Untitled Earth Sim 64 Asks: What Would You Do if the World Was a Simulation?

A woman realizes her world is a simulation in sci-fi comedy short Untitled Earth Sim 64.
Marie (Karen Olrich-White) realizes her world is full of pixels and lies.
Screenshot: YouTube

Imagine learning all of a sudden that your suspicions are on target, and the Earth as you know it is actually a computer simulation. Absolutely nothing is real. What would you do? That’s the question posed by sci-fi comedy short Untitled Earth Sim 64.

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“Comedy” being the key descriptor there for this very wry short film from writer-director Jonathan Wilhelmsson. Marie (Karen Olrich-White) is just going about her day when everything around her starts glitching with alarming frequency—and suddenly a disembodied voice (James Fraser) lets it slip that her entire reality, including Marie herself, are all part of a not-especially-successful simulation. Naturally, she freaks out... but then she comes to a kind of zen acceptance of the situation.

If you enjoyed Untitled Earth Sim 64—which Wilhelmsson tells io9 was made “on a shoestring budget during two very hot summer days in Gothenburg”—you can also check out its accompanying making-of video, as well as a VFX breakdown.


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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.

DISCUSSION

cmallen
C.M. Allen

If I’m finding out that the world is a simulation, then I clearly didn’t know beforehand, which strongly implies that *I* am part of that simulation and not an external observer. If I do not and cannot exist external to the simulation, then there’s nothing but the simulation for me.

Which means, for me, nothing has really changed. Simulated or not, it’s all I’ve got, and whatever rules govern it are immutable for me. I am not Neo.