I'm writing a story and I found myself asking the question : what is the best way to prove to the humanity that they live in a simulation ?

I found a lot of questions about how societies would react about discovering that they are part of a simulated-world but nothing about how to prove to the humans that they are part of a simulated world.

There is the context : You are a scientist in sociology who study the beliefs of humans. You have access to an advanced technology that allow you to simulate a universe almost perfectly. The goal of the simulation is to replicate the real world at our era (2010 to 2020 years) and reveal to the simulated humanity that they are a simulation (which they are).

1/ The simulated humans are sentient beings like us. It’s not possible to directly insert the fact in their mind even in the middle of the simulation. You study the reaction.

2/ The reveal needs to be seen by almost all humans.

3/ You can’t delete half the world population to show your point, you have to only give the information. It’s possible to make physical change (like changing colors in the sky) for a short period to prove your point thought. The point is to not shake everything.

5/ The proof must be irrefutable. Nobody’s with scientific reasoning can dispute the fact.

6/ The reveal is scripted. Once the simulation run, it can’t be modified. It's impossible to interfere during the simulation.

7/ The story is about the protagonist finding how to hack the simulation from within. It’s not possible to give cheat codes to the humanity to prove your point.

In the context of the story, the reveal must be seen by the protagonist who is a simulated human in the simulation. So I need a good way to communicate to the reader the shock of the discovery.

I already thought about it and the only idea I get is to put a message in the skys all around the world that tell : you live in a simulation and i'll do X things (like disrupt weaher, changing colors in the sky, teleport people for brief period of times) at Y hours to prove my point. Basically a divine message. I find this really bad so if you have any exciting idea, I'm all for it !

Edit : The reason I don't think it's a duplicate with "How do we tell if we're living in a virtual reality world?" is because of the point of view. I am not trying to find out if I'm live in a simulation. I am the scientist who created the simulation, so I already know it exist and I doesn't live in it. I don't want that the people in the simulation find by themselves that they are in a simulation, I want to show them that they are. And what I ask is : how can I do that while respecting the constraint above ?


Thinking from a computer science point of view, if this is a simulation, you can introduce bugs in the simulation. For example

1) One day, water flows backward
2) The sun forgot to go east to west    
3) Fire isn't hot    
4) Dog moos while horse barks and birds hiccups

Then the world just breaks. Combinations of bugs appears and last forever. In other worlds, the world is dying in a very unnatural way. The world start having static; the ground becomes metallic or just disappears for a bit. Then one day, the sky disappears and a video (either live feed or record) starts saying something like "The simulation crashed" or something similar. If you don't want the world to crash, you could just keep the bugs. The world is still inhabitable, but just crazy.

Another is a time loop where the day repeats itself. Assuming that nature (anything not human) is AI, you can have the world loop a day forever. The same birds appears in the same location. Any resources depleted suddenly appears again. The weather/climate is always the same. This should introduce confusion and potentially a conspiracy that they are living in the a simulation.

Probably a fun one would be the "Wake up, you are in a simulation" message. What if you start sending this message privately to everyone (over like a year)? You can do this over and over, but with minor addition like future telling or random flashes of the "real world" (like through tv, dreams [can you adjust dreams?]). Only problem would be that the humans may become insane.

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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, see a "blue screen of death" in the sky :) $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jun 20 '19 at 22:23
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    $\begingroup$ @Alexander With a hilarious quack of course. $\endgroup$ – kikirex Jun 20 '19 at 22:26
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    $\begingroup$ I really like the indirect way to show that the world is a simulation. It makes me think of the deja-vu moment in matrix with the cat. I think you go a bit too over the top because I still need my simulated world to be a regular world after the reveal. I can use volontary slight bugs of the laws of physics to be a proof. During a short period of time, there can be a lot of bugs then everything becomes way less buggy but still enough to not forget. Your answer is probably the best. I'll wait a little to see if someone comes up with a new idea. $\endgroup$ – AronGomu Jun 20 '19 at 22:56
  • $\begingroup$ Scientific reasoning, I get that. What about people with scientific reasoning who are still true believers in some kind of god - would they not just attribute all this kerfuffle to being the "end times"? It seems to happen on a regular basis in my vicinity. Don't underestimate the power of social conditioning. $\endgroup$ – A Rogue Ant. Jun 20 '19 at 23:28

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