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Trancing is an addictive practice in Observer. This addictive nature often means it is classified as a drug.


Do not despair for me. My body may wither and die, but I will not be there to see it. In these short few years, my mind will travel to places beyond our wildest dreams. For I have outstayed my welcome and my journey in this world has come to an end.
~ A goodbye note left by a trancer before 'jumping in', name withheld upon request of the family

While for most citizens, virtual reality is purely a form of recreation, there are those who decide to 'go down the rabbit hole' and make it their way of life. In an effort to engage in the ultimate form of escapism, these 'trancers' cut any and all ties to their real lives and decide to live out their days in a state of simulated bliss. In order to do so, they acquire pirated versions of popular VR data packs.

While standard retail versions of this software have a built in time limiter, these modified simulations can literally go on forever. An especially designed contraption, known as the 'deck' in trancer culture, maintains the physical body, supplying it with nutrients and disposing of bodily waste. Top tier models are also equipped with an auxiliary power supply, making the simulation completely independent of external energy sources.

Although the average lifespan of a hooked up trancer is only eight years, the relative time elapsed within the simulation seems exponentially longer. Thus, the trancer can seemingly live out several lifetimes in a sequence based on a pre-established playlist. Despite its limited social harm, trancing is generally frowned upon, especially among higher class citizens, as it is deemed selfish and unproductive.