Nautilus

Virtual Reality Poses the Same Riddles as the Cosmic Multiverse

On most days, we do not wake up anticipating that we may be suddenly thrust into the sky while popcorn shrimp rains down like confetti, as some guy roars from above: “Hey, there, I’m Jack. And you are in a computer simulation.” Instead, we wake up thinking that an atom is an atom, that our physics is inherent to this universe and not prone to arbitrary change by coders, and that our reality is, well, real.

Yet there may be another possibility. Game developers have opened up massive, explorable universes and populated them with computer-generated characters based on advanced A.I. The experiences still lack some key components of reality, but

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