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There comes a time when entertainment transcends itself and evolves into a different beast with its own instincts for us to tame. From puppeteering to animation, from stereoscopes to modern film masterpieces. Humanity's thirst to create, experience and enjoy the surreal has brought us far into the bones of what makes us tick. And with every piece of technology, we go from basic materials like paper and cardboard for board games, to the highly sophisticated device we call our gaming stations. In 1972, Atari's Allan Alcorn was tasked with creating a game based on "Virtual Tennis" he had played at college as a warm-up exercise to show his skills. Allan took it one step further and changed how the game was played by adding the ability to bounce the ball at angles, instead of just straight ahead. When the game was done, it was called "Pong" and it was the world's first game console.

 

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The world's first version of Pong

 

Oh how joyous the transition, as mortals attempted to reach into another world, changing how the false environment reacts to our input in a final act of challenging the notion of god. What stops our own reality from being merely a game by higher beings with superevolved intellects and understanding of the universe? To realize that the numbers we input into a computer translates into actions, emotions, rules, etc of another "world", we can all agree how terrifying it must be to ponder the theory of whether humanity is the same. Made up of a sequence of inconsequential numbers. That our actions hold no meaning other than those perceived by our own ignorant minds.

 

Zhuangzi-Butterfly-Dream.jpgA famous painting of Zhuangzi dreaming he was a butterfly.

 

Zhuangzi is an ancient Chinese text from 476-221 BC written by Zhuang Zhou as a foundational text on Daoism. In one of his stories "Zhuangzi Dreams of Being a Butterfly", the story goes:

"Once, Zhuang Zhou dreamed he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering about, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know that he was Zhuang Zhou. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuang Zhou. But he didn't know if he was Zhuang Zhou who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming that he was Zhuang Zhou. Between Zhuang Zhou and the butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things."

This is the fundamental issues brought up in Simulated Reality Theories. How would mankind be able to tell if they were within a simulated reality, or in Zhuangzi's case a dream, if we do not even have the rules to follow when distinguishing them? Humanity's greatest struggle is always of the consciousness, whether or not the human mind learns of the actual universe and its principles or rather the universe creating principles simply to humor us. 

 

It is foolish not to wonder about the impact we have when technology advances further and further. When games itself become capable of creating life in a separate yet similar world, we realize that there is another final frontier. The earth, sea and space are all physical frontiers for mankind to explore and discover. However, programming and gaming has created another campaign we must take. Is it possible to find out about our reality from learning more about false ones? 

 

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What distinguishes Battlefront above from reality? If we were in the game, would we even be able to tell the difference?

 

Let's say we agree that humanity is in this supposed simulated reality and we are all being monitored by otherworldly beings who surpass us in intellect. Where would this being even come from? Aliens? Demons? Parallel dimensions? Actually, the answer could be ourselves.

Technological Singularity is a theory that suggests that because of the ability for technology to compute at a higher rate, we may accidentally invent artificial Superintelligence that surpasses even mankind's most gifted being. This will trigger a technological growth due to the superintelligence wishing to improve itself, thus, making itself the most powerful device in the universe. Humans would be toys to these superior creatures. In Science Fiction author Vernor Vinge words:

"Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended."

Of course, Vernor's theory of superintelligence being achieved in 30 years was not proven true, however, his words still stand. If humanity ever reaches that level of technology, humans will find themselves back in the food chain. The big bang created us, we created technology and technology will create other things. Each generation of intelligent beings trumping the last. And as we've seen with automated cash registers and self-driving cars, stumbling upon superintelligence might not be as farfetched as it seems. We might be on the cusp of the end of the human era, not through the death of our reality, but the replacement of it with a simulated experience. Maybe not the death of our bodies, but the death of consequence as we wander through the universe of a game that means absolutely nothing.

 

So I propose we make a pony game based on Star Wars Battlefront. Luna could be the Empire and Celestia could be the Rebels. That sorta deal. 

Princess_Celestia_and_Princess_Luna_Star

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I was extremely bored. There could be many errors in my research. Please make an effort into studying deeper into the topic if you wish to be fully accurate. Not responsible for any embarrassing moments from stating any facts here at a bar in an attempt to impress your friends and finding out you're wrong. Try being good at beer pong or something. 

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As no action is veritably superior to any other, consequence is, at present, non-existent irregardless of how "simulated" our reality is.

I, for one, wholly predict the human race being casually outcompeted by a superior creation of ours, initially in the job market. I have no problem with this, as I have no prejudice towards furthering any sort of "human" agenda. Bring on the end of this wretched species!

 

Oh, and Battlefront with Luna and Celestia? Just make it one of the classic Battlefront games, not this generic new-fangled fancy-graphics creature that gets played nowadays.

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