For a few moments let’s assume the Simulation Hypothesis is true. The idea that we’re all actually living inside a much larger simulation. For a fun diversion, as a programmer and avid gamer I have a few questions.
Where are the cheat codes? Almost all simulation games have some form of cheat menu or special codes that can be used to adjust the parameters of the simulation very quickly. Sometimes these are for the player to use, often for the software development team. Where are those and how can we invoke them? Perhaps this explains sorcery?
Where are the walls you can walk through? A lot of games have spaces that you can cross into that you weren’t meant to. Sometimes this is funny and sometimes it just locks up your character and you’re as good as dead. Do we have any here? Does this explain stories of people crossing into other dimensions and other weirdness?
What kind of simulation are we living in and at what resolution do the operators see us? Do they view us as a big game of SimCity and we’re just tiny little dots going back and forth to our jobs with a number representing our happiness? Or is it more like the Sims, where they’re guiding us into having relationships and making painting goblins . Maybe that explains people terribly afraid to leave their homes?
How much of what we see are non-player characters? In a massive online game, you’ve got a lot of units in the game that are controlled by operators and players. But you have a lot more that are actually just controlled by the computer, hence Non-Player. Which one are you? I feel like I have free will, but is that what it would feel like if my player-operator was controlling me? When I want to have soup, is it really me?
Is there hidden loot up for grabs? While checking out groceries a few years ago I glanced behind and below the neighboring register. Right there on a shelf all by itself was a cake. Still in the plastic shell from the bakery, but a pristine and fairly attractive looking cake. This was before simulation theory had come out, but I remember thinking I wonder if that’s hidden loot that it’s okay for me to grab?
Are there shortcuts we can take advantage that the developers didn’t anticipate? I recently saw YouTube video where a player in a game was able to skip the entire game by doing some crazy explosion jump up onto a floating city. They weren’t supposed to be there till the end of the game, but there they were. Does this simulation have the same things?
Are there side quests? That elderly lady that randomly told you about a big wasp nest behind her shed… was that a call for you to go all Tigtone on that side quest and help her out? What would the reward have been? Probably cookies (+10 health for 60 minutes followed by -5 health on the sugar crash).
Does this explain UFO abductions? Is that just a player cheating and manually editing their save file? Dropping their character back into the game after some quick nefarious edits? Or maybe the programming running those people was updated. Maybe this happens all the time, and only occasionally a glitch lets us catch it.
How do you know when you’re winning? For instance a lot of games focus on the accumulation of wealth or power, but there’s also games that focus on taking care of others, or winning through diplomatic solutions? Is our simulation encompassing a lot of different objectives at different levels? That would be economical. If there is a winning condition… what happens when it is attained.
Is computing power limited? If there are no actual players observing an area, is it spun down until someone shows up? What maths are used to do the catch up and can we exploit that?
Is rebirth just the players next life in the game? When I lose a character online, I get a new one. It is completely new - different stats, new objects behind the scenes, but in some ways its actions are still influenced by me. So while in the sim it is completely new it will still have echos of me, my memories of its past lives, etc.
And the biggest question about this here simulation… Does it reset, or when is it going to be over? I’ve played in games where the balance of power has shifted so much that the people running the game simply reset it and everything starts over. Also every game of SimCity has an end,… Even if you just keep playing the same one eventually the version becomes outdated or it will no longer run on modern computers. It’s going to be all over then.
Let’s hope whoever is running the simulation has a high level of ethics and will not simply terminate the simulation because they’ve created virtual sentient beings. At least most of us.
For bonus points, if you had player stats… what would they look like? And not just the popular ones, but kindness, compassion, etc.