So I just had a half-interesting thought about the nature of the universe. I don't mean to say I actually believe this, but it's a fun thought.
<span> </span>Say a sufficiently advanced society reached a point where the people either became apathetic to new exploration due to some incredible difficulty or something. Maybe there just wasn't anything new to discover in the universe, whatever the case. Say this society decided, much like we occasionally do, that fantasy is much more fun than reality. They then immersed themselves in games, virtual reality, whatever. These games were programmed with vision and detail and creativity, each more involved and stunning than the last, but none were perfect. Every person is different, a game can't be perfect for everyone.
<span> </span>And that's where we come in. One group making the games (which eventually evolved into fully-immersed virtual realities by this point) decided that the best way to make the most interesting game possible was to make it personalized. Since they were as lazy as we are, they created a game that would be automatically personalized. It would determine what the game world would be by analyzing the actions of a player in a preset, possibly shared tutorial. The tutorial would include puzzles, mini-games, activities, social situations, risks, consequences, etc., all the while analyzing the personal emotional reactions and choices. It would use this data to construct the ideal world for this person to experience.
<span> </span>Due to personal prejudices and the tendency for people to not actually know what it is they really want, coupled with the convenience and social acceptance of brain manipulation in this higher universe, the designers set it up so users would have no access to their prior memories during the tutorial, so the data that went into the creation of their world would be free from bias. They follow a limited time-line of simulated life for the singular purpose of analysis so that the next stage can be more fun. Think Truman Show but the audience is building you Heaven.
<span> </span>This little inkling is implying that we are an avatar, a character, in a leisurely simulation. What the world above would be, I can't say, but there probably isn't a lot of work to do. The matter of 80ish years for a tutorial may be some wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey thing that isn't really an issue up there. Maybe they speed things up somehow – maybe they don't age and there's nothing better to do.
<span> </span>It's funny, as the trend of increasing birth rate could right along with the trend of this big game's increasing popularity. There's an obvious, logical reason for this, but it's a fun comparison. At the same time, you can look at untimely deaths as early disconnects. Maybe it feels so wrong and it's so hard to accept because the system didn't intend for it. On the same note, plagues could be seen as widespread malfunctions. Some servers were crashing and explained it with the bubonic plague. Another little tid-bit is unexplainable occurrences – dealings with the paranormal. Some refuse them, some feel they experience it not too infrequently. Maybe they do – maybe the game picks up on patterns during the tutorial and tests them further as time goes on. I don't mean anything by it, it's not some philosophical statement on nature or anything. But I think it's pretty cool.<span> </span>Then again, a gloriously sleezy man once allegedly said, "The way to make a million dollars is to start a religion."