Various SF films and TV shows (i.e. Harsh Realm, Total Recall, The Matrix) deal with the theme of characters that are trapped inside a virtual world.
Some characters have no awareness of the simulation. For them, virtual reality is reality. Other characters discern a larger reality behind the simulation.
So you have to types of characters: red pill-poppers and blue pill-poppers.
Blue pill-poppers deny the existence of a computer programmer. They point to “reality” and ask, “Show me the programmer? We can’t see him. We can’t find him.”
Red pill-poppers say that question misses the point. If the programmer exists, then he exists outside the program. In that sense, he’s absent from the program he designed. At most, he could write himself into the program as a virtual character.
But in another sense, the programmer is a ubiquitous. He designed the simulation. Activated the simulation. Although the programmer is intangible, your every tangible experience is the end-result of his design.
So he’s both absent from the program and omnipresent. Even if you never see him, he’s “there” in the sense that his program is there. He’s behind every simulated detail of the program you inhabit.