Reality as defined by Merriam-Webster is the “quality or state of being real”; real is defined as “not artificial, fraudulent or illusory”. That definition fits for most people, and you could perhaps add that if one or more of our 5 senses can sample the object or condition, it’s most likely real.
The Matrix Trilogy challenged our concept of reality by offering that machines had taken over the human race, and projected a reality that the human mind perceived as real. The idea of machines rebelling against mankind is not new, as that is also the basic idea behind the Terminator series.
We know that computers are tangible, real objects as we can touch and interact with at any time. Virtualization software however, can be installed on computers to simulate a real machine so that other operating systems can be installed and used. To the operating system the virtual computer is real as all of the conditions for the OS to function are satisfied, even thought it is software that is creating this virtual environment.
We play games and simulations on a computer or game console that create virtual environments and characters that interact with those environments. Those characters either emulate human characteristics, or portray a human ideal of what a character would look or act like, such as a monster in a game. We control some characters via input devices, while the software controls others, and usually the basic idea of a game is to get the character you control to complete a task against game controlled characters or physics of the game environment.
So is it that hard to imagine that the conditions that we live in daily, are in fact a generated reality designed to meet our perceptions of what reality is? Is life as we know it really in our control, or are our thoughts and actions influenced by another entity? Are we basically The Sims on a larger scale? No scientific proof of this concept exists, but how could there be? Would the designers of this condition really allow our science to prove something that would be counterproductive to the scenario?
There doesn’t need to be some devious purpose for our existence, such as extracting our energy to power a machine; the architects of this reality may have simply designed this world as a test or for entertainment. Maybe there is no control over our lives at all; we are allowed to exercise free will as long as it conforms to the conditions of the simulated environment. Our sleep could be time when the routine is not running, or our virtual beings need recharged.
So is this scenario possible? Sure, but is it really probable? Not so much, but it is something interesting to postulate. This article is not designed to challenge scientific concepts or religious ideals of creation; it’s just something to think about. Interestingly if you believe in creation, then the creator would be the constructor of this reality. If you subscribe to evolution, environmental changes play a role in it, but who or what initiates those changes?