The Simulation Argument: Will Video Games Shape The Future Of Our Reality?

The technological advancement of Video Games has proven to be an unstoppable tide, but what does the future look like and what can it tell us about our world?

Let’s face it. At some point, we’ve all wanted to be inside of a video game. The rush of being able to traverse landscapes in fantastical ways, wield super powers like our favourite heroes, and relish a world free from consequence. Well, aside from being able to fly around and zap our enemies while incurring no penalties, there may be cause to believe that our reality

Well, aside from being able to fly around and zap our enemies while incurring no penalties, there may be cause to believe that our reality may, in fact, be simulated.

It’s a big concept to grapple with, but there are some interesting claims in its favour. Perhaps the most compelling one comes in the form of this: if the present rate of video game and software development continuous uninterrupted for several centuries, can we not surmise that at some point in the future, mankind’s capability for simulating a convincing reality is inevitable?

When we look at the progress in the forty or so years since old computer monitors were able to render two rectangles in a simulation of Pong, the fidelity of computer graphics rendering has evolved at a seemingly exponential rate.

The photo-realistic blockbuster video games of today would surely cause the residents of the past to hold their heads in disbelief if they were to see what the power of today’s computers can pump out.

Yes, it’s true that video games can offer their consumers more than they’ve ever been able to before – but what does their future look like? When we hypothetically extrapolate the rate of progress for video game technology, the far future looks less like a “game” and far more like a simulated reality.

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That’s because – at their most fundamental level – that is precisely what games are. Each game world must be coded with rules and parameters that dictate how that world may function.

More realistic games opt for much more realistic simulations – to the point where they can include fully-fleshed out simulations of physics that mirror our reality. These are, for reasons clearly seen, often labelled as “simulators”. Certainly, these “simulators” are still under the umbrella of “games”, but their attention to detail and to recreating the exact experience of, say, being a professional racing driver – is something that points their capabilities into a very clear direction.

Certainly, these “simulators” are still under the umbrella of “games”, but their attention to detail and to recreating the exact experience of, say, being a professional racing driver – is something that points their capabilities into a very clear direction.

If the future of simulators holds the capability of rendering more than just one particular action in incredibly high fidelity, then we’ve already taken a massive step towards creating an “artificial” reality that could stand to be better than our default one in nearly every way imaginable.

If there exists a chance that we could design, code, and embody another reality, does there not exist a possibility that our default reality might be constructed along parallel lines?

Truly, it seems like less of a fantastical concept when one takes time to remember that many of the world’s creation myths that underpin major religions hold the same thoughts in high regard: that this world, and all in it, exists at the behest of a “creator”. Even science itself offers baffling questions the deeper it digs – everything around us is coded, in some way or another. From the gene’s that contain the information for

Even science itself offers baffling questions the deeper it digs – everything around us is coded, in some way or another. From the gene’s that contain the information for life, to molecules whose composition can make up the myriad of elements in our universe.

So, the next time someone admonishes you for playing video games, tell them: “I’m not playing video games. I’m probing the existential depths of this very reality.”