A comment on this question raised another interesting question, specifically this comment:

If they kept it in 1999, they'd have no y2k bug to deal with.{/tongue-in-cheek}

And it got me thinking...The Matrix is a simulation of the year 1999. Everybody in The Matrix thinks that it is the real world, and pass their lives as if it were exactly that.

But if that is the case, it wouldn't be 1999 forever. Years pass. People keep track of time and have children that grow up and have birthdays. They're going to keep track of what year it is.

Will it ever be the year 2000 in The Matrix, or do the machines 'reset' people's memory of what year it is, so that it is perpetually 1999?

  • To me yearly (or otherwise often) resets wouldn't make any sense. They'd not only have to erase memories, they'd also have to update/change biographies etc. e.g. due to people aging or people having died etc. Or in short lots of overhead, that would most likely be considered ineffective.
    – Mario
    Jul 31, 2014 at 14:48
  • @Mario - It's pretty clear that the Machines are using memory control to muck around with time.
    – Valorum
    Jul 31, 2014 at 14:58
  • Of course, they do. But just because you can do something it isn't necessarily the best option to do it all the time.
    – Mario
    Aug 1, 2014 at 6:58
  • @Mario Actually, regular system memory rewrites and defragmentation are pretty standard methods for ensuring your computer keeps running efficiently. And honestly, who would know? So long as they keep the population approximately the same, children will become the new adults, adults will become the new elderly, and as far as anyone knows that's the way it had always been and will always be.
    – Zibbobz
    Aug 4, 2014 at 13:11

2 Answers 2


During the scene in Architect's room in The Matrix Reloaded, video of human civilization is shown on the television screens, including video of President George W. Bush (here around 3:05). So if the Matrix is trying to accurately represent human history, it definitely continued into the 2000's.

I think we have to consider the point of the Matrix. The Machines weren't overly concerned with arbitrary dates, they wanted to reconstruct the "pinnacle of human civilization." So long as they prevent whatever made human civilization go into decline to begin with, they'd presumably be fine with the timeline continuing. The only thing I think they'd take steps to completely prevent would be the invention of AI.

  • 1
    It can't be 1996. Keanu's police file says that his file was last amended in July 1998.
    – Valorum
    Jul 31, 2014 at 14:58
  • @Richard- Good point! I'll edit my answer accordingly. Jul 31, 2014 at 15:00
  • The Matrix doesn't accurately reflect current reality. There's a single large city surrounded by an enormous highway, nestled inside a mountain range.
    – Valorum
    Jul 31, 2014 at 15:20
  • 2
    At 3:05, I see footage of President George Bush, but it's impossible to tell (from that bit, at least) if that was from when he was President. Even in 1999, he was all over the media from his presidential candidacy.
    – phantom42
    Jul 31, 2014 at 15:31
  • Eh, that "evidence" doesn't necessarily mean much. Recreating history is far safer than coming up with alternative history. After all, the machines don't want people to realize they're in a simulation, so it must be perfect. But since people's memories get reset (which is happening at least every 100 years), you could just as easily cycle the matrix over the same day/week/year/etc. Dark City pretty much did that without the convenience of a computer simulation. Since "the one" is there, we can assume we're near the end of the 100 year cycle. So it's possible we'd never reach the year 2000.
    – Kat
    Nov 30, 2015 at 23:00

In my opinion, yes, time will pass and year 2000 will be reached. There is no need to reset because of that. The only reason to reset the memory of people in Matrix is because reaching the year when the machines start to think, IMHO.

They can deal with the y2k bug on the Matrix fake world. Just a recreation like everything else.

The Matrix recreate all physic laws, and all the history at that moment, including the computers way of working and programming codes as humans made it on the first place. The bug will not scale to the machines, so I think it won't be a problem to recreate it.

  • 1
    Do my answer have something wrong that explains the downvotes? It is not valid? Can I use my own reasoning without using other sources?
    – SysDragon
    Jul 31, 2014 at 14:53
  • 3
    @SysDragon - You can give any answer you like (within the rules of the site) but don't expect upvotes for an answer that is solely based on one person's opinion.
    – Valorum
    Jul 31, 2014 at 15:06
  • 1
    @Richard I'm not expecting upvotes, but I'm puzzled about the downvotes
    – SysDragon
    Jul 31, 2014 at 15:33
  • 1
    @Richard I think that this is expecting too much for the answers and will hinder the experience to share good points in this site
    – SysDragon
    Jul 31, 2014 at 15:37
  • 1
    @SysDragon Sharing good points that don't have evidence to back them up or that aren't based on canon material is what comments are for. Answers are for when you have evidence to support it. While some answers can be good-subjective, based off of logical arguments made from the premise of the story, this answer is largely jumping to assumptions, especially since the duplicate question for this question has an accepted answer that refutes it with canonical evidence.
    – Zibbobz
    Jul 31, 2014 at 16:18

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