To me you are applying a double standard.>you just established that literally anything can happen to the characters and setting outside of the characters' control.
The same could be said of any fictions, ever.
Freewill remain a thing in simulation hypothesis, death as well for reasons anyone using software will understand.
Rules also exist and they are no more arbitrary than what you would find in any other stories, the trust in these rules grow the more we see the story adhere to them and treat any deviation as requiring a supporting plot.
You are only assuming the worst, probably because of the abuse mentioned and now treat it as if those abuse were the only standard for this concept.>you probably didn't get them onboard with that premise from the start
Again, the same could be said of anything,
Expectation are complicated and the goal of a story is to make sense in a good way.
You are just assuming the worst.
Talking of AoBS most people wouldn't expect anything as rational and coherent as what we got when starting a manga about Sentient warship with a WWII look. It was clear they would pull off things like this as soon as "that astronaut" made an appearance.
The spoiler was a step up, not down.>inside the characters' heads, and its fine, because the rest of the universe still exists
You should know what you described is not a simulation, it's the opposite: a dream sequence.
A simulation involve stimulus external to the Self, coming from a simulated universe that remain in motion.
Done right a simulation will be the most realistic setting you can hope for the entirety of a story.>no one gives a shit about how the crossover works. Everybody knows its just a window dressing that has to be acknowledged before the main action can happen.
Window dressing is part the value, so again, speak for yourself.
If for you a crossover is good no matter how silly is its start. You should have no reason to dismiss a good simulation/cyberspace setting.