Ep 12: Epistemology and Virtual Worlds; Is this the Real Life?

The Philosophers talk about the possibility of games what are too realistic.

Sean and Ryver talk about the movement to more realistic technologies in all fields of technologies

Bruce compares computers now to computers of ages past

Sean brings up the possibility of games we cannot distinguish from reality.

Ryver asks if we may end up wondering where the game ends

Bruce elaborates on this a bit

Sean proposes a test by which we might determine when we have hit the point of “too real”

Ryver discusses how this may have happened already to some small extent.

Bruce proposes how this could come about

Sean explains that this is not as far as it would need to go to reach this stage of reality.

Bruce talks about why he thinks that people will embrace these “too real” games even if we believe them to be harmful.

Ryver and Sean clarify the terms of psychological harm

Bruce interjects that different people will be affected differently

Sean asks what making a game “too real” would do to consumption and whether or not we should engage in these things

Bruce and Ryver talk about this installation of some kind of panic button

Sean asks if we can know that we are not already in a simulation

Bruce talks about what kind of game reality would be

Sean talks about an individual persons having their own genre and the movie Gamer

Bruce compares this concept to The Sims

Sean and Bruce talk about how this differs due to the lack of wholly different experiences

Bruce asks if we can ever know if there is a higher or “more real” level of things

Sean likens this idea to the movie Inception.

Bruce asks if it would even really make a difference if there is another or higher level of reality and asks us to consider the Meditations of Descarte

Sean ponders if we might only be able to get out with a “God’s Eye” perspective. (http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/God%27s_eye_view)

Ryver mentions that higher levels of reality are not something we are inclined to accept and likens this idea to the Allegory of the Cave (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_Cave)

Sean explains that one can only know if there is a higher reality if they are the player.

Bruce talks about whether the supposed levels of reality are just part of the same thing, and that this would only expand our horizons.

Sean discusses the idea that our sensory data, real or false, would still be the driving factor behind our decisions.

Ryver asks if a full immersion reality would necessarily be a bad thing

Bruce presents the possibility of a level of moral abuse that would otherwise be impossible

Sean answers that the problem would be whether or not we think they are entitled to Truth

Bruce wonders if Truth is more important than a comfortable life

Ryver discusses the possibility of this as a way to help people in comas.

Sean likens these ideas to the movie Strange Days (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114558/)

Ryver talks about how not everyone may want the ability to experience that which they are incapable of physically.

Bruce talks about whether or not we could learn or grow in such a state

Ryver discusses the Hedonism or Experience Machine thought experiment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experience_machine)

Bruce expresses a belief that we could not escape wanting such a thing

Sean disputes this argument with the Nietzsche’s philosophy of hardship (http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/10/15/nietzsche-on-difficulty/)

Bruce and Sean discuss whether or not we could grow as people with this ability

Ryver brings up the idea of heirs to large fortunes and how they are not always capable of growing and learning as people.

Sean takes the last word to discuss that these questions are not restricted to just video games, but are inclusive to all our media. He also talks about how these questions are ones that will need to be answered by us as a society going forward. Honorable mention goes to the movies Existenz (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120907/) and Total Recall (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100802/).

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