Game Earth

simsA few months ago, I read an article posit that humankind, Earth, and the galaxy, is really just part of a simulation. I went “Haha.” Then I read a second article, this one in the Guardian, and I did another “haha,” but this one was uneasy.

Then there was the third article, this one by Neil deGrasse Tyson, whose shoes are smarter than me and then I was a little worried.

The hypothesis boils down to this: we humans live in a simulated reality that is run by some posthuman civilization. That means that our world is not real, but rather more like a computer game. No doubt if you have played any game like The Sims, 0 A.D, or Civilization, you are no stranger to the concept.

If you haven’t, just watch The Matrix to get up to speed.

I started thinking: What if we are just one simulated galaxy in one computer in the bedroom of one posthuman adolescent? I imagine him sitting above whatever a computer consul looks like in his posthuman world drinking whatever the posthuman equivalent of strawberry Yoohoo is, and eating whatever the posthuman equivalent of Hohos are. His posthuman mom is getting on his posthuman ass about cleaning his posthuman room. But he keeps blowing her off to check on his simulated galaxy of humans in his bootlegged copy of:

Game Earth: version 4,501,920,200 BCE – 2020

He probably had to sit through all the boring creation stuff. More mold! Mom, it got jammed on these single-celled thingies. This is worse than sea monkeys! He probably had a blast during the dinosaur days. What kid (posthuman or other) doesn’t like playing with dragons? That’s why he left one or two in a lake in northern Scotland.

When the first species of archaic human started showing up the kid probably really got into all the rampant terror and violence. There were roving tribes of nomadic people bludgeoning and eating other roving tribes of nomadic people. And every now and then, one of them got eaten by a Sabertooth tiger or trampled by a Woolly mammoth.

As humans developed, the posthuman kid must have watched with enjoyment. I mean, the Romans had lots of orgies, barbarians burned and pillaged Europe, and there were brilliant and fascinating civilizations in Africa, Asia, and North America. Then there were the intrigues of Europe, the Napoleonic Wars, and, plus, sea battles.

I wonder if the kid had (or has) any control over things here on his version of Game Earth or if he simply has to sit back and watch with horror, fascination as things transpire.

Horror, fascination, and boredom, that is. Because with all the interesting epochs and eras that Game Earth might have seen, I don’t know that watching modern humans is exactly riveting.

Okay, okay, I suppose we do have occasional societal excitement. There are sex scandals, advancements in science and technology (that inch us ever closer to Posthuman Him), and better televisions. There are also tragic and exciting moments: earthquakes, Krakatau, the Word Wars, the addition of mushrooms to pizza, and Donald Trump’s existence.

But otherwise, aren’t our paltry lives a bit too mundane to entertain an advanced race? We get up in the morning, and if we don’t we are called slackers. We eat breakfast. Some of us have healthier diets than others. Lots of us hate our jobs, some of us love our jobs. If we’re lucky we get colds, flus, hemorrhoids, and skin rashes; if we’re unlucky, it’s much worse. Is our posthuman teen the one who calls the shots on that one?

And if so, thanks a bunch for anxiety and depression.

We play sports to keep fit, lift weights, others just go to a bar and watch sports and drink beer, some just go home and watch TV and play video games.

What if we watch reality TV and play simulated games like The Sims? Is our kid then watching his simulated reality watch or play a simulated reality? And how long is it going to be before our simulated reality games can watch or play a simulated reality game? When are we going to start watching reality shows of other people watching reality shows?

I wonder if reality TV and simulated games mark the beginning of the end for our version of Game Earth. I mean, we used to be interesting, but how entertaining can it be to watch someone else watch someone else who’s watching someone else?

I’m afraid our posthuman teen is going to give in to his mom soon, switch us off, and clean his room.

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