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Spartan Scoop

Spartan Scoop

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Spartan Scoop

REAL LIFE IS A VIDEO GAME?

Glitches in the Matrix might explain why we live in a computer simulation
A+colored+illustration+of+a+character+from+The+Matrix%2C+with+a+black+background+and+blue+lines+of+text+that+resembles+coding+lines.
Karma Patey
A colored illustration of a character from The Matrix, with a black background and blue lines of text that resembles coding lines.

There are many different things in the world around us that don’t make sense. There’s a reason why there’s such a thing as the 7 Wonders of the World. Large stone figures, giant pyramids, temples… humankind has been able to achieve many amazing accomplishments. The byproducts of many of these accomplishments have an explanation (as simple or complex as they may be).

The Spartan Scoop has covered some events that have little to no explanations (which you can read up on here, for example). In recent years, when the internet talks about things that don’t make sense, something that is often brought up are “Glitches in the Matrix”.

A glitch is defined as “a sudden, usually temporary malfunction or irregularity”. The Matrix is something much more complex than a simple definition, and has many different meanings. One could define it as it is the world that surrounds us. In the context of this term, it was coined from 1999’s The Matrix, which popularized the idea that all of humanity lives inside of a giant computer simulation.

In short, a “glitch in the matrix” is what people say when an unusual occurrence happens in our world which cannot be logically explained.

Maybe we all are just living inside of a computer simulation, being controlled to do the things we do in our everyday life.

Searching this term online invariably provides a variety of videos, stories, and photos from people all over the world who come forward about their experiences with unexplainable phenomena. While it might sound silly (because the idea that we live inside of a computer simulation seems far-fetched) some of these instances might get you thinking. Others might just be explainable by physics or coincidence… though as with anything on the internet, people love to spin things and make something as little as an optical illusion seem like more than it is.

A few videos that are easier to explain or understand are listed as follows:

LAMINAR FLOW

One video, posted by user blingoblongo on TikTok, shows a video of a guy draining fluid from underneath his car. In the middle of it draining, the flow of the liquid seems to quite literally pause, with no movement whatsoever as it pours. The person behind the video expresses surprise as this happens. This one can be explained by what’s known as the “laminar flow”, an occurrence where the flow of a liquid seemingly appears to stop.

PHYSICS “GLITCH”

Another set of videos, which can simply be found by looking up “plane glitch in the matrix”, shows videos of planes being recorded while appearing to be paused in the middle of their flights. Oftentimes people will be driving in cars as this happens. While this one is a bit trickier to explain sometimes, the easiest way to make it understandable is saying that it is like an optical illusion. Physics can explain it, though it might be easier for one to understand that it’s simply a trick of the eye.

Some videos claiming to capture glitches in the matrix can be faked, as can any video that tries to get an audience to believe in something that’s not real. As we see more and more videos appear, some of them can be harder to explain (even if the one who tells the story or gives us a photo or video is being truthful). As humans, we are naturally skeptical, so it’s only expected that we might not believe everything that we see on the screens in front of us.

It is impossible to go over every single possible “glitch in the matrix” that has ever been caught on camera, so you can view some more interesting ones here. Reddit is a hotspot for these glitches, and compilations of them are thrown around on both TikTok and YouTube all of the time. They’re very popular in the internet world, and sometimes, even the average person may experience something that really doesn’t feel real.

Glitches in the matrix can also be described as the “simulation theory”, which means the same thing but with fewer words… and as much as it may surprise you, there are people that believe that everything we do is controlled by super-powerful beings on a computer.

Some documentaries have even been made on this popular theory, with “A Glitch in the Matrix” made by filmmaker Rodney Ascher that premiered in 2021. The film explores the philosophy behind glitches in the matrix; specifically, how our world might actually be a simulation. It (successfully) sends its audience down a rabbit hole of this particular theory.

Some people believe that there may be a spirit or deity responsible for glitches in the matrix. Religion has always played a prominent part in the world around us. And while scientists often put facts over faith, some of these supposed “glitches” might not have solid facts to go with them at all. This might make it easier for people to default to thinking a deity or ghost is responsible.

Glitches in the matrix have been coined as basic internet urban legend. With something so important since the dawn of the internet, it’s important to recognize this. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to believe that these glitches really mean we live in a simulation. As with anything, it’s always good to be skeptical of what you see on the internet, because people can lie very easily when they have no identity through the screen.

Do these glitches really exist?

Are we really like characters in a video game?

It’s hard to say. Because while it seems highly unlikely, would we really ever know if we were in a simulation? How would we find out?

Even though a lot of these “glitches” can be explained by physics or optical illusions, some are just harder to refute. One reddit user talks about how their mom got a call from her boyfriend, even though he was sitting right next to her. Another talks about how her daughter knew she was pregnant before she did, and could describe the baby perfectly. Take these with a grain of salt, though, because people can and will lie. It just goes to show, though, that these “glitches” can happen in anyone’s ordinary life.

Maybe we all are just living inside of a computer simulation, being controlled to do the things we do in our everyday life. Hopefully it’s at least entertaining to the ones controlling us.

About the Contributors
Finley Wiseman, Reporter
The only thing keeping me going this year is my paycheck.
Karma Patey, Illustrator
the dude who draws the things who isn't the other one