A wave of new games use a technique called photogrammetry to produce digital replicas of the real world. The technique can be used to recreate rooms, objects, streets and even whole cities.

…Photogrammetry works by gathering hundreds of photographs of an object or scene taken from multiple angles and combining them into a 3D model. Common points between photos are joined up to create a basic shell and this virtual object is then skinned with the overlapping images.

“You not only end up with the exact shape of the object but the exact look of the object as it appears in the photos,” says Andrew Poznanski of The Astronauts. The results are so accurate that photogrammetry has been used to improve aerial mapping and forensic analysis of crime scenes. [Source: New Scientist, 12 July 2014]

So, the idea here is that a virtual world can be recreated from still images taken in a real world.

Lots of images, so many that it would probably be obvious that the shots were being taken.

Clearly our current world could not be created using this technique – unless time-travellers brought back cameras and filmed the entirety of our planet without being noticed…

However, given that this technology is now being used, anyone born beyond today has the possibility of living in a world recreated from photographs.