Are We Living in a Video Game? with Rizwan Virk

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At its most fundamental level, quantum science has raised some serious questions about the nature of reality. Such phenomenon as entanglement, quantum indeterminacy, and the observer effect point to the need for a deeper look at the behavior of matter and energy on the atomic and subatomic level. One path of study postulates the idea that we are living in a simulated universe. There are many researchers and scientists who say we are likely living in an extremely powerful computer program (think The Matrix). If it is true that we are living in a video game, the likelihood is that it is a massive, multiplayer, online, role-playing game. In this fascinating dialogue we cover such topics as: Is there such a thing as physical reality or are we living in a great simulation of information and computation? Is this a material universe or a simulated one? Are all our deeds and quests being kept track of in the “cloud” like an angel recording our lives? Who is running the game? Why, if it is a video game, why don’t we choose bliss? What is the connection between computer science, video game physics and the great spiritual traditions such as Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and others? (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)


Rizwan Virk (known as Riz) is a successful entrepreneur, a video game pioneer, a venture capitalist, and founder of the start-up accelerator Play Labs @ MIT. His interest and expertise ranges from video games, the metaverse, simulation theory, meditation, consciousness, and the intersection of science, science fiction, religion, and philosophy. He’s a graduate of MIT and Stanford and is currently a faculty associate at Arizona State University.

Rizwan Virk is the author of

  • Zen Entrepreneurship: Walking the Path of the Career Warrior (BayView Labs 2013)
  • Startup Myths and Models: What You Won't Learn in Business School (Columbia Business School Publishing 2020)
  • Treasure Hunt: Follow Your Inner Clues to Find True Success (Watkins Publishing 2017)
  • The Simulation Hypothesis: An MIT Computer Scientist Shows Why AI, Quantum Physics and Eastern Mystics Agree We Are in a Video Game. (Bayview books 2019)
  • Wisdom of a Yogi: Lessons for Modern Seekers from Autobiography of a Yogi (Bayview Books 2023)
  • The Zen Entrepreneur & the Dream: An MIT Grad’s Quest for Success & Enlightenment in Silicon Valley (no info yet on publisher 2023)

 To learn more about the work of Rizwan Virk go to

 Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • Virk’s pathway that led him to entertain the idea that we are living in a simulated universe
  • How Virk’s daytime persona is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist and at night he’s an explorer of consciousness
  • How Riz was impressed by virtual reality (VR) when he played a virtual game of ping-pong
  • How videogames led to the creation of virtual reality (VR)and Artificial Reality (AI)
  • What are supercomputers and why are they important in the nature of reality
  • When might we get to a point of creating ultra realistic simulations
  • How all the major religions of the world posit that the physical world is not the true reality
  • What is the difference between information and data and quantum information/digital information
  • Science cannot tell us where consciousness comes from

 Host: Justine Willis Toms   Interview Date: 7/14/2023   Program Number: 3793

Music Playlist

From Album: Equinoxe
Artist: Jean-Michel Jarre

Opening Essay: Equinoxe part 2
Music Break 1: Equinoxe part 3
Music Break 2: Equinoxe part 3 (cont.)
Music Break 3: Equinoxe part 8