Created By: Unknown Troper on April 20, 2010 Last Edited By: pokedude10 on April 13, 2017
Troped

Prefers the Illusion

Character chooses to live in a false reality instead of actual reality

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You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? [Takes a bite of steak] Ignorance is bliss.
Cypher, The Matrix

A character knows that they are in a false, constructed reality and that nothing around them is real. Once discovered, leaving is a matter of determination and willpower. The illusion is broken, they're free.

Yet they choose to stay.

There are many reasons for this. It may be because life is good in the Matrix, and the character realizes they are truly happy there. Maybe they prefer the safety of delusions to bleak reality. Or it could be that to them the false reality seems more real than the alternative; If it's impossible to tell the difference between what is real and what isn't. Who's to say that something isn't true, if they choose to believe it is?

In works where reality is treated as painful and complex, this may become a Downer Ending, especially if there is an Anti-Escapism Aesop. Characters may or may not be successful in their choice to stay. Other characters may try to "save" them from the false reality, or the truth of their fantasy may become too much to bear. In contrast to this trope, I Choose to Stay has a positive connotation for helping others or resolving ongoing conflicts in an equally real setting. However, the "fantasy" is usually Another World rather than a false, constructed reality.

Compare Longing for Fictionland when characters prefer to live by the rules and expectations of fictional stories rather than Real Life, without actually going to a false reality. Not to be confused with I Reject Your Reality, which is stubbornness rather than a deliberate choice. Please refrain from adding Real Life examples.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: in the episode "Tachikoma Runs Away; The Movie Director's Dream—ESCAPE FROM", Section 9 acquires an computer programmed with a simulation created by a Mad Artist. The simulation is just a movie theater playing the artist's final film on a constant loop. Everyone who enters the simulation becomes so engrossed with the film that they don't want to leave—the audience never sees any of the film, but it's apparently just that good. Even the normally-stoic Major Kusanagi is moved to tears by the film, but she ultimately has enough willpower to stop watching and shut the simulation down.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, the ending involves protagonist Shinji Ikari having to choose between staying with all of humanity in the sea of LCL or returning to Earth as a singular being. He chooses the later, but since no one appears alongside him at the beach except Asuka, we can infer the rest of humanity preferred to stay in the "perfect", unthinking, unfeeling LCL sea.

Film
  • One of the possible endings of Brazil has the protagonist retreat permanently into his Happy Place as a means to escape his torture. Oddly, this isn't as heartbreaking as you'd think considering the Crapsack World he lives in.
  • In The Matrix. Cypher sides with the machines because he prefers the Matrix to the After the End reality of Earth.
  • One of the theories for Shutter Island. While it appears that the doctor's efforts at curing the main character of his massive defensive delusions have ultimately failed, the final line may imply that it didn't fail. Instead, he deliberately maintained the act in order to be lobotomized, and forget everything anyway.
  • Inception:
    • This is the one danger of falling into Limbo. Because the time dilution causes a dream to last for decades, the mind will live out an entire lifetime that becomes the dreamer's new reality. By the time the dream ends and they wake up, they'll have either lost touch with reality or have lost their mental faculties to begin with.
    • Early in the movie, we're introduced to a group of people who, dissatisfied with the real world, have chose to live the remainder of their lives in a dream.

Literature
  • In the second Dragon Age novel, The Calling, all of the Wardens and Maric are trapped in the Fade, within separate dreams designed to keep them from wanting to leave. One by one, they break free of their prison. Except for Nicolas, who chooses to stay in his little cabin in the woods, reunited with his recently killed lover, Julien. Tearjerker for sure.
  • The ending of La Quête de l'Oiseau du Temps. It turns out the Action Girl was a kind of holographic projection created by the Small, Annoying Creature. The hero, who had been led to believe she was his daughter, prefers to keep the creature (and therefore his daughter) alive rather than face the fact that her mother manipulated and betrayed him.
  • In the novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World the protagonist almost escapes from his Epiphanic Prison, but turns back at the last minute, choosing to stay in the town, committing mental suicide.
  • Lucien Mulholland of Mary Hoffman's City of Masks chooses the reality in his head to the one where he's dying from cancer.
  • In The Pendragon Adventure, this is the reason that Saint Dane wins his first territory. The people of Veelox refuse to abandon the virtual reality world Lifelight, which gives users a chance to simulate living a perfect life. Eventually, so many people give up their real lives that society collapses and millions die when workers stop maintaining the Lifelight pyramids.
  • In a Witch World short story by Andre Norton, the protagonist, severely disfigured and disabled by a magical accident, chooses to live in a permanent dream and forget his harsh reality.
  • In the second Deltora Quest series, some of the Auron refugees created an illusory copy of their idyllic, sophisticated homeland on the underground island they fled to. To preserve the (emotional aspect of) this illusion, they forced all dissenters off the island and magically sealed its borders. A millennium or so later, only one person still lives on Auron- he killed everyone else to keep the illusion 'pure', as they couldn't deny reality or their traumatic memories of it. The exiles, in comparison, adapted to the ocean's "strange, wild beauty" and thrived.
  • In Arthur C. Clarke's novella "The Lion of Comarre", the protagonist discovers an automated city of people living in virtual reality. When he tries to "liberate" two of the inhabitants, one is utterly confused by the return to reality and another understands what happened and tells him to go away and let him resume the fantasy. He leaves them to their dreams.

Live Action TV
  • Subverted in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, "Homeward." A group of relatively primitive people are tricked into thinking that they are still on their home planet when in fact they are inside a holodeck, and are the only survivors of a cataclysm that destroyed their world. When one discovers the truth, he's offered a chance to remain on board the Enterprise. Instead, he commits suicide.
  • In '' Ally McBeal", one of the clients at Allu's firm is a sad, lonely, but very wealthy spinster. She has sequential dreams of a life where she met a man, got married & raised a happy family. She is petitioning the court to put her in a chemically induced coma so she can sleep forever and live the life where she's actually happy.

Tabletop Games
  • In Shadowrun, SimSense (or just Sims) are virtual reality devices which allow the viewer to experience all of the 5 senses (actors appearing in Sims tend to be very good at controlling their emotions). This has lead to this trope on a massive scale, with Sim addiction being more common than chemical addictions. Made even worse by "Better Than Life" (or BTL) chips, which have the limiters illegally removed, making them even more vivid and "real" than the original recordings.

Video Games
  • In the ending to Drawn to Life 2, the villain, Wilfre, had discovered that the whole world was All Just a Dream created by a boy in a coma. Rather than allowing the boy to wake up, thus ending the world as they knew it, he conspired to keep him in his coma so as to continue their existence. He also briefly convinced Mari to help him, but she later decided it'd be more noble to sacrifice their entire world so one boy could wake up back in his.
  • In the second Neverwinter Nights expansion, at one point the illithid Elder Brain may force you into a Lotus-Eater Machine illusion. You can break out, or you can choose to stay for a Non Standard Game Over of your body tolling away as a mindless slave.
  • Within The Matrix Online, there's a group of people called "Cypherites" who argue that Cypher was right and that Neo and the people of Zion had no right to decide for the rest of humanity. After all, who would want to live in a dead, post-apocalyptic world that humans themselves were largely responsible for?

Western Animation
  • In a What If? episode of The Simpsons Homer is shown what his life would have been like had he won Student Council President in high school. He's shown this in a pot of magic spaghetti sauce. At one point he shouts "I want to live in the sauce!" and tries to jump in. He is restrained by the chef who prepared the alternate-universe-showing sauce, who says "If you could live in the sauce, don't you think I'd live in the sauce?"
  • The finale for Gravity Falls sees Mabel choosing to stay in Bill's The only reason Mabel hasn't freed herself from Bill's bubble prison by the time Dipper, Wendy, and Soos break in to rescue her in the Gravity Falls finale is because she's aware of the nature of the bubble and has decided she'd rather stay. Leaving the bubble would result in facing the next year without Dipper, she believed he intended to stay in Gravity Falls when she returned home for school. The bubble lets her live in a world filled with glitter and rainbows, populated with talking stuffed animals and a cooler, more supportive version of Dipper (a.k.a. Dippy-Fresh). It takes a lot of convincing on Dipper's part to get her to leave the bubble, which she eventually does.
  • In the Adventure Time "Islands" mini-series, Finn and Jake discover an island whose inhabitants have spent their whole lives hooked up to virtual reality devices. When Jake "frees" them by disconnecting the mainframe, the people find themselves unable to cope in the real world. Seeing this, Finn decides that they're better off living in their virtual realities.

Zero Context Examples If you can add context to an example, please do and add it to the right category. note 

Community Feedback Replies: 77
  • April 20, 2010
    randomsurfer
    The end of The Reality Bug, Pendragon book 4.
  • April 20, 2010
    BlueIce-Tea
    • The ending of the Buffy episode "Normal Again" is kind of a variation on this theme.
  • April 20, 2010
    ElementX
    Quote to use possibly:

    Cypher: You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? [Takes a bite of steak] Ignorance is bliss.

    See also Lotus Eater Machine.
  • April 20, 2010
    Earnest
    One of the possible endings of Brazil has the protagonist retreat permanently into his Happy Place as a means to escape his torture. Oddly, this isn't as heartbreaking as you'd think considering the Crapsack World he lives in.
  • April 20, 2010
    Mozgwsloiku
  • April 20, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    The ending to Drawn To Life 2 had this. The villain, Wilfre, had discovered that the whole world was All Just A Dream created by a boy in a coma. Rather than allowing the boy to wake up (thus ending the world as they knew it), he conspired to keep him in his coma and continue their existence. He also briefly convinced Mari to help him, but she later decided it'd be more noble to sacrifice their entire world so one boy could wake up back in his. The fans were not pleased.
  • April 20, 2010
    Clevomon
  • April 20, 2010
    LeeM
    There's a Witch World short story by Andre Norton in which the protagonist, severely disfigured and disabled in a magical accident, eventually chooses to live in a permanent dream and forget his harsh reality.
  • April 20, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    Red Pill Blue Pill is about the choice itself. This is about choosing the blue pill.
  • April 20, 2010
    highcastle
    • In the second Dragon Age novel, The Calling, all of the Wardens and Maric are trapped in the Fade, within separate dreams designed to keep them from wanting to leave. One by one, they break free of their prison. Except for Nicolas, who chooses to stay in his little cabin in the woods, reunited with his recently killed lover, Julien. Tearjerker for sure.
  • April 20, 2010
    ElementX
  • April 21, 2010
    Dealan
    One of the three endings of The Way
  • April 21, 2010
    randomsurfer
    In a What If episode of The Simpsons Homer is shown what his life would have been like had he won Student Council President in high school. He's shown this in a pot of magic spaghetti sauce. At one point he shouts "I want to live in the sauce!" and tries to jump in. He is restrained, and the chef who prepares the alternate-universe-showing sauce says, "If you could live in the sauce, don't you think I'd live in the sauce?"
  • April 21, 2010
    Cidolfas
    Ritz and (to a somewhat more insane extent) Mewt in Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
  • April 21, 2010
    Deboss
  • April 21, 2010
    Bisected8
    ^^^ Shouldn't that be Eating The Lotus?
  • April 21, 2010
    ElementX
  • April 21, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    I'm rather fond of my title, partially because it's nearly a direct quote from the movie, but I'm willing to consider other options depending on what you guys think.
  • April 21, 2010
    Jordan
    I was thinking of another Simpsons episode, which parodies The Prisoner. They end up on The Island in the end, and besides the random druggings, find it an idyllic place.
  • April 22, 2010
    Nobodymuch
    Total Recall apparently ends with the hero having rejected reality in favour of his fantasy.
  • March 10, 2011
    AmazinglyEnough
    Any more input before I launch this?
  • March 10, 2011
    Clevomon
    Umineko's Battler and Beatrice would probably count. What reality is and/or isn't reality is basically the center of the plot.
  • March 10, 2011
    Glucharina
    Protagonist of Life On Mars jumped from the roof to return back into world of the past, or so I heard.
  • March 10, 2011
    Speedball
    How about I Choose To Stay?
  • March 10, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    I think it's related to I Choose To Stay, but it's pretty different in connotation and portrayal. I Choose To Stay is looked at positively as making a good choice, usually by finding where you belong or choosing to help the people there, not to mention it's an actual place with actual people. This is usually looked at as making a selfish/deluded choice by knowingly choosing a fake reality over a real one, essentially choosing pleasing lies over the truth to escape pain or hardship. So while the basic concept might be similar the portrayal is incredibly different, easily enough to make it a different trope. And I know we don't really like naming things after actually stuff, and I'm usually all for that. But I think the name comes across really well that you have. Most people have a pretty good idea what The Matrix itself is even if they haven't seen the movie, it's so prevalent in pop culture. I think it's one of the few works you can say that of.
  • March 11, 2011
    Arivne
    Live Action TV
    • A rare happy ending in the Star Trek The Original Series episode "The Menagerie". The severely disabled Captain Pike and Vina decide to remain on Talos IV and experience the Talosians' illusions where they can be healthy.
  • March 11, 2011
    FalconPain
    Someone more familiar with The Silver Chair could help with this, but this reminds me of a recent Slacktivist Left Behind rant focusing on the scene where Puddleglum essentially says "if this cave is the only true reality, then I'd rather go looking for a fantasy".
  • March 11, 2011
    JoieDeCombat
    ^ Puddleglum's speech is rebutting the Lady of the Green Kirtle's attempts to enchant the heroes into believing that Underland is the only reality that exists and that they have only imagined the surface world, Narnia, Aslan, and England. He replies that if that's the case, the Lady's reality sucks and the dream was much more important, and that he'll go on believing in Aslan and Narnia even if they don't exist. I'm not sure in what way it's related to the described trope, since Narnia and Aslan are quite real and the Lady is a lying liar, but there you are.
  • February 18, 2012
    Catbert
    Bumping. Anyone want this?
  • February 19, 2012
    Arivne
    Just remember to change its current dialog title to something else before it's launched, or Fast Eddie will push it off the edge of a cliff to its death.
  • February 19, 2012
    KeithTyler
    One of the alternative theories for Shutter Island -- while it appears that the doctor's efforts at curing the main character of his massive defensive delusions have ultimately failed, the final line may imply that it didn't fail, but he deliberately maintained the act in order to be lobotomized, and forget everything anyway.
  • February 19, 2012
    KeithTyler
  • February 19, 2012
    Catbert
    I already ditched I Choose The Matrix so that this will not be a dialogue title. Also, we don't really need more troper namer names.

  • February 20, 2012
    OmarKarindu
  • February 20, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    • In the Star Trek The Next Generation episode, "Homeward", a group of relatively primitive people are tricked into thinking that they are still on their home planet when in fact they are inside a holodeck, and are the only survivors of a cataclism that destroyed their world. When one of them discovers the truth he's offered a chance to remain on board the Enterprise. Instead, he commits suicide.
  • February 21, 2012
    Chabal2
    • There was a Dilbert book where the author explains that the holodeck will be humanity's final invention. After all, if the machine can create a perfect world, where every single one of your desires can be met, why the hell would you want to leave?
    • The ending of La Quete De L Oiseau Du Temps. It turns out the Action Girl was a kind of holographic projection created by the Small Annoying Creature. The hero, who had been led to believe she was his daughter, prefers to keep the creature (and therefore his daughter) alive rather than face the fact that her mother manipulated and betrayed him.
  • March 2, 2012
    TBeholder
    This Illusion Is Tasty?
  • March 3, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
  • March 4, 2012
    chico
    This was addressed in the "Hollow Pursuits" episode of Star Trek The Next Generation. Introvert Lt. Barclay uses the holodeck to interact with his crewmates according to his fantasies. {{It Gets Better He gets better)) eventually.
  • March 4, 2012
    Khorgar
    Choosing The Matrix sounds good to me.
  • February 23, 2014
    madgodzulcan
    add compare Send Me Back
  • February 23, 2014
    DAN004
    I like current title better.
  • February 24, 2014
    Chabal2
    One Franken Fran story has a murderer target people with a highly specific genetic condition (that she has) until she finds one that's an organ donor so she can be cured (it's shown she had Abusive Parents, which didn't help at all, even murdering and eating her mother). At the end, she's seen as popular and successful, until we see she's dreaming it while in a coma (due to the cannibalism).

  • February 24, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^^ seconding. it's bad. but the suggestions are far worse.
  • August 7, 2015
    eroock
    Can this be covered under Longing For Fictionland?
  • January 18, 2017
    pokedude10
    Sup. It's been two years since this was active. Unless there's any objections, I'll consider this Up For Grabs as per TLP rules (and the fact Up For Grabs is in giant letters).

    Right now, I'm checking to see if similar tropes were launched in the meantime. Has there been?

    I'll start adding and organizing submitted examples if they fit.

    As for the name, I'll write up the proposed titles. However, I want to lean away from Matrix names because of Trope Namer Syndrome
  • January 18, 2017
    IniuriaTalis
    To expand on one of the zero-context examples:

    • In The Pendragon Adventure, this is the reason that Saint Dane wins his first territory. The people of Veelox refuse to abandon the virtual reality world Lifelight, which gives users a chance to simulate living a perfect life. Eventually, so many people give up their real lives that society collapses and millions die when workers stop maintaining the Lifelight pyramids.
  • January 18, 2017
    pokedude10
    ^ Thanks. I appreciate that. Added.
  • January 18, 2017
    pokedude10
    Ok. I finished adding most of the suggested examples, ZCE's are in their own section. Added a quote and some title suggestions from the thread and some of my own. I might set up a crowner, but I want to see some fresh title suggestions now that this is active again.

    I also reworked the description to be clearer while retaining the original flow. Is the trope and laconic clear to everyone else? Anything that needs clarification or polishing? Potential misuse?
  • January 18, 2017
    intastiel
    Literature
    • Diaspora focuses on "Polises" where artificial intelligences and uploaded consciousnesses live in immersive, vastly adaptable virtual-reality environments, which come to be the last remnant of humanity after a gamma ray burst destroys Earth's biosphere. The "fleshers" who have their minds uploaded as a last resort settle for simulating Earth-like environments in the Polis. Played with since the machinery of the Polises can do any real-world interactions the citizens want; the protagonist considers the distinction between real and virtual largely arbitrary.
    Video Games
    • Eternal Sonata is set in the Dying Dream of Frédéric Chopin — or, perhaps, a Dream Land that he's lucky enough to enter. Whether or not it's real, in the Bittersweet Ending, he comes to believe in it and chooses to stay while his physical body dies; otherwise, he wakes up... on his deathbed, with tuberculosis.
  • January 18, 2017
    WaterBlap
    Literature (or Real Life? It's a philosophy thing, but it might be possible to put this in the description.
    • This is inverted in Anarchy, State and Utopia, where Robert Nozick uses what he calls an "experience machine" (which simulates reality perfectly) to argue that people need more than experiences in order to be happy (a counterargument against Ethical Hedonism). The question he poses is basically, "would you put yourself into this machine knowing that it wasn't real?"
      Nozick: We learn that something matters to us in addition to experience by imagining an experience machine and then realizing that we would not use it.
  • January 18, 2017
    AHI-3000
    Related to Anti Escapism Aesop?
  • January 19, 2017
    marcoasalazarm
    This is pretty much the inverse of that Aesop.
  • January 19, 2017
    Arivne
    • Examples section
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
      • Deleted empty media sections.
      • Namespaced work names.
      • Italicized work names as per How To Write An Example - Emphasis For Work Names.
      • Capitalized (earth).
  • January 19, 2017
    pokedude10
    ^ Thank you.

    v Added. Thanks.
  • January 19, 2017
    Leporidae
    Western Animation

    • The only reason Mabel hasn't freed herself from Bill's bubble prison by the time Dipper, Wendy, and Soos break in to rescue her in the Gravity Falls finale is because she's aware of the nature of the bubble and has decided she'd rather stay. She argues that leaving the bubble would result in facing the next year without Dipper, as she believed he intended to stay in Gravity Falls when she returned home for the start of the school - the bubble lets her live in a world filled with glitter and rainbows, populated with talking stuffed animals and a cooler, more supportive version of Dipper (a.k.a. Dippy-Fresh). It takes a lot of convincing on Dipper's part to get her to leave the bubble (which she eventually does).
  • January 19, 2017
    Argon2
    • In the second Deltora Quest series, some of the Auron refugees created an illusory copy of their idyllic, sophisticated homeland on the underground island they fled to. To preserve the (emotional aspect of) this illusion, they forced all dissenters off the island and magically sealed its borders. A millennium or so later, only one person still lives on Auron- he killed everyone else to keep the illusion 'pure', as they couldn't deny reality or their traumatic memories of it. The exiles, in comparison, adapted to the ocean's "strange, wild beauty" and thrived.
  • January 21, 2017
    Basara-kun
    Real Life:
    • In Japan, this trope and Longing For Fictionland are seen in Hikikomori and Chunibyo, in which their own delusions (the former because of the Japanese Media and the latter for their own imagination) of their idealistic world are prefered over their real life situations, oftenly isolating from other people who don't share their "style of life". In the case of Chunibyo, usually it's just a stage of adolescence, but in the case of Hikikomori (oftenly overlaps with Otaku) this can be permanent being isolated from society in general. In Manga, Anime and Light Novels can be seen some fictional cases for Chunibyo (Love Chunibyo And Other Delusions) and Hikikomori (Watamote).
  • January 23, 2017
    MetaFour
    Anime:
    • Ghost In The Shell Stand Alone Complex: in the episode "Tachikoma Runs Away; The Movie Director's Dream—ESCAPE FROM", Section 9 acquires an computer programmed with a simulation created by a Mad Artist. The simulation is just a movie theater playing the artist's final film on a constant loop. Everyone who enters the simulation becomes so engrossed with the film that they don't want to leave—the audience never sees any of the film, but it's apparently just that good. Even the normally-stoic Major Kusanagi is moved to tears by the film, but she ultimately has enough willpower to stop watching and shut the simulation down.
  • January 22, 2017
    Omeganian
  • January 24, 2017
    Bisected8
    • In Shadowrun, SimSense (or just Sims) are virtual reality devices which allow the viewer to experience all of the 5 senses (actors appearing in Sims tend to be very good at controlling their emotions). This has lead to this trope on a massive scale, with Sim addiction being more common than chemical addictions. Made even worse by "Better Than Life" (or BTL) chips, which have the limiters illegally removed, making them even more vivid and "real" than the original recordings.
  • January 31, 2017
    pokedude10
    Added examples from thread and created alt title crowner Here.

    If ya'll have any more name suggestions, go ahead and add one to the crowner and leave a reply here. Please don't add any more references to The Matrix, I want to avoid Trope Name Syndrome as much as possible.
  • January 31, 2017
    IniuriaTalis
    Suggestion: Prefers The Illusion?
  • January 31, 2017
    WaterBlap
    So in Lotus Eater Machine, aren't you the lotus? The machine "eats" you. This being called "Eating The Lotus" just makes it you eating yourself or your own "lotus." But it's still a Lotus Eater Machine-like situation, just a situation in which you voluntarily or willingly give yourself over to the machine. My point is, basically, that this would be a bad snowclone or nonsensical allusion.
  • January 31, 2017
    pokedude10
    ^ Actually, on the page for Lotus Eater Machine, the name comes from The Odyssey about a society who "ate the lotus", a narcotic plant. So no, I am not the lotus, the "lotus" is the false reality. That's a fair concern about being a snowclone, but there is room for tropes with the same subject matter to share naming themes.
  • January 31, 2017
    pokedude10
    Edit:Duplicate Post
  • February 1, 2017
    eroock
    The description needs better contrasting against Longing For Fictionland to avoid confusion.
  • February 1, 2017
    pokedude10
    ^Thanks. Expanded on the contrast. Is it clearer?
  • February 1, 2017
    NateTheGreat
    In The Phantom Tollbooth there are two cities, the invisible Reality and the visible Illusions. Reality is invisible because it was neglected, so many have moved to the intangible Illusions. Most people have remained oblivious to the fact that their neglect has rendered their city invisible, and the rest have moved to Illusions because it's prettier. Alec Bings notes that neither is ideal and they can't have a tangible, visible city until Rhyme and Reason return.
  • February 13, 2017
    pokedude10
    Ok, calling the crowner for Perfers The Illusion at 9:0. Thanks for the suggestion @Iniuria Talis.

    Final Bump before launch. Hats and name are in place. Last chance for concerns on the description.
  • February 14, 2017
    TonyG
    In the Adventure Time "Islands" mini-series, Finn and Jake discover an island whose inhabitants have spent their whole lives hooked up to virtual reality devices. When Jake "frees' them by disconnecting the mainframe, the people find themselves unable to cope in the real world, and Finn decides that they're better off living in their virtual realities.
  • February 14, 2017
    SteveMB
    Literature:

    In Arthur C Clarke's novella "The Lion of Comarre", the protagonist discovers an automated city of people living in virtual reality. When he tries to "liberate" two of the inhabitants, one is utterly confused by the return to reality and another understands what happened and tells him to go away and let him resume the fantasy. He leaves them to their dreams.

  • February 14, 2017
    NubianSatyress
    • In The Matrix Online, there's a group of people called "Cypherites" who argue that Cypher was right all along and that Neo and the people of Zion had no right to decide for the rest of humanity. After all, who would want to live in a dead, post-apocalyptic world that humans themselves were largely responsible for?

    • Inception:
      • This is the main danger of falling into Limbo. Because the time dilution causes a dream to last for decades, the mind will live out an entire lifetime that becomes the dreamer's new reality. By the time the dream ends and they wake up, they'll have either lost touch with reality or have lost their mental faculties to begin with.
      • Early in the movie, we're introduced to a group of people who, dissatisfied with the real world, have chose to live the remainder of their lives in a dream.
  • February 15, 2017
    Basara-kun
    ^^^^What about explain better (or simply delete) the Zero Content Examples?? Also, No Real Life Examples Please??
  • February 15, 2017
    YasminPerry
    • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, the ending involves protagonist Shinji Ikari having to choose between staying with all of humanity in the sea of LCL or returning to Earth as a singular being. He chooses the later, but since no one appears alongside him at the beach except Asuka, we can infer the rest of humanity preferred to stay in the "perfect", unthinking, unfeeling LCL sea.
  • February 17, 2017
    Skylite
    • Ally Mc Beal: one of the clients at Allu's firm is a sad, lonely, but very wealthy spinster. She has sequential dreams of a life where she met a man, got married & raised a happy family. She is petitioning the court to put her in a chemically induced coma so she can sleep forever and live the life where she's actually happy.
  • April 13, 2017
    pokedude10
    Alright, launching this tonight.

    ^^^ That's the reason I highlighted the ZCE's in the first place, so tropers could help expand them. Usually, I leave ZCE's in a page discussion once the page launches. I never launch with ZCE's.

    Not a bad idea, No Real Life Examples Please is probably warranted, to be on the safe side
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=g0x5y6hazo7ijigu65b9a9yr