posted on 2020-11-18

(this post may contain some very vague spoileryness about the video game Outer Wilds)

A Prototypeness Hierarchy of Realities

one property of many video games that i felt the most when playing the excellent Outer Wilds was prototypeyness.

many games, and especially that one, feel like they are prototypes for reality to some extent; they try to extract some essence of what is interesting about this world, without having the ability to implement all of it in a fully dynamic way, and thus hardcoding the rest.

now, this aspect of prototypeyness is sufficiently present in Outer Wilds that i ended up asking myself the question: what would real life (this universe where earth is) be a prototype for ? and i think the answer is:

real life is a prototype for living in virtual realities/cyberspace.

once we upload ourselves to computers (a good thing!) we will be able to make the entirety of the substrate that individuals interact with way more flexible; inhabit spaces of any number of dimensions or maybe not even spaces at all and just graphs (as is the shape of the web), modify our minds in ways meat brains wouldn't support, basically utilize any type of computational constructs we want with no regard for most limitations, depending on reality only as a substrate to run the computronium for it all.

like the step between prototypey video games and reality, it is one of a nearly definitional boundary in scale of computing power, and one whose non-prototype side i'm very interested in.

posted on 2020-11-18

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