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I am looking for a word or a phrase that would refer to the person / agent / entity (not-necessarily human) who controls and can arbitrarily manipulate a computer simulation.

Example sentences:

  • "If Nick Bostrom's simulation hypothesis is correct, the _____ could make simulation changes, which, to us, would appear as strange or mysterious events."
  • "The sims continued with their days without realizing that their lives could be instantly changed by the _____'s decisions."
  • "The ____ controlled the rules, parameters, and external events of the simulation of a network of cities and their inhabitants."

Criteria:

  • Connotation: neutral/objective
  • Register or level of speech: formal/academic but not necessarily
  • Part of speech: noun

Similar words:

  • Simulator: Refers to the machine or software that computes the simulation, I'm looking for a word that refers to the person/agent that chooses what to simulate and what manipulations/changes to make.
  • Player/Modeler/Scientist: Implies that the purpose of the simulation is known: a video game, a mathematical study, or a scientific experiment. I'm looking for a general word that does not imply a specific purpose.
  • Deity/God: The simulated people might call the person/agent that, but I'm looking for a word/phrase that is objective/perspective-independent.
  • Simulant/Simulacrum: May refer to the simulation but not to the person/agent that controls it.
  • 1
    How about controller for the person who controls the simulation? – Davo Sep 20 '17 at 19:16
  • 1
    Did you know that a computer is a person who performs computations? – Hot Licks Sep 20 '17 at 22:06
  • (But the obvious word to fit your scenario is "God".) – Hot Licks Sep 20 '17 at 22:07
4

User and operator are common terms for a person running or controlling any mechanism, including a software application. The term operator is more commonly used in this sense in the phrase operator error.

2

I like creator, a term often used to refer to our own existence (the creator of the universe, e.g.).

Administrator may work as well if you think of the simulation as a "system", and the controller a system admin.

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