Are We Living in a Simulation?

A computer simulated world.

A computer simulated world.

Kaleigh Soto, Staff Writer

Do we live in a world comparable to the movie “The Matrix”? It’s more likely than you think. SpaceX chief Elon Musk firmly believes in this idea. It sounds ridiculous, but hold off on the criticism until you hear the details backing up the “simulation hypothesis”.

Typically, video game characters have no idea they’re inside a game. Could this apply to our human civilization too?  In a 2003 paper by Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at University of Oxford, he stated “If there are long-lived technological civilizations in the universe, and if they run computer simulations, there must be a huge number of simulated realities complete with artificial-intelligence inhabitants who may have no idea they’re living inside a game — inhabitants like us, perhaps.”

Take, for example, the popular video game “Doki Doki Literature Club”. One of the main characters is completely aware that she is in a video game. She knows her friends aren’t real and is aware of the existence of the individual playing the game. She uses this to her advantage, controlling her friends’ actions and the events that follow throughout the game. Eventually, she obtains complete control of the game. In the game, the player has the option to go in the game files and delete her, due to the sheer amount of power that she gains.

What could this mean for us? Could this mean that if we, like the above mentioned video game character, are aware of our own game, we can change the simulation itself? Perhaps the “players” playing our simulation may stop us before we are able to do that. To the creators of the simulation, it would be problematic if an individual became self-aware of their own simulation and caused mass hysteria inside the game. The creators would rule this out as a “bug” and delete the bug and any other actions the bug may have caused.

If this true, then Elon Musk is at risk. Probably anyone who believes this theory is at risk. Maybe there were others who believed this, spoke about it publicly, and were deleted from the simulation along with anyone’s memories of them. Unfortunately, we have no proof of this being true. Our universe may never have the answers.