Explaining what ISIC was doing in The Algorithm

Battleborn has a lot of great background lore you can find on the main website (btw gbx. You should definitely add that lore somewhere in the game). But one thing that’s never really explained is what ISIC is actually doing to try and crash the universe. All we are told is he’s going to run impossibly complex code to crash it so he can have a word with its creator.

You’re probably wondering: “What the hell does that even mean? Impossibly complex code to crash the universe?”

I’m sure plenty of you know the universe simulation idea. For those of you who don’t, there is a hypothesis that our (real world talk now, not Battleborn world) universe is nothing more than a simulation. Our universe is a program being run by being(s) with technology significantly more advanced than us. There are many philosophical analogies between our own programs and our universe. One of the defining characteristic, while not necessarily a guaranteed truth, is that our universe is discrete and not continuous. That means you can count the things the things that make up our universe, like the number of basic particles (photons and the sort). This is the same in a program where your basic is a bit.

One of the key features of a program is it’s ability to fail. A computer cannot process dividing by zero, since it’s impossible. Trying to do so will generally cause your program to crash. So now let’s tie this all back to ISIC. He was going to force the universe to perform an action it could not. His complex code was impossible because it cannot be done in their universe. If the universe is a simulation as he believes, it would behave like a program and thus crash as if trying to divide by zero.

So there you go. A little insight into the mad workings of a magnus. Hope you all enjoyed it

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He was just trying to break the 4th Wall and have a word with Gearbox, because he IS part of a simulation.

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Yeah, he is trying to crash the game. If you pay attention to what he is saying, some of his comments make that a bit explicit. Isic is the character in the game that knows he is in a game.

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Exactly why i like that insane Ai

My favorite lines from him are when you are running towards his lair and he goes

“If you die in real life - you DIE in real life. This isn’t a game! Yeah I’m talking to you - Steve/Anthony/Rebecca/(other names) !! You holding the controller!”

and Ghalt or Kleese go, “What is he talking about?”

hahahahaha

Love this game

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Beat you to it! I’ve spoken about this at length before and why I love it. It’s a brilliant satirical parody of the Simulated Reality theory, which is what it’s actually called. And there are many days when I’m actually inclined to believe it.

The statistical improbabilities of not having encountered other life, still being stuck on this planet, and the sheer number of negative biases present seem to indicate some administrative will present other than just randomness. I can’t say I’m one to believe in gods, but BoFHs? Yes, I believe in BoFHs!

I’m being a little tongue in cheek right now, but still, there are other theories which tend to make this one quite difficult to dismiss. Such as the theory that reality might actually be projected from a two-dimensional surface. That’s some recommended readin’ right there. There are just things that hint at things that seem to have rather interesting implications as to the nature of our reality.

And if our reality is indeed a simulation, then whatever our administrators are up to is certainly not very ethical.

For those who’re new on this boat? No, not the Matrix. I could say that until I’m blue in the face. This isn’t any sort of thing where your body is elsewhere being the most ridiculously inefficient battery imaginable (considering it takes in more energy than it puts out, why would you even do that?). In this particular case? You’re a complicated program, I’m a complicated program, and everyone is a complicated program. Hooray!

Well, except for those that aren’t and might be there for window dressing. Which one can only think is really interesting subject matter for solipsists!

It’s also unnerving that every time I talk about this, I sound like ISIC. And it’s not like this has only started happening since the game came about, either. It gives one pause for thought. That particular thought being, hey, I wonder if there’s a certain tongue-in-cheek tendency amongst people with more nihilistic leanings to actually have an on-again-off-again reltaionship with that theory that’s at least somewhat serious. Serius enough that we’re not going to abandon it and leave it for some other theory like a bunch of hussies.

This is just pushing the right buttons for me, though, as you can probably imagine. I mean, there have been dark days where I’ve made cracks about how reality seems like an exquisite torture chamber, designed to keep people just sane and healthy enough to actually study what happens in a system where there are diminishing reutrns of hope.

I think it’s how ISIC was right in his reality that made it especially cathartic. That’s fantastic. And I do wonder if perhaps said writer responsible was perhaps a nihilist who’s had this relationship with the theory.

It certainly felt like a kindred spirit.

For everyone else though, I can only imaginet hat ISIC’s mission was perhaps a bit strange and unsettling?? So whereas most might’ve wanted to jam enough explosives down his non-existent throat to light up the darkest Norwegian night, I wanted to actually wait and see what would happen if he was left to his own devices. Not an option, sadly. C’est la vie.

One can hope that once this whole Varelsi thing is over, ISIC will disappear again and try to gain administrator privileges with his L33T hacking skills.

Outdated, I know. Not of the zeitgeist and all that. How would you kids say that, now?


Edit: Here are a few other perspectives!

ISIC’s view of death is interesting. He doesn’t seem to use it as a threat, just as a statement that death always happens anyway and that it’s not actually that bad. He probably has a view similar to reincarnation where your code is going to be recycled back into existence anyway, so you don’t really disappear into nothingness.

However, in the interim between your death and that happening, you’ll have a reprieve from the terrible awfulness of consciousness. He seems weirdly empathetic of the pains and sufferance of people who live. It’s bizarre. It’s funny because (spoilers!) in a bit of dialogue between he and Kleese if you just happen to have Mr. The Dragon along (which is easier to write without the accent), he tells Kleese that in order to reclaim his sanity, he had to do a lot of writing.

So how I feel about ISIC as a character is complicated. Through the right lens, he’s an anti-hero. He wants to take over reality and remove suffering from it. He’s actually said as much. He just wants to hack the system, crash it, then remake it as something entirely better. I don’t disagree with that. I can, however, see though peraps that on average he’s just going to look like this crazed sociopath. That’s one thing that gives his character a whole lot of depth.

And no, I haven’t done that much thinking on this. I’m just introspective, so all this comes naturally. I’m just perhaps a little bit perceptive. I can be.

Anyway, ISIC views death as a motivational threat, an absolute and inevitable thing, and also a relief from the pain and hardship of life in a simulation designed to do horrible things to people. So when he’s threatening to murder people, that’s what seems to be tumbling around in his digital mindscape.

Yep. ISIC and The Algorithm are some of the most interesting topics presented to me by Battleborn. Sure, it’s all funny and great for laughs, it’s uplifting, which is actually a good thing for me because – like I said – I do suffer with depression. So I love the game in its entirety, but the Algorithm… That mission holds a special place in my heart.

Also! The Algorithm is the best place to get the Nutbuster title. /nod That too.

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