Realism is a qualitative component of games that describes the degree of accuracy to which a game simulates phenomena that exist in reality. This can include many things from the rate of fall an object experiences in a virtual Earth to the accuracy of events occurring in a game based on the capture of Berlin in 1945. Generally speaking, realism can be defined on a linear scale, with arcade games being at one end and simulations being at the other. Arcade games aim to be fun and often disregard Newton's laws, whilst simulations often allow the player to apply real world skills such as room clearing tactics or advanced flight maneuvers to their experience. Realism is rather progressive, a game that was realistic a few generations ago may later be viewed as arcade by comparison to those that have superseded it.
A common discussion among many gaming fora is the preference of arcade-style or realism, at the end of the day it is all down to personal taste. A common argument against realism is that it is tedious and unnecessary as many gamers play to escape reality. Contrary to this realism proponent argue that realistic games allow them to achieve objectives they could never do in reality for moral or fiscal reasons, such as flying aircraft or shooting people. Realistic games can also be very rewarding because of the incredibly steep learning curves that deter many would be players.