A Conversation with My Friend God the Game Designer
“I’ve created a simulation” my friend God said to me one day. “There isn’t much interactivity between you and what’s happening on the screen” he added “but it will be fun to watch.”
“What kind of simulation is it?” I asked him. “What does it involve?”
“Well” he replied “I’ve written a few thousand lines of binary, which contain the seed instructions for an entire universe to begin mapping itself out. It will do this pretty quickly – once it starts, it will explode outwards in a big sort of ‘bang’, and planets, stars, comets and black holes will start generating randomly across a virtual reality representing billions of lightyears.”
“I’m not convinced” I told him. “Who wants to sit and watch planets popping up?”
“Oh, I’ve not got to the best part yet” said God. “Within this code is the basic instructions to create billions of different virtual life forms, which will be randomly spread across the millions of different planets. I don’t know what these life forms will be yet, as I haven’t calculated precisely what these seed instructions will become… but if all goes according to plan, then eventually, some crude form of “intelligent” life will emerge, that in some basic way might reflect the lives we live ourselves.”
“Then what?” I asked him, my interest now somewhat piqued. God paused to think, then began to speak again.
“Unless I’ve made a massive blunder” he said to me “then this “intelligent” life will also develop an apparent sense of morality. Individual life forms will each be unique one from the other, and each will have its own pre-programmed set of natural urges, preferences, beliefs, personalities, and varying understandings and interpretations of “right” and “wrong”. But don’t worry, their behaviour definitely won’t be predictable – I’ve written the code in such a way to make sure it’s not just the in-built personality variables guiding their decisions. Once they start interacting with each other, learning about their surroundings, and building relationships, they will hopefully begin to influence each other’s behaviours. And hey, if they really take to the learning module I’ve added – though I’ll admit I’m not too confident about that part – they may even develop some sort of concept of where they are, and even that we are here watching them. Imagine if they tried communicating with us? Ha! But anyway, let’s not get ahead of ourselves… wanna play?”