A system and method for creating a virtual reality is defined. The virtual reality is efficiently constructed by providing a framework, or paradigm, in which the various aspects of the virtual world may be separately constructed, and then brought together at runtime to create the desired virtual reality. The framework includes views, which are windows into a virtual world, virtual worlds which are complete 3D models of the virtual reality, and modular components which are beings (or entities or creatures) that populate the virtual world. The components have both a graphical (visual) model and a behavioral model. The graphical model and behavioral model are independent software modules that may be reused with other components. Included with the modules are attributes, rules, and other parameters that may be used to affect the basic visual appearance and behavior of a component. Components may inherit from other components. The graphical model of a component is constructed from a hierarchy of parts.