Computer-simulation has an essential position in the world. Because using mammals to generate energy is super inefficient. Super inefficient. Those aliens had faster-than-light travel, so they had entire suns at their disposal. The amount of electricity generated by human beings in comas would be so tiny in comparison as to be laughable.
Plus, why bother to create an artificial reality? If, for some reason, you precisely needed living beings, and specifically needed humans, why not just put them all in medically induced comas? And thus save yourself all the effort of creating and maintaining the Matrix world.
But let’s back away from the literal premise of the movie towards a more generic “are we living in a virtual world” situation.
If we zoom out, then the answer is definitely yes. The matter is energy; everything around us composes of little random states of energy that interact with other countries of energy. Additionally, you either know where a low state of power is, or where it’s going, but not both at the same time. Creepy!
Think In Contrary About Computer-Simulation
But I think there’s also a middle ground, where the answer is “possibly yes.” Say human beings can build a computer smart enough to make an even more intelligent computer. (We’re pretty much already there, in any case!) Let’s say this quantum computer is powerful enough to stimulate all senses to the degree that it feels real. After all, smartphone screens are already high-res sufficient that they look like actual magazine pages! So why not?
What’s the first thing you’re going to do when you have that kind of computer? Right — you’re going to create super-realistic games. Now, when you play a game, do you prefer a game where everything always goes well or a game where you have the potential to lose, where bad things happen? I know that I, personally, get instantly tired of a game when I realize that I have enough lives saved up to live forever or when play is so easy that every move I make is a winning one.
So, we’re going to have hyper-realistic games that are indistinguishable from reality, complete with its ups and downs. That’s a given. Unless something catastrophic happens to us soon, we’re going to have that.
Now, all you need is one more step. A game that blocks access to our memories, so that once we start playing, the game is everything, and we don’t remember that it’s a game.
A Game Like That Would Be Super Compelling, Wouldn’t It?
Now you make a fast estimation. Let say human being have invented this technology. And there was a certain period — a few thousand years — before this technology developed. And a certain period — let’s say, millions of years — after the technology came into existence. Are you most likely to be alive during the earlier part, or the later part? The following section, right?
So, once you decide that we can have had invented realistic virtual reality, then it becomes incredibly probable that we are experiencing it right now.
Which means, that when you get hit by a bus out of the blue tomorrow, instead of the fires of hell, or the pearly gates, or nothingness, you’ll wake up in your comfy armchair, take off the VR headset and go, “Whoa, that game was a rush! It felt like I was in there for decades!”
And the big question then becomes — is this a single-player game or multi-player? Is everyone else really, or an NPC?