Simulacron-3 and The Tunnel under the World
Daniel F. Galouye’s Simulacron-3 tells the story of a computer-generated city simulation that was created to fill the needs of a marketing research company. The simulation is so realistic that the city’s inhabitants don’t realize they are living in a virtual world. 

Frederick Pohl’s short story, “The Tunnel under the World,” is an early example of a simulated world built by a corporate entity that uses the town’s inhabitants—recently annihilated in an industrial accident and recreated as minuscule robots—to test hard sell marketing strategies.

These stories are part of a science fiction subgenre, which emerged in the 1950s and 60s and addressed a growing and unregulated world of corporate marketing and research based in computer intensive systems analysis. This marketing research was rooted in an analysis of the values, choices and desires of increasingly large segments of population. Data gathered through polls, interviews and consumer sales was used to build massive simulations that would confidently predict the future.

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︎︎︎ Frederik Pohl , “The Tunnel Under the World," Galaxy Science Fiction, January 1955, magazine
︎︎︎ Daniel F. Galouye, Simulacron-3, 1964, paperback book, Published by Bantam Books, New York