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Is reality single-player or multi-player?

  1. Sep 21, 2006 #1
    This is a question that I've always asked myself and it's an area where I"m a bit confused about in all the quantum theories (well the philosophical ones).

    I guess it's also my lack of understanding the many worlds interpertation as well.

    Anyways it all spawned from thinking about the quantum immortality theory and how our consciousness follows the possibility that keeps it alive. Regardless if this is true or not, it got me thinking.

    From my persepective, all things revolve around my consciousness, not only in avoiding death but in the worlds it transverses.

    So.. given this, if I think about the question.... is there a consciousness going on inside the heads of all the people around me (the same type of conscious-experience-awareness)? Naturally I think there would be some sort of collision/conflict if they are co-existing at the same 'time'

    It would seem more sensible that they are .. only like NPC's** for the time being that my consciousness is transversing these worlds.... and at another time, and at another place ( I have no idea how this is all happening), they will be transversing through their worlds, where I will be just an NPC.

    So I guess I'm wondering what you guys thought about reality being a single-player game (at a time).

    **NPC (non-player characters) sort of like the bad guys you shoot at in video games (no one controlling them)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2006 #2


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    That other players are real and not NPC's is a leap of faith. Unlike a game there is no test in what we laughingly call reality to assure you that it is so. Most of us make this leap of faith in infancy, but every thoughtful person encounters the counter-thought "What if it's all in my mind?" somewhere along the way. There is no rational or empirical way to refute that thought, but it is so sterile and limiting to our lives that if we are at all properly centered and even lightly socialized we abandon it like Santa Claus.
  4. Sep 21, 2006 #3
    From the persepective of reality your consciousness is meaningless as well as your OP question.
  5. Sep 21, 2006 #4
    what???? you mean Santa Claus isn't real???? :surprised

    Best Regards
  6. Sep 22, 2006 #5
    I guess I'm looking for someone that can better explain the many worlds interpertation on how consciousness transverse the possibilities and if that is what's happening then having multiple consciousnesses transversing in different direction at the same time and place seem like they would conflict.

    I'm merely suggesting perhaps that consciousness-existance of different people(or being) are more separate than meets the eye, ... and maybe only one can occur in any given space/time.
  7. Sep 27, 2006 #6
    Excellent grafix, If I got your question life is a multiplayer game, but abseloutely different than what we see... What we see with our eyes, is a relativity between people. like how can we get sure that what you see is the same as what I see...
  8. Sep 28, 2006 #7
    I've had these thoughts since I was like 8. I remember every now and then... it was almost as if I found it hard to believe that people were seeing out of their eyes etc. etc.
  9. Oct 3, 2006 #8


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    It's more fun to say bots or AI instead of NPC, since NPC it's quite boring and just for an additional excitement.
  10. Oct 6, 2006 #9
    i think its painfully obvious that everything we know would be all the same without us
  11. Oct 8, 2006 #10
    I don't think it's obvious. A million times the question has been asked, does the tree branch fall if no one is looking.

    In my view, if the world is the same without us as you say, it is going on automatic-like, without a type of consciousness that I am experiencing (and that there can only be one consciousness 'at a time').
  12. Oct 8, 2006 #11
    Noooooo! :cry:

    No presents for you this year my friend! :mad:

    I think the only thing differentiating an NPC from a player is your empathy towards the latter. After all, if you really feel its a player, then it may as well be a player. A bit like the Turing test.

    Take a multi player scenario vs an AI controlled scenario. The player A defeats player B (player B is the Human/AI, though in this context the AI is simulated by the brain). Humans have a tendancy to feel empathy and remorse for their fellow humans, but not so for AI. Beating the AI at cards 100 times doesnt really bother you, but beating a human too many times in succession would leave you feeling guilty and empathy towards your opponent, maybe letting them win one in return.

    If you feel they are real, then you feel empathy towards them, and then they may as well be real...perhaps....just a thought
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2006
  13. Oct 10, 2006 #12
    thats true... but there is always a flipside.
    when your on the street in a big city the people around you can seem like bots, unconcerned with you until you interact with them. but just because you interact with, and feel for them doesn't nesscessarily mean that they are real due to the fact that there are bots in games where their only purpose is to interact and draw your emotion into the game.

    so many sides to one issue. i :!!) it!
  14. Nov 29, 2006 #13
    Everyone here plays way too much mmorpg
  15. Jan 14, 2007 #14
    I would argue that at its core what each of us considers 'reality' is solely a single-player experience, by necessity.

    We may only observe through our own eyes and thusly cannot verify the existence of something external to us--only its appearance. I can only definitively say that my consciousness exists, in so far as I am self-aware.

    However, I cannot definitively say that you exist, because I only see your appearance. Appearance doesn't necessitate existence (as we refer to it), as is seen in schizophrenics.

    That said, I think it's perfectly fine to presume we're in a multi-consciousness existence, if only for practical reasons. In absolute terms, I would still argue single-consciousness.

    If this is terrribly disjointed I apologize, as it's nearly 6 in the morning.
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