GTA V Might Prove We’re Living In The Matrix

An increasingly popular philosophical concept argues that human society as we know it only exists in a virtual simulation and that the world around us isn’t real.


Some prominent figures such as Elon Musk have come out as believers of this concept, which was initially coined by Nick Bostrom. Basically, the idea is that if we are capable of creating realistic or near-realistic simulations ourselves, there is an overwhelming statistical chance that we are in a simulation too.


Bostrom believes that if humans get to the stage where we can create what he calls ‘ancestor-simulations’ then there is a very high probability that we are living in a simulation ourselves.

This idea has captivated the minds of countless people across the globe, including artist and gamer Ollie Ma. The photographer has decided to “test” the theory by compiling something of a photo-essay comparing the “bleak realities” of our own world with that of Los Santos as it is depicted in GTA V.

The vibrant and lively world of GTA V has been praised ever since the game was first demoed to journalists. The NPCs live their lives, move around the city and run errands – when they’re not being molested by the player of course.


I made photographs in both Grand Theft Auto  and in the real world to show what our current simulations look like in relation to reality. A side effect of this is that when compared with a simulation, reality itself begins to look like a simulation.

In fact, the game world of GTA V continues to be active even when the player isn’t. It is a rather jarring deconstruction of the idea that the player character should be the “center of the universe” around which the game revolves.


Ollie Ma complied a mixture of real life shots with screenshots from GTA achieved with Director Mode. In some cases, the two cannot be distinguished from one another, which allegedly “proves” that our real world is in fact a simulation.

Do you think we’re living in a simulation?

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