Imagine putting on a VR-headset and stepping into the most realistic game ever made: A Life Simulator. In this game you find yourself in the shoes of Roy; a little boy with the world at his feet and a bright future ahead of him. Every choice you make will affect the course of your life. How would you play this game?
Roy: A Life Well Lived is a virtual reality life simulator that can be seen in an episode of Rick and Morty (S02E02). Rick takes Morty to a futuristic arcade called Blips & Chitz, where they stop at the VR life simulator. As soon as Morty puts on the VR-headset, he wakes up in the shoes of Roy Parsons. In less than two minutes, Morty lives through an entire lifecycle of Roy. Watch the clip below.
(you can ignore the conversation about selling a gun to a hitman)
A pretty wild ride compared to spending a quarter on a game of Pac-Man, huh?
Roy, A Life Well Lived?
In Roy: A Life Well Lived, your high score is determined by the length of your life. Morty did fairly well for a beginner, according to Rick, with Roy passing away at age 55. But age in itself does not seem like a good measurement of a well-lived life to me.
What’s the point of blowing out a hundred candles, if you spent ten boring decades wasting away your precious time? The great part about life is that you can attribute your own rewards to your own achievements. So my question to you: How would you measure your life’s success?
“I want you kids to look around today and think about your future. Now is the time in your life that anything is possible.”
A Simulated Existence
But wait, what if we are already in the game? What if our reality is just one giant computer simulation built by a more sophisticated intelligence? Are we simply one of the many virtual realities built for the entertainment of a higher order? We might never find out. The whole simulation hypothesis is difficult to wrap your head around, but we might increase our understanding by creating virtual realities ourselves. We are already capable of creating entire virtual worlds in video games. If we become able to create conscious characters and place them in controlled environments, we turned ourselves into gods of our own creation. It will be interesting to see how AI will react to the rules we attribute to their world. Will there be cooperation or anarchy? And what would knowing that we live inside a simulation imply? Arguably, humanity will become more self-centered and treat life as a single player game. Why would you care about starvation in Africa, if all of that is artificial?
Will this game ever become reality?
The current state of technology is not there yet. The team behind Rick and Morty seems to agree on that.
In Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, a VR-game that was released in 2017 for PC and PS4, you can actually play the life simulator. Well, sort of. It is a cheap knock-off version of the game found in Blips and Chitz called Troy: A Life Well Lived. In this version you play as Troy and you need to make decisions that determine Troy’s future. Then you jump forward in time and see how your life unfolds. There are various endings with Troy usually dying between the ages of 77 and 86. However it is possible to speedrun the game and die at only 8 months old.
It is far from the immersive experience that is portrayed in the tv series. In Troy, all characters are made out of cardboard and there are only a few possible scenarios.
Maybe at some point in the future we will be able to play a game similar to the one in Rick and Morty. The The fundamentals for such a simulation are being developed, both in terms of visuals and possibilities. In less than 50 years, we went from Pong to photo-realistic images that are almost indistinguishable from reality. Games like Fallout, Detroit: Become Human and Life Is Strange have alternative endings based on the player’s decisions. Add the current developments in VR into the mix, and maybe in a few years we can finally play as Roy.
Treating Life as a Game
Until then, we at FreshSaga want to approach life like a video game. We believe that through a virtual reality you can improve your actual reality. We created a world full of missions, interesting characters and comprehensive storyline that stimulates you to become the best version of yourself. You can play the first levels of the interactive story here, and there are many more to come.
It may not be as immersive as Roy: A Life Well Lived. But it will help you set goals, discover your identity, improve your interpersonal skills and turn your passions into income. Who knows, maybe it will even inspire you to become a digital nomad and take yourself of the grid. Which is at least better than going back to work at the carpet store.
Level 1: The First Step of Self-Reflection
You find yourself lost at sea in the middle of darkness. This makes you think back to your past, when you were still in the safe haven of your parents. You start to wonder: How did I lose track of my direction in life?
Level 2: Discover Your Personality Type
In a world with so many characters, it is easy to forget that you have one yourself. In this interactive story, you will uncover your moral compass and reveal your personality.
Is Reality Real?
Video games in which your choices actually matter:
Life Is Strange
( PS3 / PS4 / XBOX360 / XBONE / iOS / Android )
( PS3 / PS4 / PC )
Beyond: Two Souls
( PS3 / PS4 / PC )
Detroit: Become Human
( PS4 / PC )
( PS4 )
The Sims 4
( PS4, XBONE, PC, Mac )