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."


  • 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, 2017 at 19:16
  • 1
    Did you know that a computer is a person who performs computations?
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 20, 2017 at 22:06
  • (But the obvious word to fit your scenario is "God".)
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 20, 2017 at 22:07
  • Merriam-Webster suggests simulator. Other terms will work in specific contexts eg mad scientist.
    – Stuart F
    Apr 10, 2022 at 16:02

4 Answers 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.


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.


Simularian came to mind however, there is no such word as far as I can tell in English. In spanish it appears that simularian is defined as "they/you would simulate". Not sure if it works though. Maybe someone fluent in spanish could chime in. Of course, English would never ste.. I mean "borrow" a word from another language.

When I was in the army years back there was a position usually filled by a junior officer known as "Directorate of Simulation". Seems to meet the "term or phrase" portion of the criteria.

As long as English doesn't have a word expressly meeting the criteria as presented it seems to me a perfect opportunity to delve into the productive morphological process of linguistics!

Ill go first. Simulatorian and second. Simulatorialist


I would go with proctor. I read this question days ago and the word proctor popped in my head today. A proctor is someone who monitors pupils during an examination... Which I believe would be the intent of someone who is putting you into a simulation anyway (to see how you react to certain situations or events).

  • 2
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    Apr 10, 2022 at 5:47

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