This chapter considers the rise of simulation software and hardware as a digital form of the virtual. From the painted circular panoramas of the 1800s to immersive virtual reality and digital renderings of environments in role-playing and other online games, there is a long history of virtual environments. Central to the recent history is the rise of sophisticated graphic display hardware and software, complex geographical information systems (GIS) and the popularity of video-and computer-games. This chapter outlines:

• The history of virtual environments, dating from the panoramas of the 1800s needs to be separated out from virtual technologies and simulation technologies.