Plato's Parable of the MMORPG

Author: 3RU7AL ,

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  • 3RU7AL
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    Plato's Parable of the MMORPG,

    Once upon a time there were a number of people who lived in complete darkness and the only thing they could see was their computer screens.

    What they saw on their screens was their reality.

    The only other people they knew were people in-game with magnificent costumes and weapons.

    Sure they had to fumble in the darkness in order to microwave a quick meal, or find their bed when they were exhausted, but those were merely incidental inconveniences.

    Only the game was real.  Only the game was shared experience.  Only in-game places and people and items were quantifiable, able to be observed and verified and shared with other players (quanta). 

    Sometimes an individual would try to explain what kind of food they ate or describe their room (private/personal/unshared knowledge, gnosis) but since none of this information was directly relevant in-game and was fundamentally unverifiable, it was dismissed out-of-hand as unintelligible nonsense.  In fact, even the language they had developed had evolved exclusively for in-game interactions, so there really weren't any proper words for "food" or "room" that were not specifically in-game references, and even more than that, since there was no taste, touch, or smell in-game, there were also no words to properly describe those sensations as well.
  • EtrnlVw
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Interesting...welcome to the Creators (Gods) world, all except for one problem/scenario.....the Creator has an access point from the looker (the one observing the computer) to the lookee (one playing the game within the computer) through their channel of awareness. Kind of like a conductor if you will, where the current of awareness has access to all channels of electricity and form much like energy. In this scenario, the problem or illustration you listed no longer exists, the looker has access to all the lookee experiences. Imagine or propose for a moment that both the looker (observer of the computer) and the computer (characters within a game) were in fact a reality, only the very nature of the "looker" enabled it to experience what the people within the game experiences. Imagine the lookers nature more like energy or electricity without any embodiment rather just awareness, able to have access to that flow of electricity and infiltrate any experience within that computer.
    In this way, there really is no distinction from the looker to the lookee other than the form the lookee takes on within the game. However, the observation or the awareness observing the experience is one and the same in both the looker and lookee, there is no difference as all observation has no isolated occurrence from the One observing everything within that computer and actually it was the looker that imagined and created the players within that computer to begin with. After all....no computer created itself or created games itself, rather the ideas were "uploaded" from an observer or looker. Whether the looker is simply watching or actually a part of the game it matters not, the experience is being observed either way. That is why the computer exists.
    In your scenario.....why does a computer exist in the first place? who is the one looking at it? where did a computer come from and who is the one observing it?

    The problem in your scenario is this....."Only the game was real.  Only the game was shared experience.  Only in-game places and people and items were quantifiable, able to be observed and verified"

    From an observation standpoint, this is untrue. What the looker experiences is as real as anything within the game, possibly more so because the players within the game are the ones being observed, not the other way around...so what is more real? the ones that have no idea they are being observed or the one that lives in isolation observing everything? which observation is more real or quantifiable?

  • ethang5
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    I dont think you know Plato's intent with this scenario.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @ethang5
    Please explain Plato's intent.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @EtrnlVw
    I'm having some trouble deciphering your terminology.

    Are you comparing the programmers of the game and the manufacturers of the computer terminals and network to the gods?
  • EtrnlVw
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    --> @3RU7AL
    For fun, yes I was. Or better put, comparing it to how creation would operate under those circumstances to how it actually is. The 'looker" in this case would be the Creator , the one observing the "computer" and the forms within the computer. 

236 days later

  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @ethang5
    I dont think you know Plato's intent with this scenario.
    Please explain your interpretation of Plato's parable.
  • Mopac
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    --> @3RU7AL
    This scenario seems to describe the lives of people living today who are a reality check away from being homeless.

449 days later

  • Lemming
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    --> @3RU7AL
    I don't think it's that gamers of MMORPGS are unaware that there are parts of life, other than a video game. It's just the part they prefer to focus on.
    I suppose there's something to be said for people who enjoy trying new experiences, checking out other aspects of life, but the grass is green enough on the sides of some people's fences.

    Fun use of Plato's Cave though.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Lemming
    I don't think it's that gamers of MMORPGS are unaware that there are parts of life,
    It's a metaphor for your experience of living and communicating.

    What goes on "inside your own head" is PRIVATE GNOSIS.

    What you see and do and say to OTHER PEOPLE is "IN GAME".
  • Lemming
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    --> @3RU7AL
    I don't think it's that gamers of MMORPGS are unaware that there are parts of life,
    It's a metaphor for your experience of living and communicating.

    What goes on "inside your own head" is PRIVATE GNOSIS.

    What you see and do and say to OTHER PEOPLE is "IN GAME".

    Gnosis, I forget what that word is, reminds me wither of religion or rocks.
    One Google later "Gnosis is the common Greek noun for knowledge."
    Ah, I see.

    Well, I suppose people 'do have their own thoughts/perceptions/experiences, that can be difficult to share and express to other people.
    I suppose a person can view an individual as stuck inside their own head, only able to interact with others in a . . . roundabout, or indirect way.
    . . .
    Man 'does only experience, only 'know part of reality I suppose, by dint of his limitations as a human, limitations of current history and technology.
    Still, he's not unaware that more exists I think.
    . .

    The Cave allegory of Plato, I tended to accept at face value, as I recall.
    Some bit of meaning about truth/knowledge,
    How man's often trapped to certain fixed points of view, get good at seeing those fixed points of view, using them in life, and explaining life 'by them.
    But how empty they might seem to a person who sees more, beyond the cave, how terrible it is to be chained again, how worthless that cave world is now to him, in light of his new experiences outside the cave.
    How anathematical that man's views might be, to those used to seeing the world in the dark.

    Eh, I'm rambling a bit, I only somewhat remember the Cave allegory.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Lemming
    But how empty they might seem to a person who sees more, beyond the cave, how terrible it is to be chained again, how worthless that cave world is now to him, in light of his new experiences outside the cave.
    How anathematical that man's views might be, to those used to seeing the world in the dark.
    You seem quite astute.

    "The Cave" and "The Shadows" are "The Game" (what we see through our eyes and hear through our ears).

    "The World Outside The Cave" is "The Apartment" (what you "see" when you turn off your game, also known as GNOSIS).
  • Lemming
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    --> @3RU7AL
    "The World Outside The Cave" is "The Apartment" (what you "see" when you turn off your game, also known as GNOSIS).
    Why is the world outside of the game, knowledge?
    It seems to me that knowledge is simply what we have data on,
    I suppose I'm a bit Empiricist at times, though I see the value of Rationalism.
    Rationalism at times sounds a bit like theory-ism to me.

    The knowledge of the game seems to me as objectively valid, as the knowledge of the apartment, or outside the cave.
    I'm not sure that Cypher is wrong, in the Matrix.
    Even if something is a simulation, or a shadow of some other part of reality, it doesn't disown the fact that the shadow is part of reality.

    It's simply. . . Well, it's 'maybe context that bothers people.
    The idea of being 'chained in the cave, ignorant, in lesser living conditions, 'fooled into thinking it 'all there is to reality.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Lemming
    Why is the world outside of the game, knowledge?
    I'm drawing a distinction between REAL-TRUE-FACTS (AND) INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM OPINION.

    IN-GAME = REAL-TRUE-FACTS (QUANTA) must be empirically verifiable and or LOGICALLY NECESSARY (and emotionally meaningless).

    IN-APARTMENT = Experiential (QUALIA) must be private, personal, unfalsifiable, GNOSIS, functionally indistinguishable from a dream and or OPINION (and emotionally meaningful).

    GNOSIS in this context is related to the term GNOSTIC (direct, non-external, non-sensory experience).
  • Lemming
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    --> @3RU7AL
    Interesting.