Large Image Display: Animatrix: Beyond: A No-Physics Zone

This single still is from the widescreen version of ?Beyond?, one of the Animatrix animated shorts. It has been considerably scaled back from the original material.

Like most of the Beyond screenshots presented here, this one shows an effect of what happens when the laws of a virtual environment become too complex, and interactions go a little ca ca.

In this case, it is showing a hovering, discarded food can. At first this looks like an unreproducible bug that would never show up in an actual VR. However, then we learn its not just the can everything that encounters that thin strip of ground just seems to float.

Later in the film, several kids leap off of a third story balcony straight into this area - and float before they hit the ground. Its almost as if there is a zone where the laws of physics have been turned off. This is precisely what has happened.

Even in modern VRs we quite often have the ability to define zones where physics functions and where physics does not function. Its a simple binary switch in most cases, an integral part of the code.

In this instance, a zero physical laws zone has been created by fluke accident in what is obviously the Matrix equivalent of a corrupted sector. None of the elements in the area are showing normal behaviour, because each is damaged in some way. There is no reason to suppose exactly the same kind of thing will not show up in our own VRs as they continue to become more complex, and develop quirks of their own.

Link: Animatrix: Beyond