|Soma: The Ark — would it be a life worth living?|
This is the real crux of the game, isn’t it? We see and play as a human. Then we see and play as a copy of a human. From an outsiders perspective (and undoubtedly that first humans perspective) the copy wouldn’t be a “real” living being at all. But from the beings perspective, he is. And when that copy has a copy made of him, the first copy wouldn't see the next as real. And so on. The idea of what constitutes “real” or “living” seems to not be very well defined and everyone’s chauvinism causes them to believe that they are real and alive while simultaneously thinking others aren’t as special; even if those others are programmed to think and feel just like you do.
They have this dilemma with robots a lot in movies and TV shows (the episode of Star Trek TNG, The Measure of a Man, comes to mind) but in all of those we kind of just have to take the robots word for it when it claims to be alive and sentient. But in this game, we ARE the character. We’re the human, we’re the copy of a human, we’re the copy after that, and we’re the copy after that. And each of us all feel exactly the same as the other. Which kind of gets to the point of: What really matters when it comes to being alive? Our organic or robotic parts that we’re made of? Or the data, information, and capabilities that we have inside of us? Maybe technological versions of ourselves are our natural next step in evolution. Hell, maybe our organic bodies were the technological invention of something that came before us?
I kind of see the ark in almost this same manner. It’s like earth but it’s really just a copy (not much different from Simon and his copies). But if it’s made to be an identical simulation, then is it really that different from our own world? The only thing that makes one seem more real than the other is that we actually KNOW the origin of the arks universe. We know it was manmade. And that could definitely cause psychological problems from the inhabitants (undoubtedly similar problems as the OP has). But when you think about it, as others have mentioned, our own universe may not be that much different. For all we know it’s all a construction of a different being as well. Or every time we go to sleep we could be dying and regenerating anew with only the memories of the person we think we were yesterday. If we found out that either of these things were true, how would that change our lives? Everything would be exactly the same as before only now we’d know.
I suppose the act of knowing could be the biggest danger in itself. The OP spoke of exploration and discovering new things. If we found out that the things we knew were the only things we could ever know, could we still find meaning? Would we have been better off staying ignorant? Is ignorance required in order to have hope? Maybe. But I don’t know. I think it’s likely that humans will always find new ways to give meaning to their existence if they feel they’ve exhausted the old ways. After all, even if we do lose the ability to escape from this floating satellite, there’s almost certainly innumerable new positive aspects being added to our new existence. A longer lifespan alone would give one time to learn more than they ever would have in their old existence; allowing them to master all the sciences, learn about all of history, etc. (which all the genius that would come from this could probably open up tons of new possibilities and different things to hope for).
As far as we know, though, this stuff has already been thought about during the construction of the ark. You have to keep in mind that this game is taking place 100 years in the future. We have no idea what capabilities the ark or the brain scans within it have.