We Live in a Pluriverse

Saying goodbye to the Multiverse

Kelly Tatham

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Back in 2016 when I first started telling stories in the Multiverse, not everyone knew what the Multiverse was. Explaining the concept to one collaborator (justifying how we could switch out one actor for another in the middle of the pilot episode of our web series), I was surprised by their response,

Multi-what?

Having been intrigued by parallel universes most of my life, I assumed everyone shared the same curiosity. Apparently not!

Today, thanks to Marvel superheroes, Stephen Hawking’s final paper, and the release of the brilliant Everything Everywhere All At Once, the Multiverse is smack dab in the middle of the zeitgeist. It’s a mythos we’ve come to readily accept and it’s easy to see why —

The concept of the Multiverse is simple: there are (infinite) parallel realities and, once we tap into them (if we figure out how), the storytelling possibilities are endless.

This is a delicious prospect for cinematic worlds, to be sure, but to my mind, what really makes the Multiverse so enticing is that it speaks directly to our desire and longing to know, “What if?”

What if I had done things differently? Where would I be now? What would my life look like?

This is the real storytelling gold. All of us have suffered from a “what if” at some point in our lives, so we all can identify with a character who gets the opportunity to explore those outcomes. But while parallel, alternate realities are a wonderful metaphor to use for examining the human experience, the question remains —

Is the Multiverse real or is it fantasy?

After several years of storytelling in the Multiverse, researching the Multiverse, and basically building my identity around the Multiverse, it is time for me to admit a hard truth: I’ve been wrong this whole time. Or, not wrong exactly but not quite accurate either.

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Kelly Tatham

Fugitive. Systemsthinker. Saving the world is easier than we think. There is no world // kellytatham.com