MVP: Minimum Viable Physics


Earth's biospheres didn't instantly achieve ecological balance or species diversity, this delicate dance of species evolved over millions of years to create complexity and harmony. Similarly, Solar systems didn’t instantly have planets, planets amalgamated over billions of years from the proto-system dust, gas, and rock. The examples of our natural world describe how from chaos comes order over time. We don’t live in a universe where complex systems simply pop into existence, they develop organically over time, and this is the key to their stability. If planets were simply to pop into existence or entire biospheres were to spawn, these systems would eventually collapse into chaos. This principle applies to autonomous worlds too. Imposing too much order prematurely risks leading to chaos.

As game designers and world builders, we tread a precarious path. Do we craft a detailed, ready-to-play 'game', or do we lay the fundamental physics for a world to evolve naturally? Is it a Sisyphean task to strive for the perfect balance in an onchain game? The chain's immutability lends enduring weight to our decisions. This line of thinking might seem naive. Perhaps a 'game', pre-balanced and complete, is necessary to attract an initial player base. Without a critical mass to ignite the dynamic engine of this world, it might fail to launch. On the other hand perhaps we must take a leap of faith, allowing the world to unfurl slowly and organically.

Ethereum, to me, is the progenitor of autonomous worlds, and offers a compelling case study. Representing the epitome of digital physics, it functions as a world computer, powered by a Turing-complete virtual machine. The parameters of its physics are defined by what can be deployed onto this machine, with the addition of a requisite payment; beyond these rules, it remains a boundless expanse. It’s a digital sandbox - a blank canvas for creativity. Here, you are free to construct the castle of your dreams, unimpeded by any limitations. Quite literally, nothing stands in your way.

One might wonder: Could Ethereum have achieved its ambitious goals if it had been subject to restrictive laws or if its usage had been confined to certain prescribed applications? I posit that it would not have. The platform's success is intrinsically tied to its open nature, unhampered by restrictive regulations or limitations on use. From the chaos, order has been built.

In contemplating the unique medium of the blockchain and its inherently persistent character, it's crucial to thoughtfully consider the laws and subjective rules we place upon its participants. Will Autonomous Worlds (AWs) behave like unpredictable stars, prone to a chaotic supernova? Or will they mimic the harmonious nature of a rainforest that emerged from nothingness, slowly cultivating order from chaos? The destiny of these virtual worlds lies within the choices we make.