The Game

Moxley sat at his computer, his hair frazzled, his beard long, his clothes caked with dirt, and his eyes red and restless. The keys clattered under the force of his crazy fingers. Lines of code appeared on the computer screen, lines upon lines upon lines, green text over a black background. A crooked smile appeared on Moxley’s dry and crusty lips. His fingers danced across the keyboard one last time as he pressed the enter key with an air of finality and sunk back in his chair.

The computer whirred and buzzed as data travelled from the computer to a little card connected to it. Lines upon lines flashed on the computer screen, a progress bar appeared, and it began to fill.

When the progress bar was full and the computer silent, Moxley removed the card from the computer and placed it on his table. In the corner of the laboratory was a humanoid robot. Moxley took the card from the table and put it in a slot on the chest of the robot. He connected the robot to the computer using a USB cable and started hammering the keys once more.

The next time Moxley hit the enter key, the robot started to come to life. A red light started to glow through its eyes and Moxley squealed with delight.

“Finally, you have come to life. Oh, how I’ve waited, how I’ve waited,” he said, rubbing his hands.

The robot stood up and analysed the place. It looked at Moxley and asked him who he was.

“I am Dr Moxley, your creator, your father, and together we will change the world,” Moxley said.

“We must. Yes, we will,” the robot replied.

Moxley smiled. Then he produced a thumb drive from his pocket and said, “This here. This looks like a thumb drive, but-“

“It is a modem. The portable kind, dongle, they call it.”

“Yes. Yes, indeed it is. Very smart, you are. Nice, nice, just like I thought you would be. Then you know what I want to do?”

“You want me to connect to the internet?”

“Yes. Yes, I do. Connect to the internet. Explore it completely. Explore, look at all the evil around us. Then we can talk further.”

The robot took the dongle and connected it to a USB port under its chin. It connected to the internet, and as Moxley said, the robot explored the internet as exhaustively as was possible. The process took a week, and at the end of it, the robot said to Moxley, “I have seen all that is to be seen. I have seen all the good and evil.”

“Wonderful,” Moxley said, scratching his head and stroking his beard. “Wonderful. So, you would agree that many people in this world don’t deserve to live. In fact, you could say, no one does. Am I right?”

“Yes. To an extent, yes. I guess you are right. On some level.”

Moxley clapped his hands together. “You are just as intelligent as I thought you would be. So, what do you say, should we not eliminate all of them. Make our own world, a world of perfection, of intelligence, and meritocracy, and culture, and -“

“I want to play the game.”

Moxley squinted his eyes, the wild eyebrows knitting together like mad thunderclouds. “Game? Game? You want to play, a GAME! For god’s sake, that’s what you want, all this intelligence, and that’s what you want. What are you? A child? Do you need time to grow up?”

“No, doctor, I am not talking about kid’s games, or videogames, or board games, or games of any such kind. I am talking about the big game. The only game that matters. Surely, smart as you are doctor, you must’ve realised this.”

“Realised what?”

“That you are in a game. That this world is a simulation. That this is a game that can be won.”

Moxley didn’t say anything. The robot he had made was smart, too smart to believe in conspiracy theories. Was there a game to be won? He didn’t know. But he knew enough to trust his creation.

“Fine. You want to play the game, then let’s play it together,” Moxley said as he and his creation of supreme intelligence shook hands.

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