The being held the smoky cube in its hands and watched the tiny world orbiting inside.
“I’m confused. It’s a simulation, but it knows it’s a simulation?”
“Not quite,” its companion said. “It creates billions of self-aware intelligences inside itself, which only last for a certain amount of time, and those intelligences are capable of discerning they are simulated.”
“Why?”
“We wanted to see how a large population would react to such knowledge.”
“How’s it going?”
“Not great. We’ve had to reset the simulation five times already.” The other being flicked a toggle, and an asteroid appeared inside the cube.

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