Futurism readers may recognize Rizwan Virk as the MIT researcher touting a new book arguing that we’re likely living in a game-like computer simulation.
Now, in new interview with Vox, Virk goes even further — by probing whether we’re protagonists in the simulation or so-called “non-player characters” who are presumably included to round out a player character’s experience.
Virk speculated about whether we’re players or side characters when Vox writer Sean Illing asked a question likely pondered by anyone who’s seen “The Matrix”: If you were living in a simulation, would you actually want to know?
“Probably the most important question related to this is whether we are NPCs (non-player characters) or PCs (player characters) in the video game,” Virk told Vox. “If we are PCs, then that means we are just playing a character inside the video game of life, which I call the Great Simulation.”
It’s a line of inquiry that cuts to the core of the simulation hypothesis: If the universe is essentially a video game, who built it — and why?
“The question is, are all of us NPCs in a simulation, and what is the purpose of that simulation?” Virk asked. “A knowledge of the fact that we’re in a simulation, and the goals of the simulation and the goals of our character, I think, would still be interesting to many people.”
READ MORE: Are we living in a computer simulation? I don’t know. Probably. [Vox]
More on the simulation hypothesis: Famous Hacker Thinks We’re Living in Simulation, Wants to Escape