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CAMBRIDGE, MA—Claiming their findings could radically alter the very notion of reality, researchers from MIT published a study Tuesday postulating that Sonic the Hedgehog might be living in a sophisticated computer simulation. “It’s not implausible that Sonic’s universe, from the engineering marvels of Scrap Brain Zone to the natural beauty of Green Hill Zone, are merely the creation of an advanced civilization with the capability to construct an entire 16-bit existence,” said theoretical physicist Dr. Leanne Goldberg, adding that the tremendous technological power of these highly intelligent beings could allow them to fashion a hyperrealistic facsimile in which Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and every resident of South Island lived with no inkling of their true digital origin. “While the pleasure of grabbing golden rings or the pain of colliding with a Moto Bug are perceived as real by Sonic, it is conceivable that this experience is in actuality nothing more than line upon line of code.” Goldberg went on to say that even if Sonic became aware of the possibility he might exist inside a computer program, his inability to know for sure would still leave him with ample motivation to stop Dr. Robotnik from collecting the Chaos Emeralds.

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