From the constant droning of our cell phones to the endless buzzing of drones and the slow groaning of our changing planet, our world—our universe even—is a hectic place. Noisy systems rule everything around us, and it's no wonder that scientists, game designers, and regular Joes try to make sense of the chaos by creating perfect, simulated worlds where everything is just so.
We'll simulate anything these days: Football teams, theme parks, nuclear blasts, financial markets, farms, goats, simulators themselves. All those sims have flaws, cracks in the fourth wall, but they're getting better all the time. Which leaves us with a big question: What happens when the model perfectly mimics reality?
Motherboard is going to take the week of May 4-8 to take a deep dive into the world of simulators and simulations.
Is the universe a simulation? And are we getting good at simulating the beginning of the universe? Does it mean anything if we're making simulations inside a simulation? Does SimCity homelessness say anything about real homelessness? Are you diabolical if you turn up the speed on a Roller Coaster Tycoon ride and send a bunch of simulated people to their simulated deaths? How do we build a better climate model? Is living in virtual reality really so bad?
We're going to need your help to scan every corner of this potentially simulated world to find the stories we're looking for. Consider this our call for pitches. If you've worked with us before, send your ideas to the editor you regularly work with. If you haven't, send your ideas our way at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get you set up.