Friday, February 02, 2007

Avatar

"What if... We were just a simulation in a construct?"

I sat down at my personal desk and logged into my file. The virtual world was up and running again on schedule. I controlled my avatar and sent him to work to make money. He woke up, brushed his teeth, got in his 97' Cadillac and drove down to the city into a parking garage. I made him get out and enter the office building where he signed in for work.
Everyday for him, nine to five, making one-hundred thousand a year.

I watched as the virtual world spun around him and he did his job.

"Mr. Collins, please report to the front desk."
I looked up again, making sure that I just heard what I didn't want to hear.
"Mr. Collins? Front desk please."

I headed out of my cubicle and walked over to the receptionist. There was a tall man in his mid thirties in a business suit standing next to the entrance. He was carrying a briefcase and waiting for someone.

"Mr. Collins, this is the man from department. You're supposed to show him around today?" The receptionist said while working away at her desk.
"Oh, yes, of course. Right this way please," I motioned to the man.
The stout man in the business suit followed me back to my cubicle.
"My name is Victor Collins, I'm just another employee here doing the standard avatar job," I told him.
"
I'm Kerry Barber, nice to meet you. So how do things work around here?" He asked.
"Well..." I said as I sat back down at my terminal. "We all have our own avatars and are trying to promote them in the virtual world," I answered.
"So... how does that relate to work?" He inquired.
"Some people just think it's fun and games but there's real money to be made. When your avatar gains virtual currency, it's worth almost twice that amount in real life. So you can image how profitable it is to be in the virtual world."
He crossed his arms in amazement. "Really? How is that possible?"
"Apparently, for some people the virtual world is worth more than the real world."
"So you sell things in there?"
"That's right."
I turned around to face my screen and watched my avatar do his job.
He took a seat next to me and leaned over my shoulder. "So what're you doing now?"
"Uh, nothing. My avatar is logged into his work shift, and gaining virtual cash."
My little character was on the screen, sitting at his desk, somehow gaining money.
"Don't you have to do something?" He asked.

"They have their own artificial intelligence that kicks in for basic commands. You know, like, working, eating, that sort of stuff. You have to control them though in where they go, what they do, and when they do it. But they can do the individual operations themselves."
"What happens if you give them nothing to do?" He questioned.
"Well... they automatically try to resort to fulfill their needs. They'll eat, sleep, drink, have fun, that sort of thing."
"And what if you work them to the bone?"
"Ah you can't do that. They need to rest, relax, do different stuff. It's the basic needs for every avatar. Sometimes I give them a break."
"Very interesting."
I took a sip of coffee that was sitting next to my terminal.
The business man looked around at the other cubicles.

"So how deep is this virtual world, really?" He said.
"Well... I would say it's a complete recreation of Earth. It lives like Earth, it looks like Earth, and it acts almost the same way. You can go anywhere, do anything, and it's not like there's any loading screens."

"So it's literally an exact copy of Earth?"

"I guess so. This wouldn't have been possible back in say... 2000. But technology has changed. Ever since they harnessed the ability to store data in a single photon, we can do things never ever dreamed of."

"So how much different is this virtual world from our world?"
"...Not much. It's just that it's fake, and we're in control of it. And... you can make a lot of money in it."

He took a pause. "So then, our world could also be virtual."
"...What?"

"It seems possible from what's capable today. What if the real world was a virtual world, and we're just players in a giant game? You know, like what you're doing. After all, how would we know?"

"Is that a serious question?"

"What's so unbelievable about it? How do you know this isn't a game?"
"Well, for one thing, I make my own choices. I know what I want and what I need. I can stop doing anything or just walk out of this office if I want. It's not like someone's controlling me."

"Maybe we're all just avatars. Maybe your choices are really someone else's choices. Maybe anything you choose is just really your creator doing it for you."

"I know what I am. Nobody's controlling me."

"But what if all your desires and impulses are just artificial intelligence, or the way your creator makes you do something?"
"Are you getting at something?"
"I just thought it was interesting how you controlled a person just like you, doing the same things, except in another world. I can't see why it doesn't apply to our world."
"Because it's ridiculous?"
He started to formulate a question in his mind. "Let's say I was an... 'avatar' in a virtual world. And my job was to inspect private businesses for the government. Today, my creator sends me to the Sy-Tech corporation to inspect it and thus gain virtual money in the process. And part of this inspection is to talk to one of their employees and see how they work in their jobs, which happen to be related to virtual worlds. What's so ridiculous about that?"
I stared into his face and gave my response. "I think your tour is over."
"It was just a question," he conceded.

He stood up and walked toward the exit.
I stared back down at my avatar. I would need to get him out of his office and over to sell real estate soon, or I would be behind for today's quota. But first I had to take care of his needs before he left the office.
I sent him over to the vending machine to get a drink (Thirstiness 10%) and then have a chat with the other employees there (Sociliaztion 25%). His popularity levels rose slightly. I then got him to check his e-mail (Daily Schedule 2%) before he left for the parking lot. He exited the office building and got in his car, then I sent him en route to his destination. His driving skill was 85% so chances of an accident were minimal.

After this deal, that would make my avatar more powerful than 95% of the population and that would make me rich.

I stared away from the screen for a second, with an urge to go buy lunch across the street. Maybe I could have a chat with George on the way out.


No, I'm not an avatar. That's impossible.

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2 Comments:

At 2/17/2007 2:58 PM, Blogger ifedajay said...

Ahh another sci-fi virtual reality story...yea

You know I would like some answers...like how there's another world...it is just in the computers???

Anyways...

 
At 2/18/2007 4:45 PM, Blogger TheJBurger said...

a

 

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