Simulated reality  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Simulated reality is the proposition that reality could be simulated—perhaps by computer simulation—to a degree indistinguishable from "true" reality. It could contain conscious minds which may or may not know that they are living inside a simulation. In its strongest form, the "simulation hypothesis" claims it is possible and even probable that we are actually living in such a simulation.

This is different from the current, technologically achievable concept of virtual reality. Virtual reality is easily distinguished from the experience of "true" reality; participants are never in doubt about the nature of what they experience. Simulated reality, by contrast, would be hard or impossible to distinguish from "true" reality.

The idea of a simulated reality raises several questions:

  • Is it possible, even in principle, to tell whether we are in a simulated reality?
  • Is there any difference between a simulated reality and a "real" one?
  • How should we behave if we knew that we were living in a simulated reality?

See also

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Simulated reality" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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