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Thanks to these guys, the virtual world just got a little more realistic.

This story appears in the June 2006 issue of Start Up.

The problem with most video games, at least those of the simulator variety, is they still lack photorealism. Five Harvard graduates--Chris Colosi, 24; Brad Kittenbrink, 25; Eric Tulla, 25; Palmer Truelson, 25; and Asi Lang, 25--have developed a technology that finally puts the proper haze on the video-game sunrise.

While in school, the five Ivy Leaguers originally set out to create a fun, easy-to-play game for their forthcoming summer. Instead, they wound up creating Waltham, Massachusetts-based Windward Mark Interactive in 2003. The company provides a technology called WindLight, which the quintet developed while working on their game. WindLight produces lifelike worlds through patent-pending rendering algorithms, allowing developers to use pre-existing models and textures while adding clouds, dust, shadows and lighting.

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