Whereas representation tries to absorb simulation by interpreting it as false representation, simulation envelops the whole edifice of representation as itself a simulacrum.
These would be the successive phases of the image:
1 It is the reflection of a basic reality.
2 It masks and perverts a basic reality.
3 It masks the absence of a basic reality.
4 It bears no relation to any reality whatever: it is its own pure simulacrum
Are virtual worlds pure simulacram?
No – because even they are grounded in the practice of the body (Taylor, 2002). So does anything exist as pure simulacram? Probably not. So nothing is hyperreal? Or maybe I haven’t got Baudrillard. Need more coffee…
Jean Baudrillard, Selected Writings, ed. Mark Poster (Stanford; Stanford University Press, 1988), pp.166-184
http://www.stanford.edu/dept/HPS/Baudrillard/Baudrillard_Simulacra.html accessed 10.2.07