The Simulation Hypothesis

An MIT Computer Scientist Shows Why AI, Quantum Physics and Eastern Mystics All Agree We Are In a Video Game

Written by well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and MIT-educated computer scientist Rizwan Virk, The Simulation Hypothesis brings together disparate fields to explore one of the most daring and consequential theories of our time: The Simulation Hypothesis.

The Simulation Hypothesis is the idea that our physical reality, far from being a solid physical universe, is part of an increasingly sophisticated video game-like simulation, consisting of pixels with its own internal clock.

In the Simulation Hypothesis, the mysteries of quantum science, the path of artificially intelligent consciousness, the evolution of VR and quantum computers, along previously taboo subjects like consciousness and karma, are brought together into a cohesive, information-based computer science framework.

Leading figures like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have advocated the Simulation Hypothesis. For the first time, the Simulation Hypothesis delves into all the angles that make this remarkable theory one of the most important of our time!

“There’s a one in a billion chance we are not living in a simulation”

-Elon Musk

“I find it hard to argue we are not in a simulation.”

-Neil deGrasse Tyson

“We are living in computer-generated reality.”

-Philip K. Dick

Video game technology has developed from basic arcade and text adventures to MMORPGs. Video game designer Riz Virk shows how these games may continue to evolve in the future, including virtual reality, augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence, and quantum computing. This book shows how this evolution could lead us to the point of being able to develop all-encompassing virtual worlds like the Oasis in Ready Player One, or the simulated reality in the Matrix.

While the idea sounds like science fiction, many scientists, engineers, and professors have given the Simulation Hypothesis serious consideration. Futurist Ray Kurzweil has popularized the idea of downloading our consciousness into a silicon-based device, which would mean we are just digital information after all. Some, like Oxford lecturer Nick Bostrom, go further and think we may in fact be artificially intelligent consciousness inside such a simulation already!

But the Simulation Hypothesis is not just a modern idea. Philosophers like Plato have been telling us that we live in a “cave” and can only see shadows of the real world. Mystics of all traditions have long contended that we are living in some kind of “illusion “and that there are other realities that we can access with our minds. While even Judeo-Christian traditions have this idea, Eastern traditions like Buddhism and Hinduism make this idea part of their core tradition – that we are inside a dream world (“Maya” or illusion, or Vishnu’s Dream), and we have “multiple lives” playing different characters when one dies, continuing to gain experience and “level up” after completing certain challenges. Sounds a lot like a video game!

Whether you are a computer scientist, a fan of science fiction like the Matrix movies, a video game enthusiast, or a spiritual seeker, The Simulation Hypothesis touches on all these areas, and you will never look at the world the same way again!

About Rizwan Virk

Rizwan “Riz” Virk is a successful entrepreneur, venture capitalist, video game pioneer, bestselling author, and indie film producer. Riz is the founder of Play Labs@ MIT, and Bayview Labs, a Silicon Valley investment fund, and he is a mentor/advisor at 500 startups, Griffin Gaming Partners, Ridge Ventures and the MIT $100k Entrepreneurship Competition.

Riz was an investor or founding team member at Tapjoy, Service Metrics, Discord, Telltale Games, PocketGems and many others. His games included Tap Fish, Penny Dreadful: Demimonde, Grimm: Cards of Fate, and Bingo Run. Riz’s films have included Thrive: What on Earth Will It Take, The Outpost, Mythica, Sirius, Knights of Badassdom, and many others.

Riz’s writes on the intersection of science, science fiction, business and spirituality. His startups, articles and books have been featured in Techcrunch, Inc.,, The Boston Globe,, Coast to Coast AM, and even the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Riz received a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from the MIT and M.S. in Management from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. His website is

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