Personal Perception Filter
A character's mind filters their perceptions into a non-mundane version to better cope.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-03-19 13:58:10 sponsor: Earnest (last reply: 2013-08-31 11:22:28)

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Caption: "There's feeling young at heart, and then there's seeing everyone around you as a pre-teen."

This character doesn't see the world the same way everyone else does, their brain reinterprets audio and visual into an alternate version that they like better. For example: a Cloud Cuckoo Lander doesn't see a room full of TNT, but a party store full of fireworks, someone Brainwashed and Crazy sees a horde of aliens that need killing instead of The Hero and his Five-Man Band, and a kid at heart might see everyone (even adults like them) as children.

Characters who see the world like this are usually mentally damaged in some way, and invert A Form You Are Comfortable With by applying it to everything they see and hear rather than just one incomprehensible being. The point is usually to render the world in a light they can handle, or in the case of Brain Washing victims, in a light their programmer thinks most likely to keep them controlled.

Is the name okay? Because we already have Perception Filter which is about invisibility via Somebody Else's Problem.

Comic Books
  • The X-Men storyline "Here Comes Tomorrow" had Cassandra Nova comment that Brain in a Jar Ernst visualizes the world in bright, shiny colors that make it seem superheroic.

Film
  • At the end of Brazil Sam ends up in a Happily Ever After ending - which is just him withdrawing into his own head instead of facing the reality of being tortured to death.
  • In The Hangover 2 it turns out that Alan sees the whole world as though they were ten years old.
  • The movie Sucker Punch is largely based on this premise; the main character turns an insane asylum into a brothel and herself and her fellow patients as dancers trying to escape a cruel pimp. Flashes of reality show what is really happening around her as she and the others try and escape.

Live-Action TV
  • In an episode of 30 Rock where that happens, we see Tracy sees everyone else as another Tracy, and Jack sees captions of prices around material objects.
  • Cylon projection works like this in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica: humanoid Cylons project pleasant environments mentally, such as a beautiful forest instead of the dull gray interior corridors of a spacecraft (this is what Six projects). Each Cylon projects whatever makes them feel comfortable. In a deleted scene, Three's preferred projection would have been shown to be a Cathedral, fitting her religious obsessions. Boomer's was the house that she and Tyrol had planned to build, again a fitting choice for a character who never could decide where her loyalty lay, but was frequently conflicted by strong emotions, such as her love for Tyrol. Cylons can also share projections, and as evidenced by Boomer's projection, they can project people as well, even people who never existed.
  • An episode of 30 Rock established that Kenneth sees everyone as a Muppet version of themselves, even to the point of hearing them sing lyrics instead of just speaking.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons: When Homer is being brainwashed into the Movementarians cult they show a film, whcih he replaces in his mind with a different film.
    Homer: Wait, I'm confused about the movie. So the cops knew that internal affairs were setting them up?
    Glen: What are you talking about? There is nothing like that in there!
    Homer: Oh, you see when I get bored I make up my own movie. I have a very short attention span.

Video Games
  • The Little Sisters in Bioshock 2 have been programmed to see the decaying city of Rapture and its dead citizens as a gleaming Shining City and resting angels.

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