Characters Ethics

    Douglas Hall

    Althought David was depicted as the ultimate "evil" character in the movie, his simulation charater Douglas Hall also has many unethical conducts in the movie, many of which due to his taking over of Ferguson's consciousness. When Douglas first jacked into the simulation to seek the letter Dr. Fuller left for him. He made Ferguson wake up in the strip club, and traumatized to see himself at a strange place with strange people. The second time Douglas jacked into the simulation almost got the innocent Ferguson killed by Ashton.

    It is arguable whether the damage to Ferguson's life was a crime because it is hard to define the humanity of Ferguson as a computer simulated AI. However, the movie does demonstrate the simulated AIs have their own feeling, emotion, consciousness, and psychological relationship with other AIs. So in some sense, there is no difference between them and real human. Under this argument, what Douglas did to Ferguson violated the latter's right of privacy, because Douglas knows everything of Ferguson from the server database, and freedom of speech, as Ferguson cannot express himself while being taken over. Also, the life danger Douglas put Ferguson into can be counted as crime. The fact that Douglas used Ferguson as a means to get the letter from Dr. Fuller without his consent is also an unethical act.


    David is probably the most unethical character in the movie. First of all, he developed an addiction to play God in the simulation, and kill innocent AIs who show no psychological difference with real human beings. He chose to silence Dr. Fuller when he realized the latter had found out the secret of the simulation, whereby infriged Dr. Fuller's freedom of speech to tell the truth to the public in his world. Being jealous of Jane Fuller's love of Douglas, he entered the simulation world for revenge, and attempted to rape Jane Fuller utilizing her love of Douglas. When failed, he tried to chase and murdur Jane Fuller. All of these actions can be counted as serious crimes.

    Jane Fuller

    Jane Fuller fell in love with Douglas, and entered the simulation several times to fulfill her purpose, to date Douglas, and to shut down the simulation Dr. Fuller developed. She also had unethical conducts. First of all, her taking over of Natasha's consciousness violated the privacy and freedom of speech of the latter. Secondly, she was sent to the simulation originally with a purpose to shut down Dr. Fuller's simulation system, in order to keep people from discovering the truth, that even their world was fake. This was a violation of free will of the AIs in the simulation world. Third, she claimed she "had been watching Douglas since the beginning". Doesn't this mean she knows every privacy of Douglas? Lastly, knowing the consequence, she (sort of) lured David to a trap where Detective McBain would kill him, to fulfill her purpose to live with Douglas in her world. In essence, this is plotted crime.


    Aston exists in the 1937 simulation world. He found out that the world he lives in is simulation world by reading the letter from Mr. Fuller to Douglas, and followed the instruction on the letter. Also, when Douglas went into the simulation world, he tried to kill him because of fear and anger. Eventually, his mind was exchanged to the body of Jason Whitney when Jason died in the 1937 simulation world. Jerry Ashton was curious and knew nothing about the 1999 simulation world. He was killed by David when David's mind was downloaded into Douglas's body.

    This Character is important in several aspects. His existence proved that the people's mind in simulation world is not totally controlled by codes, and proved that they have the ability to evolve. This fact makes the murder in the simulation world disputable, since the simulation world is more than just a world with people created by codes now. Also, he is too emotional and violent. First, opening the letter that is asked by Mr. Fuller to deliver to Douglas is an inappropriate and dishonest behavior. Second, he tried to murder John Ferguson, which counts as criminal attempt.


    Jason Whittney exists in the 1999 simulation world, and he built the 1937 simulation world with Mr. Fuller and Douglas. He is also the controller of the machine that enables people to go inside the simulation world mentally. Jason knows the system well and he saved Douglas when he was trapped into the simulation world because he didn't set up the machine right. When he went into the simulation world by himself, his mind was downloaded to the body of Jerry Ashton. And when he got killed by traffic accident he woke up in the 1999 simulation world but with Jerry Ashton’s mind. Whittney had several unethical conducts in the movie. For example, in order to investigate Dr. Fuller's death, he hacked into the latter's account to gain log information of Dr. Fuller action in the simulation world. Also, he talked about the simulation system in detail with Detective McBain, while Douglas refused to divulge it. This somehow violated the IP of the company, although it is arguable because Detective McBain needed the information for legal investigation. Lastly, Whittney's taking over of Ashton's consciousness violated the latter's privacy and freedom of speech.

    Dr. Hannon Fuller

    Dr. Hannon Fuller was the inventor of the 1937 simulation system. However, knowing the nature of the simulation, he chose to use it for personal amusement. He entered the simulation frequently, and used Grierson's body to have sex with girls in the strip club. This put Grierson into a very horrible situation as he had been a faithful husband through his life. Also, Dr. Hannon Fuller should have publicized the truth that their world is fake, when he discovered so, because the people in his world had the right to know. Instead, he chose to leave a letter to a very unrealiable bartender, Ashton, which caused a series of accidents in the movie.

    Detective McBain

    Detective McBain exists in 1999 simulation world. He tried to hunt down the killer of Mr. Fuller and also saved Jane (Jane's mind from 2025 world on Natasha Molinaro's body) by shooting David at a critical juncture of murder of Jane by David. He found out that the world he lives in is a simulated world when Jane explained everything to him. He is an objective and righteous detective throughout the movie. And when he said 'Do me a favor, will you? When you get back to wherever you come from just leave us hell alone down here okay?' I believe that is the word all people in the simulation world would like to say.