If we live in a digital simulation, unfortunately we can only really speculate about it’s purposes, programmers and operators, and there are many possible speculations. However I suppose that an obvious speculation would be that the programmers / operators are more advanced in the scientific (computer science) sense for a rather obvious reason: the programmers / operators are able to produce more realistic and detailed virtual worlds than we are, and they obviously have the computing power to render the world for the approximately seven billion programs here and to run those consciousness programs. At the moment the world’s fastest supercomputers cannot even produce a single human consciousness program. Thus they would clearly be a more advanced civilisation in terms of computer science.
However, when we observe all the wars, violence and suffering of our world; I think that an obvious conclusion is that the operators in the source dimension are not ethically superior to us; the suffering that the seven billion programs experience here would seem to be the result of totally subhuman and genocidally malevolent intelligences, from a human perspective; however bear in mind also, that or own virtual worlds will most certainly be one of the first obvious places where artificial intelligences programs will be used for human entertainment, and since that is mostly about war gaming and virtual sex, that is how we will use our attempts to duplicate human consciousness. I think that is very likely, and a common prediction, that the virtual worlds will become the primary form of human entertainment. Human beings will most probably use sentient AI programs in war gaming and perhaps not have much of a conscience about nuking cities full of them, or causing millions of them to die needlessly in their war games; similarly the operators of our simulated would, I suspect have to have absolutely no conscience about the amount of pain and suffering the programs in the simulation go through.
Another possible speculation is that this is some form of experiment. Think of the Nazis, for example, doing medical experiments on prisoners whom they considered to be expendable “inferiors;” perhaps that is how the operators view us? Despite the obvious speculation that the operators are genocidally evil wargamers who are utterly cruel and devoid of compassion, from a human perspective, that is only because we are the victims of their game; in reality I expect human beings to be similarly callous when it comes to using their own AI programs in future war games.
Afterlives for necessity and entertainment.
I am of course, basing all this on the assumption that the operators / programmers are similar to us and that they construct virtual worlds in the same ways and for the same reasons that we do; if the situation is otherwise, then would be beyond the bounds of our knowledge to understand anything about the source dimension; nevertheless I do assume operators are similar to us and I do assume that they use simulations for the same purposes that we use simulations.
Eternal wargamers. Afterlives.
Another possibility is that this dimension is an afterlife for the source dimension where the consciousness of intelligences in that dimension have been uploaded to a computer and now live in avatar form in this dimension. Thus this dimension may not merely be entertainment, but a world created out of necessity. If human beings ever upload their consciousness to a computer, where would that consciousness program live? How would it have an avatar form? What kind of virtual world would it live in? This world may be the answers to those questions from the perspective of a source dimension.
The virtual worlds are here to stay, and even if there is a nuclear war and global devastation which might nuke us back to the stone age, there are still scientists under the earth who will continue with the AI project.
Assuming that this war game does not simply end at a certain point of global destruction (which it may), more and more human beings are going to be spending their lives in the virtual worlds, and they are very likely going to be the those to whom the simulation argument will speak to initially. This is not simply a speculative theory or a possibility for me; it is simply how I view our world after having spent the equivalent of several years of a lifetime in the current virtual worlds; I simply cannot view reality in any other way. However there is no “good news” here; it is a diabolical view of the cosmos; we seem to be created for love and the pursuit of human pleasure; yet all is full of war and evil religion.
Blasphemy, heresy, revolution, etc.