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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Are We Sims?

When I was a kid, I read a short Science Fiction story that was part of a collection. I don't remember the author or the title, but the story itself had a twist at the end that was so cool. The world was a video game and in the last bit of story, we see the boy who's controlling the world and the people in it leave the game to go do something else.

Wow, I thought. That was a surprise. My understanding is that this isn't the only story that's pulled this twist, but at twelve or thirteen, I'd never seen it before.

In the past few years, I've started hearing about physicists discussing whether or not our universe is a simulation. A game. Apparently they have the math to make this a viable hypothesis. The first few dozen times I heard this idea, it left me disturbed. I'm not a Sim, damn it.

But after hearing it enough times, I've starting going hmmm. What if we are part of a video game? Characters in a universe filled with bits and pixels.

I enjoy Sims 3 a lot, and I wonder what if they became sentient in some future release? Sims 149 where they become aware. Here these characters are, trying to live their lives and out of the blue they find themselves playing chess to increase their logic level even though they've never played chess before.

It's an interesting idea, a great what if for a writer. In case you're wondering, the physicists have come up with an experiment that should provide evidence to whether or not we're a simulation game. It will be very interesting to see what the results are to that.