Home > Philsosophy > Could Solipsism Be True?

Could Solipsism Be True?

Solipsism:
  1. The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified.
  2. The theory or view that the self is the only reality.

I was a role-player in high school.  For those of you who have never experienced role playing games, it is the epitome of geekdom.  It totally consumed my life.  In role playing games, one guy gets to be the Game Master (GM), who sets up the entire world.  Everyone else plays a character within that world.  In essence you all sit around a table and tell a story; the GM tells what is going on in the world and the players all tell how their characters (PCs, for Player-Characters) react.  All the people in the game world that are not controlled by players are called NPCs (Non-Player Characters).

Now in high school, I had one obscure game called Over the Edge by Jonathan Tweet (who went on to redesign AD&D for the 3rd and 4th editions).  One of the scenarios that can be played in the game is a story-line where the characters come to realize that they are only characters in a role-playing game, having no existence outside the game itself.  I totally loved the concept.  I think it has captured me ever since.

So I was at a party a few weeks later and I met a kid who was a couple years younger than me from the next town over.  I started telling him that he was just a character in a role playing game and I wasn’t even real; I was just an NPC.  And he just started flipping out.  It was mean, I know.  But it was really funny.

Of course I’m not an NPC.  If I’m a character in a Role Playing Game, I’m certain I’m a Player-Character.  I hope you are too.  But if you’re not, you don’t really exist.  But then I guess neither do I really.  Bummer.

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