many-worlds interpretation of save states

February 6, 2008

I'm not sure if I'm a fair-weather fan, just reeling from a horrendous, bad-decisions, other-team-awesome loss, if it's the gap before "Pitchers and Catchers" or some kind of seachange but... I'm digging NPR again, over the sports radio thats been it for me for a couple of years now.

Video Game Quantum Physics Thinkpiece of the Moment
--So this is rather brilliant. This is a play through of a fan-built, very very difficult level of Super Mario World -- you can watch the standard playthrough, showing failure after failure, to get a feel for how it usually looks. Now, one trick modern game emulators can do is "Save States" -- you can save periodically, and when you mess up you get to rewind and do as many "do-overs" as you need, resetting the whole game universe to the point of the save. The genius of this video is letting you see all those failed attempts while still watching the successful run through. The end result is very parallel to the Many Worlds interpretation of Quantum Physics, where every possible option (at the quantum level) splits the universe into multiple branches. More Explanation by the author of this technical and philosophical feat here. (thanks Nick B)