Virtual reality

Parker Peevyhouse’s latest YA thriller, Strange Exit tackles the complex theme of reality versus simulation. In the novel, a group of passengers finds themselves trapped in a shared virtual reality aboard a ship orbiting the earth after a nuclear event. When the sim they’re living in begins to breakdown, their only hope for survival is to wake up. The only problem is they have no idea they’re living in a sim.

If you have a suspicious feeling your reality might actually be a sim, Parker Peevyhouse has put together a helpful guide to help you determine what’s real from what’s imaginary.

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By Parker Peevyhouse

Listen, you’re probably living a perfectly ordinary life in a definitely real environment—but on the other hand, you might actually be stuck in a simulation and you just don’t know it. Sorry to break it to you!

In Strange Exit, a group of teens live in a simulation while they wait for nuclear winter to end. But here’s the thing: nuclear winter has ended and the teens don’t remember they’re in a simulation! One of them—a girl named Lake—realizes the truth and tries to help others see the signs that their world is computer-generated.

Here are five signs that will prove that your world is actually a simulation:

  1. People around you keep repeating themselves. Maybe your friends just keep forgetting that they already told you that funny story about the dog who locked its owner out of the car… or maybe your friends are actually computer-controlled characters! If they tend to say and do the same things over and over, you might be living in a fake world populated by “figments” of the sim.
  2. Doors intrigue you, but you’re nervous to walk through them. Look around for the nearest door. Imagine that stepping through it will take you someplace completely Are you interested? Or are you afraid you’ll end up in a world that’s been transformed by nuclear winter? If you’re filling with dread right now, you might be stuck in the sim!
  3. Your mood influences your surroundings. We all find the world to be a bit gloomier when the news is dire, but if the sky fills with smoke every time you worry about nuclear apocalypse—that’s a pretty weird sign, don’t you think?
  4. Logic is broken. Does your digital clock only ever read 07734? (That’s hello upside down!) Do people come and go through doors you’re sure are locked? Are you snacking on expired food and finding it delicious? Either it’s time to get your taste buds checked or you need to find the nearest exit and get back to the real world.
  5. A sticky black substance is appearing as you’re reading this. First of all, do not touch that stuff!! Second, if your world is breaking down because you’re wondering if it’s real…then I think you know what you need to do. Mark an X on the nearest door and walk through to join the rest of us!

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