A Glitch in the Matrix Gives Us a Glimpse at Simulation Theory History in This Devilish Clip

Is this real life?
Is this real life?
Image: Magnolia

The latest weird documentary from Room 237 director Rodney Ascher, A Glitch in the Matrix, premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and is now in theaters and on-demand. It offers a deep dive into simulation theory, asking how we got to the point of believing that the world could very well be an artificial reality constructed by some higher intelligence.


In this exclusive clip io9 is sharing today, you’ll hear Oxford University Professor Nick Bostrom, a simulation theory expert, dig into history with some musings on 17th-century philosopher René Descartes—with an appearance from Descartes’ “malicious demon” to explain the idea of a world wrapped in illusion.

Then it gets into the more modern idea of—how do you know you’re not just a disembodied brain, plugged in and hanging out in a vat somewhere? If you can’t prove it, isn’t there a chance it might be true? It’s pretty far-out, but so is the film, and you get a pretty good idea of what to expect from both the style and that wild segue seen here.

A Glitch in the Matrix is now playing in theaters and on-demand. You can check out our review here.

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io9 News Editor, here since 2016. Previously SF Bay Guardian newspaper (RIP), SFSU (MA, Cinema Studies), member of the SF Bay Area Film Critics Circle, big fan of horror, metal, and verrry small dogs.


America: The Snyder Cut

There is no difference between ancient creation myths and this “Matrix” theory. Matrix theory is just a modern update of those classic myths. The universe was created by more intelligent being(s) and we were created by those beings and they watch and observe and sometimes intervein in our lives. If this is a simulation then the being(s) that created us and the universe are literally Gods as far as we are concerned. This is nothing new. Same old myths, new dressing.