Digital Trends spoke to Rizwan Virk, a computer scientist, video game developer and author of The Simulation Hypothesis, about the hypothesis, why it matters, and why it has gained traction 20 years after The Matrix hit theaters.
Digital Trends: The simulation hypothesis is a complex and controversial topic. What first got you interested in writing a book about it?
Rizwan Virk: I had an experience playing virtual reality ping pong and the responsiveness was very real to the point where I forgot that I was in a room with VR glasses on. When the game ended, I put the paddle on the table but, of course, there was no paddle and there was no table, so the controller fell to the floor. I even leaned over onto the table and almost fell over. That experience really got me thinking about how video game technology is evolving and how it could end up being so fully immersive that we would be unable to distinguish it from reality.
Describe the simulation hypothesis for people who aren’t familiar with it.
The basic idea is that everything we see around us, including the Earth and the universe, is part of a very sophisticated MMORPG (a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game) and that we are players in this game. The hypothesis itself comes in different forms.
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