).

True. Someone who reads this article will think "I am into hyperreality when I am in a casino, in Disneyland, etc.". The article should make the reader realize that his whole life is based on hyperreality, no matter what he does, what he thinks, who he is, etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:43, 2 June 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the sports drink should be further explained. Like the whole "Ice" and "Rain" flavors of Gatorade. The drinks don't really taste like ice or rain, but the ice and rain represent something hyperreal. (Clopnaz 17:56, 10 July 2007 (UTC))Reply[reply]
That wiseGEEK article with the thing about soap operas shouldn't be cited. I'm no psychologist, but there has to be some quantitative study of the effects of melodramatic influence on, for instance, personality disorders, that would lend comparatively more authority to this article.


I removed "pornography" from examples of hyperreality. Though I certainly understand what the author was thinking, not everything considered "pornographic" by everyone's standards is necessarily "hyperreal." Without delving into the differing definitions of pornography, there's a specific example I can think of which illustrates my argument. Let's say that someone makes an amateur video of him or herself having intercourse, and let's postulate that this person decides to sell said video for whatever reason. Since it's a depiction of a sex act and it's being distributed, this video would be considered pornographic by most definitions. Nothing about this particular example, however, is inherently hyperreal. This might be an odd example, but I think it serves to illustrate that "pornography" is too vague and subjective a concept to consider implicitly hyperreal.

In addition, it seems to me that there is a clear distinction between something which is simply meant to arouse, and the hideously garish mainstream pornography which you'll find in your local "adult" video store. A lot of pornography is indeed designed and marketed to be "better" and more erotic than sex; this brand of pornography--the stuff with the bowling-ball sized implants and big budgets--is very clearly hyperreal because it's an artificial over-sexualization of sex. However, I don't see how watching a depiction of intercourse for the purpose of stimulating sexual arousal is inherently more hyperreal than watching someone get kicked in the groin to stimulate laughter, or than going to the orchestra or a concert to stimulate euphoria. I've always read Baudrillard as referring to the garish, hyper-sexualized variety of pornography, and not representations of sex acts in and of themselves, as being hyperreal. This would disqualify "pornography" as a blanket term from being included under examples of hyperreality. But perhaps I'm totally wrong.

I have re-inserted the example of pornography. THIS IS BAUDRILLARD'S EXAMPLE. It is also **THE BEST** example of hyperreality. I appriciate your argument but it doesn't really relate to what Baudrillard has to say. - Abscissa 04:48, 21 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Comment - the nature of pornography is to simulate sex. More specifically -- the act of watching pornography. This does not necessarily include masturbation, but unless you have a specific fetish that relates to the viewing of pornography, you are engaging in hyperreality. - Abscissa 04:48, 21 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The fact that anyone could take pornography to be a real dipiction of sexuality at all lends more creedence to the concept of hyperreality... --DanielCD 18:25, 4 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I rephrased the example to reflect film in general. I also gave direct credit to Baudrillard for the pornography example. (talk) 19:10, 10 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The pornography example is much more relevant than film in general. It makes the point a lot better. People don't enter film in general the way they do with pornography. --DanielCD (talk) 20:43, 10 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Again, I don't see why this is being changed to "film". Film may be an example of this, but it is in no way as good an example as pornography. People don't engage film the way they do pornography, and trading the examples makes the article more confusing. Pornography is perhaps a perfect example of hyperreality. If it's taken out here, it needs to be reemphasized somewhere else. Therefore I see no reason to change it to "film" in general. It's not *just* Baudrillard's example either; it is the best example. Perhaps some expansion or rewording might make a stronger article, but the pornography shouldn't be de-emphasized. --DanielCD (talk) 16:34, 11 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That it is "perfect" or "the best example" is your opinion. The pornography example is compelling due to social norms and attitudes more than relevance, in my opinion. The level of hyperreality in a medium really depends on how it is approached by the creator and the observer, meaning the experiance could very widely from one individual to another, one map to another. Moreover, watching pornography isn't as universal as watching plain old movies, something to which everybody can relate. As this is an introductory example, I think the article should use something that applies as widely as possible to maintain neutrality, even at thee expense of depth. I don't have time to hunt down sources or cite Baudrillard to reemphasized the pornography example latter in the article, though, so I'll leave this for now. I do, however, want to strengthen examples of social actions and combat. Any comments on that? (talk) 20:52, 11 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In reading Baudrillard's own definition of hyperreality: "the simulation of something which never really existed," I do not understand how this argument can continue. I understand Baudrillard did in fact make a statement about pornography, yet the example of pornography undercuts his own argument. Saying that in general pornography (without masturbation as the article is currently geared towards)is hyperreal is the same as saying watching pro football at home is hyperreal. Just because the representation surpasses your personal experiences does not mean it surpasses all experiences. After all, the people being filmed are having sex. In the course of reading this article I am reminded of René Magritte's famous painting, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" (This is not a pipe.) All media is a representation, simply viewing pornography is no different from viewing other media. The only real discussion left pertains to metaphysical beliefs surrounding truth and reality (simply what exactly are fiction and nonfiction, and how do they relate to the concept of hyperreality.) And that discussion is stick and gross, and I do not want to participate in another metaphysical discussion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:03, 9 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You wrote : "In reading Baudrillard's own definition of hyperreality: "the simulation of something which never really existed,"" : do you have a source for this quote?

Explain Hyperreality[edit]

 – See {{expert}} tag added to top of talk page.

Maybe I'm just stupid, but I was totally incapable of figuring out what "hyperreality" is from a reading of this article. I don't the the article does a good job of serving as an encyclopedia entry; it opens by claiming that hyperreality doesn't exist, calls it a "symptom of culture" and then goes on to give metaphors relating to hyperreality and (probably debateable) examples of hyperreality without ever making a serious attempt to actually give a definition of hyperreality. The article comes across as self-serving and self-indulgent, like the article on U.G. Krishnamurti that opens with the claim that he isn't a philosopher, teacher, guru, author, etcetera. Someone needs to actually make this into an entry that explains what hyperreality is.--Halloween jack 05:44, 3 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A definition is there, though its not, granted entirely clear. From the intro:
Most aspects of hyperreality can be thought of as "reality by proxy." Baudrillard in particular suggests that the world we live in has been replaced by a copy world, where we seek simulated stimuli and nothing more.
-Smahoney 05:57, 3 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps I will try to write a more clear introduction -- though Baudrillard's writing is intentionally "roundabout" (don't have a better word at 12:50 AM) in this way. He is probably the clearest of all the postmodernists, and that's not saying much. - Abscissa 04:51, 21 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not clear that Baudrillard was really "influenced" by McLuhan. My inclination is to disagree--but if true, then a reference and a footnote would seem appropriate. (talk) 04:41, 26 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mexican Election[edit]

The Mexican Election is not an appropriate example because it not only is a specific event, but it is not represnted by a signifier that confuses reality (McDonalds = M arches, Pornography = TV, Las Vegas = Decor, etc.). While I happen to agree that the election (and elections in general) are "fake" in the sense that they are driven by spectacle and meaning, it is best not to make this article more confusing and it doesn't really belong here. People unfermilliar with the topic have enough time understanding it as it is. - Abscissa 19:12, 7 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have to (belatedly) concur. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 14:41, 13 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Video Games[edit]

Video Games have previously been suggested as an example but, frankly (once again), they do not belong. I am not fermilliar with any of Baudrillard's work talking about video games. Also, the video game user is interacting (at a sub-basic level) with real-reality -- since he does know that he is interacting with it (and by choice).

However, I do agree that research in this area is out of date because the current video games are extraordinaraily realistic, i.e. they involve combat operations, going in and resucing soldiers, other sorts of nonsense. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has up-to-date information from someone in this field. - Abscissa 09:03, 9 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Video games are NOT an example of hyperreality. This is because they do not seek to enhance and confuse reality."

Well I think you are wrong. Here let me quote a recent event which the reality/fantasy of the simulation of videogames has splilled into the real world because the user is totally immeresed in the stimuli. This is from netscape and the recent Montreal shootings.

"He said he liked to play "Super Columbine Massacre," an Internet-based computer game that simulates the April 20, 1999, shootings at the Colorado high school when Klebold and Harris killed 13 people and then themselves.

Gill complained that a video shooting game, "Postal 2," was too childish. He wanted one that allowed him to kill more and go "beserk."

"I want them to make a game so realistic, that it looks and feels like it's actually happening," he wrote in his blog."

Look at the last line, it been like this for many yaers. 'Pong' et el, are abstractions of reality that try to simulate the mechanics of one might do for real. The description of t.v. and film can be applied to videogames or the definition needs changing. End users "Engage in Fantasy worlds' al la the Matrix. Regardless of the way 'interactivity' is implemented, which is a bit of red herring, simply because people are only following the structure of games, (not creating thier own), which in turn borrow heavily from the film world or 'reality'. Also of note is that the original 'Columbine Shootings were allegedly influenced by the videogame Doom, which of course is a fantasy FPS game and lets the user be in the 'eyes' of the character which is what films are so successful at. Which is a paradox and post modern conundrum of immense proportions, is it not? RoloTamassey 07:57, 15 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would like to suggest to you that is one example of a particular individual with a psychological problem rather than an example of a cultural phenomena. In general, "hyperreality" is like a fine wine and should only be brought out for those cases -- i.e., the Iraq war on TV -- where the general public has no idea what is really going on... instead they are excited for the bombs, the tanks, etc. which are thousands of miles away. I would say that 99.99% of the public understands what happens when they play a video game, and the video game is meant to hypnotise them for a bit and perhaps escape from reality but it does not substitute for reality. - Abscissa 12:15, 19 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Video games are a cultural phenomenom. They exceed films and music for revenue and the influence videogames have on other media is quite prevalant. Critical analysis of this phenomena is threadbear and your assumption that the influence is not widespread is inaccurate. Also, I could assume that 99.9% of people know whats going on when they watch a film or go to 'Las Vegas'. That is not the point wether someone knows or is unaware of what they are doing. It is about what artifacts contemporary culture produces that mould our environment. Baudrilliards notion of hyppereality is a theory on contemporary culture of the time and some foresight into where it will go. It's not a philosophy, it just incorpates exisentialism because of the notion that world centres around oneself. I.e. a certain amount of self dillusion is needed to believe the illusion. RoloTamassey 12:14, 20 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First, there is absolutely no way, none, zero, none at all -- nil -- that video game revenue exceeds that of the movies. But that is not relevant. I also was not aware that I spoke to the relevance of the "infuence" of video games, since that would be irrelevant also. You claim that "It is about what artifacts contemporary culture produces that mould our environment" is worth addressing, especially since that definition is highly specific and easily refutiable. I would propose to you that hyperreality is instead about how reality is confused by contemporary culture. Watching the Gulf war on TV (Baudrillard's most famous example) does not produce "artifacts", the entire idea behind it is that it confuses an entire nation of people about what a war is, what is actually happening, what is going on, etc. Video games do not have this effect, at least not permanantly for most people. And when people do choose to play video games, they realise that they are engaging in a fantasy world. - Abscissa 17:09, 21 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But another frequently cited example is Las Vegas. I think that most people playing roulette at Caesar's Palace are aware that they are not in ancient Rome. — Gwalla | Talk 19:32, 1 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just as in any other medium, it depends on what we are analyzing (particular type of Video Games), no? Take Assassin's Creed 2 for example. While it may be obvious that the gamer knows he's playing in a fantasy world, where people plug into a system and explore past lives, jumping and falling from incredible high heights, the user might think that he really is exploring accurate replicas of the historical Venice, Firenze or whatever. That, imho, could qualify as hyper-reality. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrandre2u (talkcontribs) 12:48, 16 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


[T]he McDonald's "M" arches create a world with the promise of endless amounts of identical food, when in "reality" the "M" represents nothing, and the food produced is neither identical nor infinite. Am I missing something here? How do you get a "promise of endless amounts of identical food" from a pair of giant yellow arches? Strad 19:04, 17 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why do you think McDonald's is successful? If I go to Toronto, or Vancouver, or San Diego, or New York, I *know* I can get a Big Mac whenever I see the yellow arches. And I know my Big Macs will always be there. Why do you think they call it "McDonald's" everywhere with the exact same identical "M"? They could open tens of thousands of different menus, with local food, local tastes which change according to the seasons, etc. -- they would never be as successful. - Abscissa 22:58, 22 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Got it, thanks. I was trying to find symbolism in the arch itself, not the fact that it appears everywhere. Strad 03:20, 23 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is the point when I see the "M" not for what it is, (a big yellow M) but for these things, I engage in the world of the hyperreal. - Abscissa 04:26, 23 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And lest anyone suggest, "but it is the same everywhere", I can assure you that it is not. I'm quite well traveled and can personally attest to vast differences in beef quality, as well as the overall "McDonald's experience". McD in New Mexico is characterized by green chile being almost a de rigeur condiment. Meanwhile in Dublin, Ireland the concoction of a typical burger is almost sickeningly sweet to American palates due to the lack of any vinegar in the local variant of ketchup/catsup (pick your spelling; in the ROI and I seem to recall the UK as well, it is tomato paste, salt and sugar with no acidic quality at all). And so on. I've never had a consistent McD burger (or fries - different story) outside of about a 1000-mile radius. As Pulp Fiction lampooned, even the product names vary, for the same item, in these global fastfood chains. And in recent years, the very nature of the products has been shifting more and more, on a regional basis. McD is becoming hyper-hyper-real, not unlike the concept of "Disney". It is no longer even the expectation of a consistent menu and product, but the expectation of a consistent level of (sheep-like, but efficient) treatment, of (disposable but recognizable) presentation and packaging and of (immediately urge-satisfying, but ultimately unhealthy and non-nutritious) alleged quality. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 14:33, 13 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're not alone. When reading this article, I thought the McD's example came out of nowhere almost as an attack on the brand. I think the example here can be generalized to any fast food restaurant and perhaps any proprietary eponym where the brand evolves to somehow represent more than the underlying product. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a McD's apologist, I'm just calling this one as I see it -- a generalization that unfairly calls out a specific example. Does Wikipedia have a term for that? Jomofo7 (talk) 07:12, 29 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Map Example[edit]

 – Query answered.

I don't understand what "a map so detailed that it covers the very things it was designed to represent" means. Specifically, I can't figure out the sense in which the word "covers" is being used. Iridius 10:44, 15 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In this quote, the word "covers" is being used in a literal sense. The idea is that the map is a perfect representation of the real land. It is detailed and accurate down to details of size and space. As you can imagine, a map like this would actually cover the land itself. You can read more about this in Jorge Luis Borges' On Exactitude in Science.--Audreyhorne 18:39, 13 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


 – Please see WP:NOT#SOAPBOX and WP:NOR.

It's all perspectival isn't it? It would be no less valid for a person whose consciousness has developed in a time when the phenomena in question are common to view the world which these authors view as 'normal' as hyporeality, i.e. if you will, 'devoid of the intensity and generality of the sign common the modern epoch'. This I think shows the worthlessness of much/most of this philosophy (postmodernism) and it's parochiality. As a constrast I am working on a short essay based on highlighting of Husserl Paris Lectures which is relevant to the underlying topic but addresses it in a manner worthy of the Western tradition and therefore as relevant now as it was in 1929.Lycurgus 09:47, 15 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not to be harsh, but Wikipedia isn't interested in your upcoming work unless and until it becomes notable in philosophical circles as a valid challenge or adjunct to the subject of this article. Our articles are not concerned with whether you think the subject in question is "worthless". If you can cite notable, independent, reliable sources that have already established a counter-position to the concepts of hyperreality discussed in this well-sourced article, then you may have a point to make here. Wikipedia is not here for advancing your novel viewpoints nor for promoting your views. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 14:19, 13 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Let's fix this sentence[edit]

I have a serious issue with this sentence (aside from the lack of source citations):

Baudrillard's idea of hyperreality was heavily influenced by phenomenology, semiotics, and Marshall McLuhan.

This is just dreadfully out-of-synch. Phenomenology is a philosophical paradigm. Semiotics is a philosophical paradigm. Marshall McLuhan was a writer and (sometime) philosopher. This sentence reads something like "The most important experiences in my life were: learning to read, going through puberty, and George Lucas." Lucas is not an experience, and McLuhan is not a philosophy. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 14:08, 13 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It should perhaps be something more like "the philosophies of Marshall McLuhan", though I think that's implicit in the sentence as it stands. I think whoever replaced "Marshall McLuhan" with "Dean Gaffney" probably isn't helping, so I undid their edit. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:57, 8 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I think that the article should at least mention that the idea of hyperreality is not necessarily a new phenomenon. The definition of hyperreality suggests that it would apply to any environment, as one must always interpret the actions and words of those around them in order to determine what reality is, which very well may be fantasy.

For reference, I'll cite Manuel Castells, who according to wikipedia (citations available though) is the 5th most cited social scientist between 2000-2006, and is the most cited communications scholar. In "The Network Society" (2000:403) he says"[R]eality, as experienced, has always been virtual because it is always perceived through symbols that frame practice with some meaning that escapes their strict definition. Thus there is no seperation between reality and symbolic representation."

I understand that it was defined by Baudrillard and applied most specifically to modern media and technology, but I've found that most definitions provided by the 'famous theorists' listed on the page are consistent with that presented by Castells. I've seen both Castells and George Landow criticize the theory as 'fashionable,' something that has gained a large amount of unmerited focus and applied only as a 'new' concept, a recent development of society, when it has in fact always existed. Perhaps these perspectives should be considered in the article? OpEd (talk) 11:35, 25 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Stevling (talk) 17:16, 23 June 2020 (UTC)What effect would this have on ethics/society?Reply[reply]


The part about casinos switches from 'one' to 'you' and then starts sounding pretty informal. I was just going to switch all the 'you's to 'one's but I don't think that would fix it. I think it makes a good point, though, so I don't want to delete it altogether. What to do? GIBBOUS3 :D (talk) 16:29, 11 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Influence on Popular Culture[edit]

Could it be possible to list some of the art and writing influenced by the concept of the hyperreal? Personally I would like to see Philip K. Dick mentioned on this page, since he explored the deep end of the hyperreal in the sixties and seventies. (Squareape (talk) 09:59, 23 September 2009 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Example of Hyperreality[edit]

Could a grouping of synthetic flavours under a single banner, for instance 'Oranges', be seen as hyperreality? Here various flavours are sold as 'Orange', but are not the natural 'Orange' flavour. This group of synthetic chemicals then constitutes a 'fake' reality, that has replaced the natural flavour.

If so, could this be incorporated in the examples list?

(Squareape (talk) 10:23, 23 September 2009 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Baudrillard's quote is missing a correct source[edit]

”The simulation of something which never really existed.” This quote is attributed to French philosopher Jean Baudrillard's. However, it DOES NOT appears neither in the book Simulacra and Simulation nor in the article "The Precession of Simulacra". If source cannot be found, this quote should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Parneix (talkcontribs) 17:54, 8 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The quotation is from Baudrillard's book "Simulacra and Simulation", p.46 of the University of Michigan edition. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:04, 25 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some general issues[edit]

"Baudrillard borrows, from Jorge Luis Borges (who already borrowed from Lewis Carroll), the example of a society whose cartographers create a map so detailed that it covers the very things it was designed to represent." - Isn't the example here actually a reference to Alfred Korzybski's map-territory relation? Perhaps add a citation to where it is mentioned he borrows from Borges (Simulacra and Simulation “On Exactitude in Science”[ii]), to avoid confusion.

"Baudrillard's idea of hyperreality was heavily influenced by phenomenology, semiotics, and Marshall McLuhan." This sentence sounds odd with Marshall McLuhan tacked onto the end. If mentioning McLuhan, perhaps others such as; Hölderlin, Artaud, Barthes, Bataille, Benjamin, Borges, Brecht, Calvino,Canetti, Heidegger, Heisenberg, Jarry, Lichtenberg, Marx, Nietzsche, Orwell and Sartre ought to be mentioned.For reference - perhaps this:

"Hyperreality tricks consciousness into detaching from any real emotional engagement." Such a significant statement requires a citation, I think.

"(although Baudrillard himself may balk at the use of this word)" Seems a little subjective.

No citations for any of the definitions?

Only one quotation in the quotations section?

In the 'see also' section, the 'allegory of the cave' is mentioned. Baudrillard specifically states that the allegory of the cave is no longer applicable in "The Perfect Crime".

The external link: "Why Las Vegas is "Hyperreal"" no longer leads to the article.

I didn't want to personally change anything, since I'm new here. Just a few ideas. GenericAccountName (talk) 04:53, 5 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not enough Sci-Fi/pop writer references[edit]

I see that most people talking are wondering how this concept is different from that of midi-chlorians. It would also be nice with a link to "popular literature writer of the age makes a bid for post-modern philosophy with deep question" (such as the hopeless world-covering map example), if there is an -ism that exists for it yet.

I passionate long for the day when the Expert Attention Needed is displayed clearly at the top of each WP page, or in general a categorization of sections as "has not received expert attention", or any popular concept would be somehow substantiated as actual subjects of philosophy (or whatever discipline) from quote machines. Currently it might not be clear to someone going from Descartes' Evil Demon to this that the concept has not (yet, shall we say) been accepted into a discipline.

HenrikErlandsson (talk) 20:56, 8 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should we make a list? "Welt Am Draht" is an obvious example. Also: "Blade Runner"/"Electric Sheep"/most of Dick's later work; "White Noise"; "Adaptation," or Charlie Kaufman in general; etc ...

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Can someone who has been to Disneyland improve the example please?[edit]

Disneyland is the only explained example in the article. But I do not understand why it counts as hyperreality because I have never been to Disneyland. I am familiar with Disney movies but have never been to their land. There should be an objective description of the place before going on to why it is an example of hyperreality.

For example:

" . . . with its settings such as Main Street and full sized houses has been created to look "absolutely realistic", taking visitors' imagination to a "fantastic past".

Please describe Main street and the full-sized houses. I see full-sized houses all the time in the real world so don't understand what is special about them here.

". . .for example, the numerous simulated rides, including the submarine ride and the Mississippi boat tour."

No information is given on these rides. The article says they are "simulated" but surely not all simulated things are hyperreality. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:BB6:315F:3658:9442:73D:4F90:9B8D (talk) 19:28, 21 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]