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Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphical representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the non-space of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding.

The idea of a gateway to Another Dimension is quite old. Sometimes the dimensional gateway would appear to be a mirror or book. A computer is both of these. "Cyberspace" is the dimension it opens.

Rather than go Down the Rabbit Hole into a Spirit World, the character puts on some VR goggles, plugs an Ethernet cable into his skull, or gets "digitized" into data. What do they see when they go online? A pretty nifty 3D world, designed as a Viewer-Friendly Interface made up of Holographic Terminals over a background full of Matrix Raining Code superimposed over Tron Lines. Not only is everything online, you can expect "surfing" from one site/database to another to be handled with all the aesthetic aplomb of a Design Student's Orgasm and to be completely lagless.

One curious alternative idea that seems to infest many cyberspaces is travel time... The Metaverse of Snow Crash has people walking to the shops on The Internet. This could be seen as the illogical conclusion to the increasingly graphical user interface design evolution from the concise but user-unfriendly command line to drag-and-drop windows and pointers and presumably to the final stages where your avatar crumples up your virtual document and walks over to the virtual bin with it. People in the future clearly have a phenomenal amount of patience with their user interfaces. Essentially, Cyberspace is stylized into a simulation that's virtually indistinguishable from real life, and less of a recreational pastime or tool.

If there are other webizens or hackers in cyberspace (not to mention AIs and ghosts), they will either be amorphous gobs of light, be completely outlandishly dressed (or have non-human avatars) because there are no physical limitations, or appear exactly as they would in real life (even wearing the street clothes they were wearing as they logged on).

Sometimes, a Holodeck Malfunction turns Cyberspace outright dangerous — not just online, but in real life, because Your Mind Makes It Real. It may take an Orphean Rescue to get those trapped out.

Frequently pops up in Cyberpunk and Post-Cyberpunk settings. See also The Metaverse, which is when society at large uses the Internet this way. Compare Platonic Cave, Hard Light (where Cyberspace can manipulate the physical world), and Inside a Computer System (which may be completely self-contained and have no connection to the outside world or other people). Has a subtrope of The Internet Is an Ocean, where cyberspace is portrayed aquatically.

Consult the Virtual Reality Index for media that makes use of cyberspace in Real Life.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Corrector Yui is a Magical Girl in Cyberspace.
  • The fictional town in Den-noh Coil has a virtual reality accessible via glasses that's more or less this.
  • The Digital Worlds in the anime Digimon Adventure and Digimon Tamers were Alternate Universes created when the first computer was made, according to the Official Backstory. The "what goes on there screws with technology outside" factor is greatly downplayed compared to most series that use this trope, but it exists.
  • The world of Gamerz Heaven appears to be a virtual reality similar to the real world, but it's never really explained.
  • Completely merging organic brains with digital technology is the central theme of Ghost in the Shell. Almost every every person who works in the government, law enforcement, management, and the technology sector can directly link his brain to a computer. At some points people voice their belief that a person can survive as a completely digital lifeform, leaving any organic body behind while still retaining their soul. And this was in 1989.
    • The anime series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex goes even further and implies that every person in East Asia receives such an interface in their early teens. The only exceptions seem to be young children under the age of 10. It also shows civilian chat rooms that use life-like three dimensional avatars, in addition to the very simple icons that represent a person in military and security software.
  • The anime .hack//SIGN (and the .hack series in general) takes place in "The World", an MMORPG with a Cyberspace interface.
  • Kagerou Project: Ene exists within cyberspace (one of her songs is even about her cybernetic journey to Shintaro's computer), but she used to be human. Later expanded on; her power allows her to jump from her human body into any electronic device with an internet connection.
  • The anime MegaMan NT Warrior had everything hooked up to a Cyberspace version of the Internet, as did the Mega Man Battle Network series it was based on.
  • The Pokémon: The Original Series episode that centers around Porygon has the main trio loaded into a computer. Or it would if such an episode had been reaired.
  • Masamune Shirow's Real Drive is all about this.
  • The Wired in Serial Experiments Lain. It plays fast and loose with its concept of geography, and we never really find out what the characters are using to control their avatars, though there are vague implications.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler variant in Shimeji Simulation. The world is later revealed to be this, as Yomikawa pointed out that it is a simulated reality within a fusiform-shaped computer presumed to be floating within space. Though subtle hints have been shown already, such as the bizarre machine language that Big Sis used to amplify the simulation's computational power.
  • The central plot of Summer Wars revolves around Oz, a cyberspace communications network.
  • In Transformers: Armada episode "Chase", Sideways attempted to steal three of the Mini-Cons by dragging them and the kids into cybserspace. This episode also gave us our first glimpse of Unicron.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, like Sword Art Online, features VR Duels set in cyberspace constructed with the latest technology.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In episode 16, the Supermen and Doctor H. go into the latter's internet router so that he can deliver a birthday email to Miss Peach. They come across a bunch of floating email boxes in there, and must fight a bunch of the robots inside when they copy the Car Knights' abilities and attack the Supermen.

    Audio Plays 
  • In The Firesign Theatre's 1971 comedy album, I Think We're All Bozos on This Bus, although the term "Cyberspace" hadn't yet been invented, it's basically where the holograms come from, and where the Clem-clone goes to find Dr. Memory. The holograms refer to it as "The Shadows".

    Comic Books 
  • In Arcanum, Cyberspace is a pocket dimension that exists due to the belief-fuelled nature of magic. As one character explains: "people have talked about info highways, web sites, and data blocks so much, some've begun to believe they physically exist. That belief became this pocket dimension."
  • Being a sci-fi series that isn't TOO bothered by realism, Paperinik New Adventures has to have this, of course. Apparently, super-genius extraordinaire Everett Ducklair built an entrance to cyberspace in his basement to analyze his own programs from within. Paperinik uses it for some hands-on hacking, when necessary.
  • The Spider-Man story "Virtual Mortality" involves a plot to "merge the real world with virtual reality," following the computer-illiterate trend of cyberspace being a real, physical place.

    Film — Animated 
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet mostly takes place inside of the internet, with Ralph and Vanellope walking around it like one of their arcade games in the first film. Many alements of the internet are Anthropomorphised such as KnowsMore being a search engine and Yesss being an algorithm.
  • In Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, the titular character and his friends are turned into data and trapped inside a computer game after being zapped by an experimental laser. They quickly realize that the only way to escape cyber space is to beat the game, but a sentient malware is sent by the film's villain to thwart their attempts.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Day of Wonders in the Apocalypse film series takes place within a virtual reality program, mostly consisting of a white room with a Digital Avatar of The Antichrist in it to offer whoever enters it the Mark of the Beast, with the alternative being death, usually by decapitation.
  • Ghost in the Machine: There are lots of visual graphics to show the killer travelling through cyberspace. Josh and his friend are also shown playing some sort of virtual reality First-Person Shooter in an arcade hall.
  • Inception turns this trope on its head by using nearly every single trope related to Cyberspace that it can without any computers, because the characters are dream-hackers. You still have a dimension that can affect people's minds. There are dangerous security "systems" that can hurt people in the real world. You need a team of experts to pull off a typical hackers' Impossible Mission plot, part of which is getting to the "target system" in the first place. The environment can be "programmed" and cheated, and the setting straddles the line between Cyberpunk and Post-Cyberpunk. Oh, and there's a Haunted Technology subplot too.
  • Also featuring Keanu Reeves, Ice-T, and a talking dolphin: Johnny Mnemonic.
  • In the 1997 informative video The Kids Guide to the Internet it uses the term with graphics of the kids' heads flying around.
  • In The Singularity Is Near, the future story features a sentient AI and begins in Second Life and progresses through more and more advanced versions of cyberspace.
  • The Social Dilemma: The business model for social media is demonstrated through three manipulative men within Ben's phone who react to all his online activity and try to keep him using the app.
  • The plot of Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over has the title characters traveling inside a video game.
  • In The Thirteenth Floor, humanity creates a computer-simulated reality so detailed that its denizens become self-aware. We then discover that our universe is itself only a computer-simulated reality run by the "next level up".
  • The classic example, and Trope Codifier, would be the movie TRON, which was made before the Internet existed in its present form. Most modern cyberspace forms owe at least something to this depiction.
  • The Warner 3000 Serververse in Space Jam: A New Legacy is a virtual universe contained in Warner Bros.' servers containing several planets based on various movies and TV shows they own.

  • In Accel World, VR and AR spaces are everywhere thanks to the ubiquitous Neurolinkers, but a form of cyberspace exists in the form of the underground game/"lifehacking tool" Brain Burst, which creates a Year Inside, Hour Outside effect by accelerating the user's mind to 1000 times its normal speed. The client program can only be installed by people with high full-dive compatibility (i.e. those young enough to have grown up wearing a Neurolinker) and has ways of enforcing its own secrecy. It has three main modes:
    • The Accelerated World, accessed with the command "Burst Link". This projects the user into a blue-tinted VR version of their surroundings (resembling a Colour Coded Time Stop), generated using a backdoor in future Japan's network of social cameras. In this space you can view a list of other Burst Linkers in the same network/district, as well as interact with those who accelerated at the same time. Brain Burst's mostly-teenage population find Acceleration invaluable for giving them more hours to study... but the camera data can also be used to cheat on tests or even gather blackmail material, and opening other files or programs on your Neurolinker while Accelerated allows a user to bypass some security restrictions.
    • The Duel Field, a sort of "social Fighting Game" in which accelerated Burst Linkers control a duel avatar whose appearance and powers are assigned by the system based on their personality. The field appears as a distorted version of the real world, with normal buildings warped into fantastic shapes, and with impossibly detailed graphics and physics. Winning fights allows a Burst Linker to conquer territory for their Legion, as well as to earn Burst Points — used as a currency for accelerating, for improving their avatar, and also for special commands like "Physical Burst" (which grants the user a few seconds of Super-Reflexes in real life, making it a favorite of athletes).
    • The Unlimited Neutral Field, an MMO version of the Duel Field with no time limit or regional restrictions, accessible once the Burst Linker's duel avatar has been upgraded to level 4. Monsters in the field drop Burst Points when defeated, but even the weakest are extremely powerful and require a team of players to defeat. While Burst Linkers can enter the UNF from any location (appearing in the same place they were standing), logging out is only possible from special exit portals, making it possible for players to get trapped for years of subjective time until their Neurolinker is disconnected. Obsessive gamers (and kids neglected by their parents) have been known to spend more time in the UNF than in real life, causing their physical and mental ages to get out of sync.
  • The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor is about the main character Weed's adventure in the titled VRMMORPG. It is so realistic that those who advance beyond a certain stage in the cooking skill are said to be assured of a job for the rest of their life as any restaurant would welcome them as a professional chef. The game's system assists all combat and skills with tooltips the character can see, and players can let the game guide their actions at the penalty of decreasing the action's effect. The game thankfully does not use Killed Off for Real or other issues as a plot device like other VRMMORPG based stories often do. The focus is instead on the main character as he tries to earn money for his hospitalized grandma and college-bound younger sister through selling items for money.
  • Sword Art Online revolves around the concept, taking place in a cyberspace Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VR MMORPG) in which thousands of players immerse their consciousness completely within a virtual reality, but find that they can no longer log out. The creator of the game issues an ultimatum: if anyone completes the game by defeating the Final Boss on the 100th floor, they will be allowed to log out. However, if their avatar dies, then the helmet used to play the game will unleash a pulse of microwave radiation that will fry their brain, killing them in real life. The game aspect is much like a Roguelike, the main virtual reality aspect is just the visual and audio realism... and the imminent death. Subsequent story arcs take place in different VR MMO games, but without the dangers from having one's consciousness trapped in the game.
  • The backstory of Overlord (2012) features the DMMORPG (Dive Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) known as Yggdrasil, a fully immersive virtual fantasy world. As the story starts, it's being shut down, with the protagonist staying online until the final moments... and then finds himself somehow transformed into his player avatar (an obscenely powerful lich sorcerer) and transported along with his guild base and all its NPCs into a new world.
  • The term "cyberspace" itself was coined by William Gibson in his 1982 short story "Burning Chrome", though it is indelibly associated with his later novel Neuromancer (quoted above). The setting in this story involves computer networks whose operating system is now a virtual reality simulation of a TRON-like "world in the computer". Interesting in that you don't "walk" through Gibson's cyberspace... you move across a grid more or less at will, assuming you know where you want to go. There is no slow walk or fly unless you want to admire the view.
  • David Wingrove's Chung Kuo has the Shell, an entertainment system in its early stages.
  • The Crystal Wind in Daniel Keys Moran's Continuing Time series is essentially the Internet, but is only accessed via agent software that is capable of filtering and organizing the sheer volume of data to present to the users in a coherent way. These Images can range from simple off-the-shelf software that runs on handhelds to custom Player-written powerful Image programs that are borderline Artificial Intelligence and interact with the Player via through trode headsets to direct brain implants.
  • An interesting take on the trope in The History of the Galaxy book. The terms "cyberspace" and "virtual reality" are separated. Virtual reality is this trope, while cyberspace is something else. Only cybreakers (hackers with many brain implants who can interface with pretty much any device wirelessly) and mnemonics (the government/corporate counterparts to cybreakers). Both are able to perceive the world around them in a way that allows them to see any piece of electronics in the vicinity and try to access it using various wireless means (e.g. radio, infra-red). Virtual reality is fully immersive by allowing any person to use his or her implant (present since birth) to connect to the Interstar network. Certain genetically-engineered people are able to do the same by using a special IR-emitting and sensing organ (apparently, most computers in the 'verse have an IR port).
  • It Came from the Internet have the main characters getting dragged into cyberspace by a sentient Computer Virus called the Spyder. One of them, a Gamer Chick named Rachel, proves crucial for finding an escape.
  • The Urban Fantasy John Golden series from Ragnarok Publications plays with this. As a Debugger, John doesn't go into actual virtual reality but pocket-dimensions created by the fae in computer networks.
  • Sergey Lukyanenko's Labyrinth of Reflections series revolves around "the Deep", a Cyberspace that allows full immersion through a series of hypnotic images that each user is subjected to before going online. The images put the user in a sort of trance where their brain "fixes" the imperfect virtual reality of the Deep by perceiving it as a photo-realistic space, allowing for full immersion. Normal People can't leave the trance on their own but some (aptly dubbed "Divers") can and their primary job is finding people who are stuck in Cyberspace and bail them out before they die of dehydration in Real Life.
  • The MARZENA Series introduces the Glial-Net, an internet where websites are self-aware A.I.s, thanks to famous science writer Anika From Bremen teaching software programmers how to create true intelligence. Each AI has its own holo universe separated from the real world and with which it can cross to an extend using cameras to create a "Real Virtual Space," thus making them like ghosts.
  • Alexander Besher Rim trilogy starts with an earthquake which traps thousands of people's consciousnesses in the virtual worlds run by the Satori Corporation. Later in the trilogy, avatars gain sentience.
  • Vernor Vinge's 1981 novella "True Names" is an early, pre-Cyberpunk exploration of the idea that is still considered one of the most realistic and plausible depictions, based on video game concepts. Complete with travel time, which is justified, as it's part of the game. The game was designed by hackers, however, and provides access to sites across the broader network — it's a game/hacking tool. Vinge was quite knowledgeable about the networking technology available at the time, and it shows.
  • Thomas Holden's Void Forge follows a group of game developers trapped in a VR world they helped create.
  • Isaac Asimov's "Dreaming is a Private Thing": Dreams, Inc. is a company that makes "dreamies", a type of movie where the audience gets to sense taste, touch, and scent in addition to sound and sight. The name itself is a reference to "talkies", an old nickname for movies. Jesse Weill owns the company and we see several different meetings about the behind-the-scenes creating and operation of dream story-telling.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100 has the City of Light, a shared virtual reality that anyone who has taken one of A.L.I.E.'s computer chips can enter by meditating, or choose to remain in permanently even after their physical body has died.
  • Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. introduces The Framework, a virtual Earth designed to give those properly logged in a shared world where they each experience how their lives would have gone without their deepest regret, and a place to save human consciousness from death. It's so advanced that those inside can't tell the difference between it and reality, and the AI's who take the form of the residents not logged in believe they are those people.
  • The show Andromeda gives you brightly-lighted tubes, electronic sounds, all sorts of crap zooming around, and a Godzilla-sized avatar for the titular ship's AI.
  • Although we never see it from his perspective, Moloch in Buffy the Vampire Slayer deliberately mixes cyberspace with this trope's pre-digital roots. A demon imprisoned in the pages of a cursed book, Moloch is accidentally transferred into cyberspace when the book's pages are scanned. Though he's technically still not free, the demon finds being "trapped" in the Internet to be far more empowering.
  • Half of of CSI: NY's episode "Down the Rabbit Hole" took place in Second Life.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Deadly Assassin", set on the Doctor's home planet Gallifrey, has the Doctor venturing into a cyber dreamscape called the Matrix. It's unique, however, in that it's not meant for a living person to go into AT ALL. It's basically a library of dead Time Lords' neural impulses, which are used to forecast future events and figure out how to deal with them. It only serves the "alternate dimension" function because the Master has tampered with it big-time.
    • In "Forest of the Dead", the Library's data core is a computer large and powerful enough to create one of these capable of holding thousands of people inside it, living mostly unaware of what's going on, for a century. And the cyberspace was intended as the playground of a terminally ill little girl who underwent Brain Uploading.
  • Fat Guy Stuck in Internet portrays cyberspace as the other dimension form of this trope.
  • Ghost Whisperer unexpectedly brought Melinda into cyberspace in the episode "Ghost in the Machine", in the context of the fictional social network/MMORPG/sandbox Virtual Life. You see, there was a ghost who was in the game itself for complicated reasons... and she can "enter" the game, too, which of course is never going to be touched on again... and, um... Jennifer Love Hewitt in a stripperiffic avatar outfit!
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "Human Trials", Captains Kelvin Parkhurst, Eric Woodward, Alice Wheeler and William Hinman, members of the Free Alliance military, participate in a test to determine which of them is the best qualified for a secret solo mission. The test involves placing the subjects in a virtual environment via a neural stimulator to gauge their reactions to the scenarios presented. Clips are shown from "Nightmare", "Hearts and Minds", "The Human Operators", "In the Blood", "Monster", "The Voyage Home", "Tempests" and "Worlds Within" to represent the virtual scenarios.
  • In RoboCop: The Series, after Diana is murdered and her brain used to control traffic lights (and other things too) in Delta City, her consciousness is trapped in one of these. We occasionally see it when she's affected with viruses or when other characters use VR equipment.
  • Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad (based on a show called Denkō Chōjin Gridman by Tsuburaya Productions) centered around this.
  • In TekWar "computer Jocks" jack into cyberspace to locate information, but risk being caught by the authorities and having their brains fried.
  • VR Troopers featured virtual reality as an Alternate Universe, so things created in VR (such as Mecha-Mooks, supervillain forms, and a Monster of the Week for every occasion) could be brought into reality. "Virtual Reality" tends to resemble the BBC Quarry in most episodes.
  • The Warehouse 13 episode "Don't Hate The Player" involves a stereotypical rescue mission into an Artefact-enhanced VR computer game. Pete takes the opportunity to be a gladiator, Leena gets enhanced with an impressive pair of... wings, and Claudia is horrified to discover that her image has been used for an insipid princess. Oh, and the VR sequences are rotoscoped.

  • The "Cybergirl" table in Epic Pinball is ostensibly about this.
  • Gottlieb's Gladiators casts the player as a virtual warrior in an abstract grid-lined environment with simple pyramid mountains.
  • Appears in Johnny Mnemonic, matching the film. The player even gets to control a pair of virtual-reality gloves to manipulate The Matrix in the game.
  • TRON: Legacy, as befitting the license.

  • Journey into Space: In The Host, Jet enters a virtual reality environment in order to confront the personality construct of J.J. Andreev.

  • This is where much of Destroy the Godmodder takes place, as universes based off of video games such as Minecraftia and Paradox Space explicitly run on computer code.
    • It is eventually revealed that the entire multiverse may be this, as it runs off of a "Source Code of Reality" that was derived from the creation of universes such as Minecraftia.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Alternity, the Internet, radio, TV, the telephone networks, etc., have all been replaced by a single network known as "The Grid". While most people just connect with PDAs, "Grid Pilots" link their brain to it and walk around inside websites set up as 3D worlds.
  • Cyber Hero by Hero Games. Travel and combat in cyberspace used almost the same game mechanics as in the real world.
  • R. Talsorian Games' Cyberpunk 2020.
    • The Netrunner card game using the same setting (at least in its original incarnation).
  • Cyberspace by Iron Crown Enterprises (I.C.E.).
  • Genius: The Transgression has The Grid, a strange realm made from people's perception of the Internet as this trope. More specifically it's a Bardo, an alternate dimension formed by the discrediting of a widely held scientific view.
  • Similarly, Mage: The Ascension had the Digital Web, a spiritual reflection of cyberspace heavily patronized by the Virtual Adepts.
  • Server Crash, a 4chan-made pen and paper game, is about all of humanity being trapped in cyberspace forever.

    Video Games 
  • The eponymous Electrosphere in Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere is some sort of virtual reality underlying the physical realm, which only A.I.s (such as Nemo) and "sublimated" humans (such as Dision and Cynthia) can enter, however.
  • In The Adventures of Rad Gravity, the second half of Cyberia has you going inside a supercomputer to shut it down.
  • Beneath a Steel Sky has LINCSpace, which you revisit as a number of different users to gain clues for the "real world" adventure.
  • Often visited in the cyberpunk game BloodNet. It's depicted as a sort of a purple, empty space where the cyberspace surfers (taking the form of gold humanoids) travel from "node" to "node", and collect files in the form of geometric shapes.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm is an atypical example. It’s set inside the Internet, so it’s quite literally Cyberspace, but rather than the typical sci-fi mess of Tron Lines and Matrix Raining Code, here the Internet is presented as a charming JRPG fantasy world. Websites are akin to towns, and are populated by normal users, friendly A.I.s, and Playful Hackers who are basically treated like mages. Ironically enough, the only area that resembles “traditional” Cyberspace, the new world Arianna is incubating within the Firewall, is treated as a frightening aberration that must be kept from spreading.
  • The Televerse in Burn:Cycle, which ASCII reside in to trade data with people in the real world, and places like the Sum Zero bar have public terminals to interface with it. Near the end, Sol Cutter gets uploaded into the Televerse as a virtual construct, in the hopes of finding a way to defuse the titular virus in his head. The Televerse resembles a myriad of neuron-like pathways connecting to warped points in the "ceiling" that lead to different locations, including Sol's own memories.
  • Clarence's Big Chance: You can travel into Clarence's computer and do quests on the internet.
  • Never a gameplay element but the Nod ending of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn has Nod's Netwarriors infiltrate the GDI Ion Cannon control and destroy a major landmark of the player's choice.
  • Much like its Chapter 1, Chapter 2 of Deltarune takes place in a mysterious parallel dimension known as a "Dark World" which is sustained by a Dark Fountain capable of turning inanimate objects and ordinary locations into living beings and new worlds. Unlike Chapter 1, the Dark World in Chapter 2 is themed after computers, and features a futuristic city in a "cyber world" due to the dark fountain being created in a computer lab. The cyber Dark World is inhabited by many computer and electronics-themed creatures, some hostile and some friendly.
  • Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth revolves around a cyberspace called Eden, which essentially works like a (relatively) physical version of the Internet where users immerse their consciousness completely within a virtual reality and websites are represented as entire locations for people to meet up in.
  • The lair of the demonic news reporter Bob Barbas in DmC: Devil May Cry has this aesthetic. Bob's demonic form is a holographic-looking head composed of translucent data cubes, and he attacks Dante with rectangular blasts of electricity.
  • Dystopia, which has a Cyberpunk setting, features Cyberspace as a significant part of gameplay. Your Commander during the tutorial justifies the techy-ness by saying:
    "Your cyberdeck implant renders the network archive in a visual form, easier for your brain to interpret."
  • In the interactive fiction game Frederik Pohl's Gateway (loosely based on the Heechee Saga) Virtual Realities are fairly common and play an important part in the story. Typically, the player will have to break the VR they're in somehow — for example, by causing it to run out of memory or doing something that confuses the simulation.
  • Certain platforming segments of Ghostrunner take place in a dazzling digital world within the main character's program. Murky and gltichy platforms made of blue, red, and orange light constantly materialize as you move forward and test out abilities you gained in the real world.
  • The final segment of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream involves the Chinese and Russian supercomputers teleporting AM's victims the number of which, vary according to how well you helped them out; into AM's "RAM-space". It resembles a huge cerebral landscape pockmarked with shards of broken glass lodged in the tissue, occasional bits of machinery, and huge columns representing AM's primary components. AM kicks you back to analog in the bad ending, receiving the same outcome as Ted's in the original short story.
  • Ansem the Wise from Kingdom Hearts II was obsessed with Cyberspace, as many of his inventions seen in game revolve around it.
    • Roxas is trapped in a digital copy of Twilight Town where he can live as a normal teenager. He and everyone else enter the data-world physically though, not mentally, and apparently everything in that world can be brought into the real world, solid and everything. As the journal says that Ansem used ENCOM technology to build the virtual Twilight Town, and the movie TRON used a laser scanner to physically teleport Flynn in and out of cyberspace, this does make sense.
    • Later, Sora enters a copy of the virtual world from TRON (the only case in the series where a Disney world is explicitly stated to be an alternate universe from that of the movie), which functions in a similar manner as the movie. However, like in the Data Twilight Town, items made in the computer world can be removed. The MCP even manages to use Hollow Bastion's Heartless Factory to materialize The Heartless from Cyberspace.
    • In Final Mix+, Sora can visit the Cavern of Remembrance, where he can fight data simulations of the members of Organization XIII. Kingdom Hearts coded takes place in Cyberspace and stars a digital copy of Sora.
    • Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] allows Sora and Riku to enter The Grid, which is the computer world based on TRON: Legacy. Unlike the other computer worlds, The Grid can be directly selected from the "World Selection", though in this case, it's because it's a Dream World. This is the only time in the series where a program (Quorra) actually gets to leave their computer world.
  • In Mass Effect 3, Shepard ends up entering the Geth consensus, in which they witnesses a first-hand account of the Geth-Quarian war.
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo very obviously seeing it's got The Matrix in the title.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man X 4 features Cyber Peacock's level set in cyber space, X5 had the "Zero Space" final levels and the Trope Namer Zero series had cyberspace as the parallel world where Cyber Elves and reploid souls live, which is essentially the source code of reality, such that Cyber Elves do their magic by hacking cyberspace.
    • The Mega Man Battle Network Series takes place in an alternate reality where the net is the height of technology. Everything is connected to the internet, which is represented as a massive world that people can interact with through their Net Navigators, virtual pets with highly advanced A.I.
    • Sheep Man's stage in Mega Man 10 resembles some form of cyberspace: the walls and floor contain green dancing binary on a black background, and one recurring enemy is a *mouse cursor* that "draws" little blue panels into existence, which then fly at you!
    • The story of Mega Man X DiVE takes place in a region of the cyberspace known as the Deep Log, which contains the game data information and the memories of all players who have played the Mega Man X games. There is a Deep Log for each game and player in the world, and they have been stored and managed for decades by RiCO. A sudden surge of unknown errors is causing Mavericks to appear as data corruptions, and it's up to the player to repair the data and get rid of the errors in order to protect the Deep Log, using Hunter Programs to delete the Maverick Data.
  • The Panzer Dragoon series uses this in the later installments as the protagonists, along with their dragons, are digitized into a global network known as Sestren.
  • PlanetSide and its sequel have virtual training areas for soldiers to try out all available equipment without endangering their fellow soldiers. In the first game, Our Graphics Will Suck in the Future and all objects in the virtual training area have thick outlines, with wireframe terrain. In the second game, everything looks normal up close but everything past a few hundred meters fades out to black-and-white wireframe.
  • Pokémon:
    • Porygon and its upgraded forms were designed to be able to enter and move freely through computers.
    • Pokémon that the player has caught but not added to the party are sent to the Storage System, where they are kept as packages of data only accessible through the Pokémon Center computers.
  • Remember Me had the Ego Rooms, which are small regions of Cyberspace created for especially rich and powerful people, where they conjure up anything they want. The battles against Madame Voorhees and the Final Boss take place in these, and feature environment altered on the fly as well as digital versions of SABRE Enforcers and security robots summoned to assist the bosses.
  • Rez sees the player taking the role of a hacker that infiltrates cyberspace in order to wake up Eden, the AI who maintains it, after she became overwhelmed by the flow of information from the real world and put herself into a deep sleep.
  • The video game Ripper makes heavy use of a VR-type Cyberspace; they even call it as such, and it's a major plot point throughout the game.
  • In Saints Row: The Third, the final mission against the Deckers gang involves entering the Decker mainframe via virtual reality. Both Kinzie Kensington and Matt Miller have fun with this at your expense, with Kinzie initially making your avatar a toilet and a blow-up doll and Matt putting you through a Text Adventure and inducing Interface Screw whenever he can.
    • Saints Row IV takes place within a computer simulation of Steelport designed by Zinyak to break the Boss's mind. The Boss, however, figures out how to take advantage of the fact that they're in a virtual reality to gain superpowers. One activity in the game involves hacking into stores to gain access to them after Zinyak locks them out.
  • The episode "Reality 2.0" of Sam & Max takes place partly in cyberspace. Actually, Sam and Max are wearing VR goggles and navigate cyberspace by physically moving to the same locations in Real Life (i.e. they're walking around like idiots wearing strange-looking eyepieces). One example involves them trying to access a distant server by spoofing a firewall, by outfitting their virtual car with decals that match the required checksum. All objects carried in the inventory become their virtual counterparts in cyberspace, although the gun (a Zeerust blaster in cyberspace) is still pretty much useless. You may also mess with virtual rules by affecting their respective controllers.
    • Later on, you find yourself in a beta-version of cyberspace called Reality 1.5, which is a text-based version.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Electric Egg Zone from Sonic Chaos and Atomic Destroyer Zone from Sonic Triple Trouble both have computer board designs to them.
    • The Techno Base Zone in Sonic Advance 2, and its equivalent Cyber Track Zone in Sonic Advance 3 also fit this. Though the former is Tron-ish, while the latter feels more like the physical insides of a giant computer.
    • The levels Digital Circuit and Mad Matrix in Shadow the Hedgehog are set in the Internet and the computer network in Eggman's base.
    • Cyber Spaces play a main role in Sonic Frontiers. Collecting Gears in the Open Zone aspect of the game allows you to access them via Portal Gate. Within the Cyber Space levels, they take the forms of familiar locations from the series, ranging from Green Hill Zone to Sky Sanctuary. In contrasts to the game's open world, they play similar to past games where player must get to the end goal of the level. Completing the levels awards the player with Vault Keys, which are needed to obtain Chaos Emeralds to progress further in the game.
    • Cyber Station Zone from Sonic Superstars is Eggman's digital base of operations where just about everything is pixelated. The playable character becomes pixelated about a third into the level and can even transform into a digital octopus, mouse, or rocket when prompted.
  • Just like the tabletop-game they were adapted from, some of the Shadowrun video-games feature a Matrix that can be entered by characters.
  • In the Sly Cooper series, Bentley "hacks" miscellaneous devices by playing a retro-style shoot 'em up.
  • Space Quest: There's a part in the 6th game where Roger enters Virtual Reality to dig up some dirt on Big Bad Sharpei. It resembles an abandoned construction site crossed with an ill-maintained archive of musty paperwork and Microsoft Windows.
  • System Shock uses this for a Hacking Minigame, frequently requiring the player to log into a cyberspace representation of the Citadel Station network in order to retrieve passwords and disable door locks while fighting against security programs, and eventually take down SHODAN herself.
    • It's also used as tutorial levels in System Shock 2. At the end, SHODAN hijacks the Von Braun's faster-than-light drive to create a portal into cyberspace that has a reconstruction of Citadel Station's first level, still under construction — a passage inside that leads to the second takedown of SHODAN. It goes away when she's defeated... although she's not fully dead yet.
  • The final level of Thunder Force V, where you enter the satellite ship Judgement Sword to finish the Guardian super computer.
  • Time Commando: The entire game takes place in a computer simulation of various points in history. And the final level, Beyond Time, has the protagonist floating in cyberspace where they face off against the virus. Which takes the form of a Threatening Shark for some reason.
  • Befitting the franchise, most of TRON 2.0 was set here. The plot involved a greedy rival corporation planning to exploit the digital world by digitizing a squad of mercenaries to steal and manipulate everything from state secrets to global finance in a bid to Take Over the World.
  • The Virtua Fighter spinoff Virtua Quest takes place in a virtual world called "Nexus". The player character, Sei, goes galavanting around in the abandoned corners of Nexus, looking for lost data. The cast of the fourth Virtua Fighter appear as ghost data called Virtua Souls, and bestow Sei with knowledge of their fighting techniques.
  • A Virus Named TOM has the titular character, a computer virus, dwelling in cyberspace.
  • An upcoming game called Virtual Unlimited Project is set in a virtual world where every resident is a VTuber, down to even the developers of said cyberspace itself.
  • Happens twice during the T260G's scenario in SaGa Frontier; once during a story mission and another which is the Point of No Return.
  • WarioWare: Get It Together! combines this with Trapped in TV Land. Wario and his company are trapped inside the game they just finished developing and have to remove all the bugs within it (by completing microgames) in order to escape.
  • Like everything else, this trope is used in a very tongue-in-cheek way as the setting of World of Goo's fourth chapter, "Information Superhighway". All the levels are monochromatic green-and-black until you turn on the world's Graphical Processing Unit.
  • Zero Divide: A central trope of this series. The story premise is that a group of A.I.s (of which in cyberspace have robotic appearances) are made to fight one another for the entertainment of either a collective of hackers or another malevolent AI.


    Web Original 
  • In Advent of Code season 2017 you are digitized inside Santa's printer and must solve problems for various programs in order to fix the printer and print the Naughty/Nice list.
  • Shows up often in the various animations by James Franzen, especially in the works that may be connected by this theme.
  • Very prominent in the Chaos Timeline (of course, only towards the end, since it starts in 1200).
  • DC Nation used this during the "J" plot. Jericho had been trapped in there for a decade with a crazy Technopath. When Jericho tried to get help, Oracle mistook him for a hacker. Queue Joey's powers misfiring and bringing Barbara into cyberspace. And then Babs realizes that there's no interface to bother with and that she's no longer in a wheelchair, making her twice as scary as she was as either Batgirl or Oracle...Babs describes it as a cross of TRON and The Matrix.
  • Like its inspiration .hack and Mega Man Battle Network, TOME features Cyberspace as an interface used to access the world of the game. This is most noticeable in TVTome Adventures, which features the most soft Sci-Fi compared to the reboot universe and especially the RPG adaptation (where TOME is just a video game with no sci-fi cyberspace elements).
  • In the Whateley Universe, being able to dive into cyberspace is Merry's best power. It turns out she's not the only one who can do it, though, and one of the others is trying to kill everyone...
  • DSBT InsaniT: This is the premise of episode 6, 'VRcade'

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in "The Code" episode of The Amazing World of Gumball, where Gumball and Darwin go into the internet to get inside their neighbor's computer. Turns out they were simply imagining it and were just making fools of themselves.
  • In Code Lyoko, four of the main characters travel to a virtual world to battle a malevolent A.I. bent on world domination. Everything in the digital universe is rendered in 3D, sharply contrasting the traditional 2D animation of the real world segments. There's also the Digital Sea which exists outside the world of Lyoko...which is literally an ocean made up of the Internet's data.
  • A couple of episodes of The Fairly OddParents! have Timmy asking his fairies to turn him into data so he can interact with machines from the inside. He has journeyed through the internet to retrieve an e-mail he regretted sending to his crush in "Information Stupor Highway", invaded other cartoon shows by travelling through the broadcast signals in the TV movie, "Channel Chasers", and transformed the fictional universe of an outdated videogame into a virtual reality players can interact with in "Power Mad!".
  • Cyberchase on PBS. The entire series takes place inside a world actually named Cyberspace, where sentient computer programs act like people, which is similar to...
  • Some episodes of Freakazoid! feature cyberspace, including his origin story.
  • Quest World in Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures.
  • ReBoot is a variation; it has the actual computer data/programs/whatnot as characters, with the mysterious, capricious, and destructive "User" as the only sign of humans. Though there are some to believe the User to be a myth.
  • On Regular Show, Mordecai, Rigby and Pops end up inside the internet while trying to make a viral video. There the find the Warden of the Internet, an old woman on a screen who acts as a Moral Guardian, punishing those who clutter up the web with silly videos by trapping them within their own videos.
  • In TMNT: Back to the Sewers, the Turtles spent a lot of time in cyberspace searching for pieces of data to reconstruct Splinter.
  • In the Toonami TIE Trapped In Hyperspace, TOM has to go into the Absolution's system to try and get rid of a virus that's infected them. Not like Swayzak (the virus) could be seen as a threat...
  • Twipsy is about a courier who delivers e-mails in the Internet. About half of the show takes place in the Internet, rendered in 3D CGI graphics. It can be entered by humans as well.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Inside The Internet



System Shock has a hacking minigame where you jack into a computer and fly through cyberspace, collecting data and fighting viruses and security programs.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / Cyberspace

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