If life is just a simulation, what would be its purpose?
At this point, we can only imagine. But if you consider what we use current modelling systems for, we can have a good guess.
Testing Alternate Physical Laws
Changing the fundamental laws of nature to see how things play out. We already know we have a pretty good deal in this one, but how good can it get?
Setting conditions up to be played out repetitively, establishing a probabilistic/semi-deterministic basis to establish the likelihood of a particular occurrence, such as investigating historical events.
*this is assuming that Quantum Weirdness (QW) applies outside our simulation and QW isn’t just them proving that you CAN write a really random randomiser.
Tweaking things to get the best results. Think of the ultimate neurotic fantasy: “If only I had done THIS!”. See how things would really have unfolded if you’d done that thing that only occurred to you after you walked away.
Choose your reality, upload your consciousness and enjoy the ride. Maybe take control: see if you can do better than your friend at being Napoleon, Ghengis Khan, Alexander the Great. Or maybe see if you can get to the top of the world’s most wanted list. I’d guess they’d aim higher, though, so perhaps they’d compete to see if they can get a species to go interstellar by generation N. Keep an eye on Elon Musk, he’s the most likely ‘tourist’ and I swear he’s got some office-sweepstake going for doing daft shit to impress his mates.
Just create a universe with some daft primitive civilisations, nudge things in the wrong direction every so often and then sit back and have a bloody good laugh.
“My ratings would be through the roof!”: ‘D. Trump’ – Terrans: Post-Credit Gag Reel
“We’ll be stronger on our own!”: ‘Britain’ – Terrans: 21st Ct. Mid-season Finale
“What does this button do?”: ‘D. Trump’ – Terrans: Season 2025 Finale
Like Tamagotchi, virtual universes could be a game where the aim is to keep the species alive for as long as possible or maybe like a Sid Meier game, aiming to get them to Kardashev III ability as quickly as possible.
Maybe creating another universe like their own, the creators could have a virtual backup that could be entered if conditions got too bad in their own universe and they wanted to spend a few millenia in a simulacrum of theirs while they made their way to a new set of resources. They could let it develop as if nothing had happened or weave a narrative where the whole planet is relocating, so they don’t have to deal with all the “are we there yet?” questions.
Even more speculative, but if the simulation were a mirror of the host universe and it were possible to extract the state of a simulated entity or environment, then it could be used as a backup to replace or reset that part of the host (like a cosmic rewind button). Maybe the multiverse exists as a redundant array of universes that can be used to rebuild the original in case of an industrial accident.
Personally, I think a simulation of such incredible richness and, as we surmise, one which requires no actual energy or ‘host space’ to exist in (i.e. it’s all relatively nothing at all) suggests we augment the host universe without using up any resources. Perhaps creating such a thing would simply extend the possibilities, like some suggested multiverses express matter a different way, having different outcomes etc. Maybe we need all those recursive alternatives to support an infinity of expression.