An increasingly popular theory about this universe lately is the one about everything being a simulation. Even Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX boss, believes this to be true. It’s a fascinating but also scary thought that seems to cater to the level of computer technology we have reached these years.
In the previous century, we thought there might be UFO’s. We didn’t always have access to a camera then and our own technological level had risen to a point where we believed it might actually be possible to have levitating saucers from other worlds. Almost no reports from the middle ages? What do they know!?
Now we have smart phones and cameras all abound. So, where are the UFO photos?
Deep down, I believe the simulation theory might become victim of the same fate. It’s an intriguing theory that makes some sense given what we learn from science at the moment, but who knows, one day we might discover or invent something more that will kill this theory in an instant.
Never mind. Guess it wasn’t that after all.
That haven’t stopped myself from playing around with this idea, however. In fact, I have spun a lot of thoughts and rules around the possibility of this all being a simulation controlled by some sort of ardent game masters. There are two aspects to this idea.
The Yin-Yang system
The first aspect toys with the idea that some – not all – some humans have game masters bound to them. Some of us are PC and some are NPC. Yes, it’s immediately very gamey. You can’t tell the difference just by walking up to someone and look at them. What you can do, however, is study how their lives unravel, what they are challenged with and how their problems are solved. And also if they actually try to play along.
It’s probably a good guess that the hobo living on the street is not a PC.
Imagine that you have game masters bound to you. Given that this is a simulation, it is of course a game to them. They have some control, but they are (by choice) far from omnipotent. What’s the fun in having cheat codes enabled? Instead, rules have been laid out for them and they can control certain details of your every day life, hoping to gain the wins they seek.
The heart of their system are the yin and yang meters. You could also look upon them as vials to fill up. The rules for these meters are actually quite simple. The yin meter has to be filled up in bits to counteract a certain amount of yang. Yin is tiny bad things. Usually annoying. It can be you getting a paper cut. The light going red just as you got to it in your car. All these small happenings are something that a game master might have arranged in one way or another, hoping to get enough yin to counteract the yang.
Yang signifies a future event that will happen or not happen later in your day. Usually it can be something very bad, but it can also be sort of a price, a gift. So the game master learns that in a few hours that day, you may be run over by a car and perhaps die (at least sent to the hospital). He now has to do what he can to fill up the yin meter to match the yang level. Some are the annoying stuff mentioned before, but it could also be delaying you in a way so that the bad opportunity window just slides off. That bus you’re trying to run up? What can we do to make sure he loses it?
So you lost the bus and you are pissed, but the game masters just saved your life.
But as mentioned it could at other times be a gift that must be counteracted by these bad things. Some of the yin may in this case be slightly more harsh than usual, as sort of trying to pay for the amount of sheer happiness the yang level reached would give you. I hit my toe this morning, cut myself shaving, my wife got pissed at me, but then I got an unexpected promotion at work.
Since the game masters have limited powers to play the yin and yang meters, they may not always get their way. You could get punished for a while and get nothing out of it. It’s just one of those days. Guess the game masters had one too – they tried to match the yang meter but didn’t make it. There were not enough cars to summon for blocking the road or their timing wasn’t right. They’re just as miffed about this fact as you are, because you being happy is another game goal you both share.
Other situations may be in for the really long run and thus quite complicated. It would be one of those that religious people would call him working in mysterious ways. For example, I was unemployed from 2009 to 2014. Five whopping years. In 2010, a job turned up that seemed quite nice and I wanted it. I turned up for the job interview and I thought it went well. Just a week before that I had endured a lot of toothache from having a wisdom tooth pulled, and I toyed with the idea that this was indeed the yin I needed to reach the yang level for getting that job.
But then I was turned down.
So what was up with that? I was unemployed for several more years until late 2014, where my friend Ole Mogensen got me a job in Io-Interactive, the creators of the Hitman series. Before long it evolved into the best job I’ve had in my life. Way better than the 12 years I was a postman, way better than the QA software testing gigs I had for another 12 years. And then it hit me. Maybe the game masters actually did reach the yang meter in 2010. They made sure I missed that job because they knew it would have been bad for me. Perhaps it would have been too stressful or I would have had nasty coworkers. They knew that if they made me wait a few more years, I would get a better job that would make me much happier.
But how did they know that so far ahead? Well, that leads me to the second aspect of this idea.
As part of the toolbox that the game masters can use to affect our lives, they can learn through repeated life iterations. This works kind of like Groundhog Day only for an entire life, and you will never know about this. It always feels like the first and only life to you.
But to the game masters, the first of your life iterations can be really tough luck for you.
Imagine that you’ve lead a life for a while, unknowingly having certain details twisted by the game masters through their yin-yang system. Then one day, you enter a path they have never seen before. You find a misty bridge and then turn left down a steep set of stairs, only you trip on them, stumble down through a world of hurt and then break your neck. You have excrutiating pains for a few minutes and then die. The game masters didn’t see it coming and couldn’t do anything. They initiate the next life iteration.
You go through much of the same life again, perhaps with a few tiny tweaks to make things a bit more smooth. Lets make sure he doesn’t get slapped in the face that day. Oh, and let him not drop the ice cream as a child. Then finally, you get to that misty bridge again.
The game masters now know what might happen if you turn left down a set of stairs, and they can block this route in one of many ways. Maybe the stairs are now being repaired and you are forced to find a different way down, one that doesn’t have you stumbling to your death. Or maybe they’ll just distract you. Someone calls you, a friend who emerged at the end of a road away from those stairs. Yes, you might walk down there later still, but this time you’ll probably walk differently and not stumble.
The intriguing thing about this life iteration idea is how it can be used to explain why some guys seem to have way more luck than others. Maybe there isn’t a random reason to this, maybe they’ve just had more life iterations. Someone with a lot of life iterations seem to stroll through life, avoiding all the hazards, marrying a beautiful and sweet significant other, and have awesome kids and friends.
But just imagine the hell they had to go through to get that far. And they don’t even know it.
Another thing I’ve been thinking is that although the game masters can control certain minor things, there are other things that are totally cut off from their access. Winning the really big one in the lottery is such an event. It is truly random, so if you really do win the big one you have nothing to thank for it but pure chance. The game masters allow such things to be a surprise to them since it spices up the game. It gives them a new challenge. Now the life of this person will change dramatically.
Let’s see where that takes us!
The entire idea with game masters playing a simulated universe of humans on planet Earth is intriguing and I frequently entertain myself with it. Especially when I feel like having had a bit of bad luck for whatever reason. But at the end of it all, I don’t really believe in it. I guess I’m just too rational for that.
It’s just like the movies, you know. So many science fiction movies exist where if you really wanted to, you could easily destroy the logic behind it. But it’s about suspension of disbelief. I allow myself to have some of it, but I always know it’s really just make believe.