From ambiguity to prototype

Turning a popular hypothesis into a tangible game

If everything physically possible happens in the universe, why do we only see one possibility at a time?

Hugh Everett’s answer is there’s more than one you, and you are splitting into trillions of copies of yourself every time there’s a quantum interaction of a certain size. Popularly known as the MWI (Many-Worlds Interpretation) implies that all possible alternate histories and futures are real, each representing an actual “world”. In layman’s terms, the hypothesis states there is a very large — perhaps infinite— number of universes, and everything that could possibly have happened in our past, but did not, has occurred in the past of some other universe or universes.

The universe is too large for you and I to understand or interpret. Scientists have been trying for as long as humans have lived, and we are still light years away from understanding it completely.

Yet, a bunch of ambitious, imaginative and young graduate program students set out to make the Many World Theory into a tangible prototype for the world to not just understand, but also interact with.

Consider this– Our lives are the consequence of the choices we make. Should I take the train or the bus to college? Or should I have a cappuccino or a latte? Should I or should I not eat that chocolate? The choices we make establish the lives we lead.

Our team of young imaginaries came up with our own utopia.

What if we were able to go between these many worlds to see what the alternate life looks like, had we have made a different choice? What if we were able to decide and continue living the life that looks best?

To demonstrate this idea, our team constructed a tangible ball and maze game. The game had two surfaces, each differing in structure and appearance, interlinked by ‘portals’ that are controlled by the player. Every time you hit a dead end, you simply slip through this portal and get transported into the alternate surface. This way, you go on to play an infinite game of switching between surfaces (worlds) as you come across dead-ends.

Looking back, I think there was a stroke of genius there. And if nothing ever becomes of this, it’s definitely a pretty darn awesome idea for a sci-fi movie. Do you agree?

P.S: This project dates back to 2010. We all know the ‘upside down’ in Stranger Things (Emmys Nominated Netflix Drama Series) came after that. Just Saying ;)

Storyteller • Designer • What ‘if’ Enthusiast

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