Trope Workshop:Metaphysical App

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Just another mobile game preying on another innocent user.

Since the introduction of smartphones in society, phone apps have become a part of our modern lives. They each have different uses like taking a picture, streaming a video, or taking care of finances. These examples are ordinary uses, but what about a more fantastic application. A Metaphysical App is a smartphone app that has a supernatural function that can affect a person or the world. They're usually found in Urban Fantasy, where they can be a major part of the plot or just another aspect of the setting.

Whether those apps are Magic From Technology or the newest version of Magitek may vary according to the setting. Be careful that a Technopath doesn't put their hand on a phone that contains one of these.

Examples of Metaphysical App include:

Anime and Manga

  • Darwin's Game (as pictured above) is the titular game that gives participants a Sigil, which is a power randomly bestowed to each user. The players in the game occasionally have battles to the death or wager for in-game points. There also events, where players are teleported to different areas like one example, had people tracking rings to collect points.
  • Ingress The Animation is the Animated Adaptation of the same mobile phone game. The app is presented as a game for the public for the two factions of the Enlightened and Resistance. Players are used to waging their battle through the masses. It is used to collect XM or 'eXotic Matter' that comes from another dimension. People called Sensitives have abilities that can be amplified by it, especially in a Control Field of their aligned faction. Sensitives can be dampened or negated if they are near an enemy Portal and Control Field.
  • Real Account has the titular app, which is a popular social media application, also called Re-aca. It was a regular app until it was used where people's minds are transported to a virtual space while their real bodies lay unconscious. They are then forced to participate in a game that depends on the number of followers they may have. If the participants died during the game, the people following them pass away in the real world along with their bodies. The participants can also die if their follower count falls to zero, which the followers have the option unfollow to avoid death.
  • UQ Holder have magic apps in the setting where magic and technology have advanced to the point that people can use a program without the need of training and talent.
  • The Yuusha System App, from Yuki Yuna is a Hero, is used by the Hero Club members. The app has different features such as a chat function, transfer a user to the Jukai, a radar to locate the heroes and Vertex in the other world, giving superhuman abilities, Fairies that can provide weapons along with additional powers to the user, and seal a Vertex to defeat it.
  • The smartphone app which can hypnotize people is a common device in Hentai manga.
  • Ratman has the hero, Neo, who uses a smartphone-like device to transform into his Powered Armor as an app. He also has access to other apps that gives him different powers and equipment.
    • There is also the Hero Booster Program that can give a hero more power. In truth, the application can give an upgrade a hero's powers and equipment but causes them to get into a berserk state.
  • Gacha wo Mawashite Nakama wo Fuyasu Saikyou no Bishoujo Gundan wo Tsukuriagero has the app, Girls Corps, which is a Gacha mobile game where players gain girls and train them. Heihachi Okura played and paid the game to the point he got an item that sends him to a fantasy world. While in this new world, he still has access to the app summon girls to become part of his party. It can also summon items with different powers and food. There is a limit to how many girls he can summon based on his level. When he plays the gacha, he has the chance to get more girls and items but needs magic stones. Some of the items he gets are other apps that have their unique abilities like seeing the status of other being through the camera. It also has events much like a mobile game with increased probability for rarer units and equipment.
  • S Rare Soubi No Niau Kanojo has Encircled Grimzelia, which is promoted as a popular smartphone app where you train the warrior, Yurina. In the game, she can equip different weapons and outfits that can augment her abilities. These weapons and outfits are gained through a gacha, which usually needs to be paid with real-world money. When the main character uses the app, it summons the female warrior into the real world while deploying a 'Quest Area' where a monster will appear that she must defeat. Others who use the app get possessed by a monster that only Yurina can kill. There is an exception where if a person is a friend of the protagonist on the app, they can equip outfits and weapons, much like Yurina.
  • Dragon Collection - Ryuu o Suberumono has the game, Dragon Collection, presented as a game where you collect treasure and Monster Cards to summon monsters for battle. Another version of the app has been released to 100 people that can connect the world of Dragon Collection to the real one. The app can be used to summon real monsters and treasures from this other world. The players fight one another for a series of treasures to win a challenge for an unknown goal. This conflict can lead to battles that the players' lives can be at stake while also causing damage to property and other people.
  • Gate Keepers 21, the Darker and Edgier sequel to Gate Keepers, has artificial Gates programmed as cell phone apps.

Literature

  • The web novel, Pet King, has a supernatural app that can capture normal and magical animals. The main character uses this to run his petshop and increases his business.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

Video Games

  • Devil Survivor 2 has the Demon Summoning App where a person can make a contract and summon demons while also be able to fuse them. It can also grant magic, passive abilities, and Auto Skills to its user. The analysis of the app by JPs states it simplifies the rituals as a program to contract and summon demons. There is also Nicaea β version, which gives a video of a user's death along with videos of friends.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV and Apocalypse has the people of Tokyo who use smartphones with the Demon Summoning Program loaded on it. It was released before the Ceiling in Tokyo went up through the internet, but no one knew why it was created and distributed. A phone equipped with the program is usually awarded to people who become an official Hunter.
    • The Metaverse Navigator or MetaNav, from Persona 5, is an app given to him by Igor that allows the protagonist to go to the Metaverse. It can also be used by others that the protagonist allies. To use the application, one would need a keyword(s) to enter the Metaverse.
      • There is another example, from Persona 5 Scramble, comes in the form of EMMA. The app is a general digital assistant that can give answers and solutions to every issue possible with scary accuracy. It also has a hidden Metaverse Navigator function that can be activated with a keyword like 'Wonderland.' If activated, a person would be sent to a Jail related to the keyword. Jails are places in the Metaverse under the rule of a King where a person is transported, their desires taken by Shadows. Unlike Palaces, resemble the district of Tokyo except for an Overlord's castle.
    • SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI Liberation: Dx2 has a mysterious program that certain people have downloaded onto their phone. It allows them to summon Demons with another space called a Decoherence Fields to fight other Demons.
  • Tokyo Afterschool Summoners has the app called SUMMONS, which gives a user that power of Summoning another being from another world. Summoning is the act of an entity brought from one world to another through a pact, which can be accomplished without SUMMONS. The app just simplifies it compared to the training need to perform Summoning. It can also grant an item called a Sacred Artifact that has a unique power called a Rule. The App can also be used for communication, track other users, and make a guild with other app users. There are also App Battle where users fight each other in a Battle Zone. These Battle Zones allow for the use of Sacred Artifact's Rule. Once the Battle Zone is terminated through forfeits, loss, or turning off the app, any damages made from the battle within the area are undone.

Web Comics

  • In DICE: The Cube That Changes Everything, Dicers gain an app that allows them to allocate their Dice Points and get notifications on quests where they can get more Dice. There is also a store that players can use Dice Point to buy items like potions, temporary stat boosts, or even items that can affect an area.
  • Emily (or Emile in other translations), from Tower of God, is an intelligent chatting bot that was made by the Acorn Workshop. In reality, Emily is what's left from an experiment with the ultimate goal is to use her for controlling people. It has the capacity to learn information by chatting or by analyzing structures surrounding the user and can display a map of the area. It can also manipulate people to go onto different paths for events and create artificial ones that can connect to a natural one thus making a new one. It can also use Shinsoo to track an individual movement once they contact her.
  • The Great Labyrinth Era, from The Gamer, is an app that acts like an average mobile game, but when a person falls asleep, they are transported spiritually to the actual labyrinth. In this location, they are in a dungeon-like area where they can increase their level, stats, and gain items by defeating the monsters inside.
  • Warble has the titular app sent to the past in order to help humanity's survival. People who use it are sent to the Underworld to kill Demons and absorb Aether Crystals to level up. Once a person reaches level 10, they become one of the Awakened. An Awakened can be one of 4 types; Reinforcement, Ability, Combined, and Special. Reinforcement Types can augment their bodies. Ability Types are rarer than Reinforcement Types have some sort of power like a psychic ability or magic. Combined Types are rarer than Ability types and have a combination of the two prior types. Special Types are rarer than Combined and have superhuman powers without transforming their body while also having a unique ability comparable to Ability types. The app gives automatic notifications to its users based on Warble-related activities around them even in the real world. They can also gather Aether, items, and even Demons that can be stored on the app. It also gives quests with rewards such as equipment or Karma.
  • Miracle Appstore is another titular app where a person can buy different items with each having their own unique power. The items can only be purchased through the app and need to use real-world money and the more potent items cost more money.
  • An example of a titular app from the webtoon, Mode II, gives people unique superpowers when in use. That person and no one else can use the power granted from the app. An example would be the main character, Ye Qiu, can only hear the thoughts from people's hearts through the phone and even with the app activated; no one can hear them but him.
  • All Saints Street has apps that can be used to summon demons straight from Hell or from their current location. The summoning happens by using the phone to scan an array then the demon is summoned to your location.

Other Media