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Elon Musk Explains How Pong Might Prove We’re Living In A Simulation

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Elon Musk Explains How Pong Might Prove We’re Living In A Simulation

Elon Musk has given us a scary insight into whether we're living in a computer simulation.

The tech billionaire commented on a nostalgic social media post that revealed it was Pong's 49th birthday recently.

Atari released the iconic video game on November 29, 1972 and it became the first commercially successful game in history.

There's no denying things have changed a lot since then and the Tesla founder said that could point to how the world might not be real.

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"49 years later, games are photo-realistic 3D worlds. What does that trend continuing imply about our reality?" he said.

The original poster of the tweet quipped back that the only answer is that we're living in a simulation.

Musk has long been a supporter of the simulation theory and reckons that the chances of us living in 'base reality', which is the original reality that we think we live in, is 'one in billions'.

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Think of base reality as the world that Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) lived in in The Matrix before he was given the opportunity to dive down the rabbit hole and become Neo.

While we would all love to think that we are living in what we think is reality, Musk isn't so sure.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

He was asked about the simulation theory during the Code Conference back in 2016 and he again pointed to Pong as an indicator of where we're going.

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Musk said video games are becoming so hyper realistic that we soon might not be able to tell the difference between a game and reality (if he's seen how the Grand Theft Auto remaster went he might change his mind).

"The strongest argument for us being in a simulation is the following - that 40 years ago we had [early video game] Pong, like, two rectangles and a dot. That was what games were," he said.

"Now, 40 years later, we have photorealistic 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it's getting better every year, and soon we will have virtual reality or augmented reality.

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"If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality.

"Even if that rate of advancement drops by a thousand from what it is right now... okay, well, let's imagine it's 10,000 years in the future, which is nothing in the evolutionary scale.

"So given that we are clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality and those games could be played on any set-top box or on a PC or whatever, and there would probably be billions of such computers or set-top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds that we're in base reality is one in billions."

"We should hope that that's true because otherwise if civilisation stops advancing then that may be due to some calamitous event that erases civilisation.

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"Either we are going to create simulations that are indistinctual from reality or civilisation will cease to exist. Those are the two options."

He believes that unless our civilisation ends, then it's difficult to know whether we are a simulation or base reality.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: elon musk, News, Interesting

Stewart Perrie
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