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jypsijemini

Simulation: Play The Game

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jypsijemini

I was ten years old when the Sims was first released. I never owned an original copy of it - I always had to wait to visit my cousins or my best friend to play it. When I proudly owned my very own copy of Sims 2 a few years later, I realised it wasn't just a hobby. It was an obsession.

For 2/3s of my life, I've built cities, designed homes, genetically modified and designed people, played god over their lives. I've had the power to dictate, decide and create to my heart's content.

For some, everyday human simulation isn't entertaining enough. They want to win wars, fight zombies, get the girl and rule the world. They want to be transported to other dimensions to battle the creatures of nightmares - but within every simulation there is a common factor: save and quit. Multiple lives. Infinite ammo. Cars that never need re-fuelling. Fridges that never need stocking.

It's the one thing that makes us feel safe enough to play. There's nothing at stake.

 

Something struck me the other day. It was like I'd crawled all the way into the back of my mind and I was just using my senses to observe. What I heard. What I felt without moving. What I could smell. What I could see. Everything else kept playing out in front of me without my input.

It's like watching the most detailed, interactive movie.

And I couldn't stop thinking about it.

 

I watched Westworld for the first time yesterday. Coincidentally, I didn't realise that it would be about simulation and AI. But the concept was astounding: the idea that people get so bored of their lives, we would go so far as to create a fake town in which we can do and be anything we want without any consequences. No judgement. Just pure freedom. The show depicts most 'guests' using their time in Westworld to rape and murder the immortal AI characters, who simply reappear the next day with seemingly no memory of the previous days' horrors.

Until the AIs begin to remember. They question their reality. They long for more.

 

Which makes me wonder: let's say life IS a simulation. Who made it and why doesn't matter right now. Let's just blindly accept that we've discovered the nature of reality and, lo and behold, it's all a big simulation that we wake up from at the end. Think, The Matrix, if you like.

Games lose their popularity when the audience feels there is nothing left to offer. They've done it all. They've completed all the quests. They've navigated the map. Continuing to play would be repetitive and boring. However, gameplay needs to be quicker and more action-packed than 'reality'. An ordinary gamer won't commit themselves to a game if it's going to take them years to complete it.

And here we are, forty years into the gaming era. We've gone from PacMan and Tetris to games like The Crew, which is a driving simulator based on a true-to-scale full map of the United States. Developers have made it possible to do or be anything we can imagine. Tractor simulator. Surgeon simulator. Fight terrorists. Fight demons. Muscle and might. Magic and mystery. From the ordinary and mundane to the extraordinary and mystical, there is a simulator for just about everything.

It makes me wonder: with simulators more accessible, more detailed, more researched and more 'realistic', are we losing the sense of wonder in our own realities. With technology, we can create scenery that can sometimes feel more breath-taking than the real thing. We can predict and even dictate the way our conversations go with bot characters. We can even look up cheats to create the outcome we desire.

Life doesn't seem to work that way in the real world. There's no restart button. No save. No pause. No load previous save data.

 

But what does strike me about life is the way that it's constantly begging you to play the game.

We're not bots. We're not just meant to walk around waiting for stimulation from the other characters. We're meant to play as the protagonist, the hero, the leading star.

How do we play? Some people take a lot of quests as their way to 'live'. They do a lot. They see life holding a lot of experiential opportunities and they want to experience them all! It's a bit like playing Zelda - you won't be able to do a whole lot if you're off-task but Quest-lovers like to keep themselves busy and progressing. 

You've got your 'purpose' players. They think there is an ultimate, supreme goal for this game. Salvation. Redemption. Eternal life. They're playing Jumanji. They just want to finish the game asap.

You've got your Grand Theft Auto players. They're consumers. They'll be just as likely to play a couple hours of the story line as they would to spend double that time running people over, blowing up helicopters and jumping cars off buildings. They're the ones loving the physical aspect to this simulation.

And then you have your Sims players. Their gameplay is much more emotional and feeling. Like in life, Sims gamers will spend hours working their CGI family towards their chosen goals. For example, some enjoy maintaining a family with as many biological branches in the family tree as possible.

 

Now think about your own life. In almost every waking moment, Life is trying to encourage you to play the game. It can be incredibly subtle - "You're getting cold. Put a jumper on" or "You're feeling thirsty. Get a drink." to the more alarming and startling: "She's insulting you! Defend yourself!" and "I'm terribly sorry but we're going to have to let you go. You're fired."

Life doesn't want to become boring. It doesn't want you to quit playing. But it can't make you interact with the quests it presents to you either. Handling something the same way every time doesn't have the same outcome either! Sometimes choosing to ignore a quest can have a surprising and unpredictable outcome! That's why bad people can get away with doing bad things and why good people can have all the worst luck, even if they've done everything right.

Predictable, repetitive games get forgotten.

Life's game is to keep you playing - keep you foggy. Keep you believing that this is reality.

 

I believe life also wants you to undermine yourself and fall into the belief that you are nothing more than a co-star.

This is life's little backstory for humanity. "You are only one human. The world is too big for just you. You're sharing it with everyone else. Therefore, you are not special. You are not unique. You are not made for greatness. You live and you die. Death is to be feared. Existence after death cannot be proven."

I believe something within us knows that this is wrong. We turn to religion. We turn to government. We idolise celebrities who seem to be defying this rule. We become selfish, consumerist narcissists. We divide against ourselves. We separate from one another. We fight for the life we want to experience.

When in actuality, I believe we are each responsible for the quests we take, the ones we ignore and the paths we seek out. If Life really is the most intricate, complicated and detailed simulation experience, there are far more potential possibilities than the generic ones Life tries to push into our hands. It's like that's the beginner's way to play the game: "Grow up. Finish school. Get a high-paying job. Find a partner. Provide for your family. Maintain a healthy, happy social life. Leave some sort of legacy. End."

Some deter from this and become the Moderate players, who might throw in some travel, some cultural experiences, some business management, some politics, a year in a monastery, write a book. Similarly, they might also deter from the narrative by achieving all those goals but in a negative environment. "Grew up in abusive home. Dropped out. Started selling drugs. Abused partner and children. Made a lot of enemies. Was notoriously hated. End."

And Life's heirarchy just continues. You do more, become more notable, more people talk about you, you have more (or less), you're seen to be an influence on humanity (either positively or negatively).


 

It comes down to this: I am aware that in every waking moment of every day, I am experiencing things. I can either choose to observe them or interact with them. I experience strange phenomena such as synchronicity, coincidences, deja vu, future visions and inexplicable happenings. I have successfully "manifested" several of my desires - requiring no effort whatsoever, only secret intention and envisioning.

I'm not saying that everything is within my control. Manifestations take time.

I just think we're taking life too seriously for what it is.

 

This isn't just a new thought either. Pondering the biblical name for God, "I Am", broke my religious programming. I realised that I say, "I am" countless times a day and rarely realise what I'm actually saying over myself. I realised there was a part of me who wasn't the name I go under, the age my body is, the occupation this flesh sack holds... There's an I AM underneath that recognises its own existence as well as the character it is playing.

And on top of that, the Christian idea that we each get one lifetime in order to 'get it right' just doesn't sit right with me. Why do I get to have a life as a born-and-raised Christian, a privileged white woman and a healthy, protected Australian while that little Middle Eastern girl watched her parents' bodies explode in front of her, the mosque she's attended all her life was razed to the ground and she dies before she's 15 from being beaten and raped in the sex-slave industry.

How could I possibly be making the right 'decision' when I'm not really making a decision at all. Why did that Middle Eastern girl never get the chance for salvation like I did?

I refuse to believe that a "God" of "mercy, grace, love and forgiveness" could give us each one shot at life and yet the odds are greater for some than they are for others.

 

But on that note, why should we think we only get one shot at this Game we call Life? Why just one gender (for most), one body, one set of circumstances, one way of growing up, one way of getting old.What about those with diseases and dysfunctions? Do they only get to experience that?

 

Life is simple. There is no right or wrong, no matter what way you look at it. Many, if not all religions, believe in reincarnation (to some extent, even if they think that it'll take the return of their Saviour to rapture the dead). Eastern philosophies have spent centuries deeper in studying and developing their understanding of spirituality than the Western World has. We've been too busy keeping Christianity alive for the past 1000 years and waging wars. We accept science as our religion now.

Therefore, if we reincarnate (or switch characters), there clearly is no right or wrong. It just is. We come back, we do it again.

That's not to say that there should be a free-for-all and we should ignore those who are feeding their dark sides.

For none of us know yet why we're here, why (and if) we keep coming back and who (if anyone) created Life and existence. It's better to be safe than sorry - but we don't need to follow a God or a religion or a single way of life to get there.

Love is the best answer I've got.

Understanding love. Being love. Having love. Exuding love. Offering love. Encompassing love.

 

 

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sci-nerd
Posted (edited)

Wow, that was long! But it is about one of my favorite subjects, so I finished it.

This is more like a blog entry, than a discussion starter though. Or did you aim for something in particular?

Edited by sci-nerd
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XenoFish

If life is a simulation I want the cheat codes.

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sci-nerd
1 minute ago, XenoFish said:

If life is a simulation I want the cheat codes.

What? You want me to just hand them over? Do you realise how long it took to get them?!

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XenoFish
2 minutes ago, sci-nerd said:

What? You want me to just hand them over? Do you realise how long it took to get them?!

Yes of course I do. Why should you get all the fun?

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sci-nerd
Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

Yes of course I do. Why should you get all the fun?

Ok, let me tell you a recent and true story.

I sat one evening and focused on my open hand, imagining a coin in it. Just for fun. Two days later, when I was buying groceries, the kart I took had that coin left in it.

Of course it was a complete coincidence. But it's not the first time I coincidently get what I focus on.

So the cheat code is: Focus on what you want, and you'll get it. Somehow.

Edited by sci-nerd
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jypsijemini
48 minutes ago, sci-nerd said:

Wow, that was long! But it is about one of my favorite subjects, so I finished it.

This is more like a blog entry, than a discussion starter though. Or did you aim for something in particular?

I think it was a big, frightening mis-match of thoughts and ideas that have been swelling around in my head for over a week now and something in me just made me want to see it all written down. It was making sense in my head at the time lmao.

I agree with your cheat code!

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sci-nerd
4 minutes ago, jypsijemini said:

I think it was a big, frightening mis-match of thoughts and ideas that have been swelling around in my head for over a week now and something in me just made me want to see it all written down. It was making sense in my head at the time lmao.

I agree with your cheat code!

Well it does make sense. You just lacked the questions that would start a debate. Do you have any such?

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Tatetopa
44 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

If life is a simulation I want the cheat codes.

I think god had the cheat codes and it didn't make him all that happy.

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jypsijemini

@sci-nerd  I guess I'm interested in exploring this.

I haven't really played with the simulation idea until recently and I'd like to open up this theory.

Whether there's people who are aware of science which may support/question this theory...

Whether there are deeper theories on this subject...

 

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sci-nerd
1 minute ago, jypsijemini said:

@sci-nerd  I guess I'm interested in exploring this.

I haven't really played with the simulation idea until recently and I'd like to open up this theory.

Whether there's people who are aware of science which may support/question this theory...

Whether there are deeper theories on this subject...

I'll get back to you about that tomorrow. Gotta go to bed before the sun rises.

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third_eye

Cheat code :

L, I, F, E

~

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Golden Duck

We're either in a simulation or not - I think.

 

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Jujo-jo

That was very interesting, very deep.

 

2 hours ago, jypsijemini said:

Which makes me wonder: let's say life IS a simulation. Who made it and why doesn't matter right now. Let's just blindly accept that we've discovered the nature of reality and, lo and behold, it's all a big simulation that we wake up from at the end. Think, The Matrix, if you like.

 & through all the fog...

I think that most of our lives are exactly such as this, only until we reach a certain age or point in life where we start to realize that our lives really aren't what we "thought" they were or what we were told to believe it was and even about certain family members... it takes a lot at that point to pull away after real truth is discovered so that you can start living the life we can create for ourselves in our own truth without the veil of illusions.

I think we - or well some of us may gain reality about ourselves and our lives as we grow but still may hang on to some of those illusions only getting it 1/2 right. It takes a lot of work and dedication to ones self to see truth and even then we still may question.

I also think that some of us just play the game of life as best as we can, even if some us us dont even know how to play it at all... 

& people who endure hardship and dispare and some rich and famous are just delt those cards, which brings me to think of destiny, some have no choice to be where they are or where they end up but others can put themselves in those situations by their decisions and actions, and others work very hard for desired outcomes.

Love is nice if you can find it in true form but not even a mother's, or a father's love is guaranteed. You can give unconditional love, kindness understanding and compassion but nothing says it will be returned.

In the end what counts are, our own actions and our own decisions for how we treat others and ourselves from what we devolve into by our desires.

Just my thoughts on it all.

Thanks for sharing - awsome piece, lots to think about ; )

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sci-nerd
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, jypsijemini said:

@sci-nerd  I guess I'm interested in exploring this.

I haven't really played with the simulation idea until recently and I'd like to open up this theory.

Whether there's people who are aware of science which may support/question this theory...

Whether there are deeper theories on this subject...

Ok, so let's do this.

There is no consensus in the scientific community about the simulation hypothesis. It has both proponents and opponents.
The biggest opponents are found in the lower hierarchy of the community, but the higher up you get, the more proponents you find.
A few research teams are currently working on finding evidence to support it. One is looking in space, and others are figuring out experiments.

Opponents claim there is no evidence to support it. That is not true, but it is a matter of interpretation.
The best evidence is found in quantum mechanics, where duality can be interpreted as a GPU response. There are no other classical ways to interpret duality. (There used to be the 'many worlds interpretation', but experimental evidence does not support that hypothesis.)
In the equations of supersymmetry, there has been found computer codes. Not just any codes, but graphical error correcting codes. That is perhaps the most direct evidence we've got.
The holographic principle, that explains what happens at the event horizon of a black hole, is also in support of the hypothesis. Even black holes themselves are. As with duality, it's about saving processing power. Both duality and black holes do that.

Opponents claim that quantum mechanics does not apply to the Newtonian world we experience,  but that is not correct. Duality has been observed in large molecules, like amino acids, also.
Opponents also claim that the hypothesis is religion in disguise. But that's nonsense. It has no divine creator or any rules to live by. It does allow intelligent design, but it does not require it. All it does is explain the mechanism behind the universe.

A fairly good documentary has been made about the simulation hypothesis. You can watch it here.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

 

Edit: The limitation of the speed of light is also evidence. A shining object in motion, should add to the speed of its photons, in the direction it is heading, but it does not. Something stops it.

Edited by sci-nerd
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Will do
16 minutes ago, sci-nerd said:

Opponents also claim that the hypothesis is religion in disguise. 

 

If science is worshipped, it just might be religion.

 

 

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sci-nerd
1 minute ago, Will Due said:

If science is worshipped, it just might be religion.

It isn't worship to be thrilled about something, or to celebrate it.

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XenoFish

Life is but a dream.

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