Observer Wiki

Memory Shards are psychologically addictive systems in the world of Observer. Their addictive quality is why they are often labelled as a "drug".


Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
~ Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking-Glass"

When it comes to digital mind-altering agents, the most widespread form is known as 'memory shards'. Users of this software came to be known among the general populace as 'memory junkies'. The technology allows to record a person's real life experience and subsequently transfer it to another individual. The sensation is recreated in its full sensual spectrum, including not just the visuals and sound, but also smell, touch and - in later versions - even the subject's emotional output.

The latter in particular differentiates 'memory shards' from other forms of digital escapism and appears to be the most sought after aspect of the experience. Due to its voyeuristic and socially harmful nature, the making and distribution of shards has been classified as a level four felony and carries a penalty of up to 15 years in a correctional facility.

Memory trading has become a major source of income for C district criminal organizations, offering a wide selection of memories for their clients to indulge in. People have made a living out of recording the most intense experiences they could possibly endure and then selling it off to memory dealers. There have even been rumors of dark web groups offering 'snuff shards' in which a user can experience the final moments of the subject's life.