The notions presented here come together as a series of articles called Cyberpunk Mind-trip. Here I will present notions, theories, arguments, detailed facts and other perceptions upon the cyberpunk genre as seen in literature, film and in the gaming industry – also as a potential existential phenomenon.
I’ve always been attracted to new technological advances, a world of neons and lights underneath a digital sky, how electric devices can offer new perspectives upon the surrounding realities and how the human mind is able to produce ideas about what the future can hold.
Although nowadays it isn’t a very popular genre – the cyberpunk movement was a “big thing” in the late ’80s. Dreaming of machines doing everything, androids and robots achieving self-awareness and huge cities with flying cars and holographic ads were some concepts that in the young mind and not only – created a cascade of reachable possibilities.
The expansion of arcades, new technologies used in film for creating science-fiction titles, books as Neuromancer by William Gibson – achieved something that at the time was a launching pad for future developments.
Recently I’ve played Observer – a psychological horror game – set in a cyberpunk world – which hold the clichéic key element of high tech – low life. I will write an entire guide/conceptual review of the game as part of these cyberpunk themed articles, taking notes as I will play it once more – I guess starting this night.
It is commonly known that these futuristic imagined worlds in the cyberpunk genre are filled with technologies which seem impossible but the social development has drastically been reduced to a pile of filth and ignorance. Because of the their modified bodies and minds – people often forget what they are. There is a pointed-out problem with overpopulation – and the cities in this lucid-dreamed future are filled with old, forgotten, rotting nuances of trash.
Pollution, smoke and fog, rain, dark skies – the climate is not depicted very friendly. It seems that life was only able to carry on because of the genetic modifications and the bio-hacking procedures.
Not only cyberpunk is a genre – it is also a futuristic lineament of a culture. It comes with its own ideas, rules and regulations.
The dystopian procedure.
Big corporations – an Illuminati of digitalism risen above the perverted, mocked-up society of enhancements.
One notion that is strongly associated with the culture is tech literacy. You got to know your devices, your code and hacking tools.
Because it is Cyber-Punk – an anti-authoritarian movement is in order to be implemented. This comes also with vision and uniqueness when choosing the clothing styles. A combination of surreal and bio-mechanical outfits rule the scenery.
There could be filled volumes with the analysis of the outside aspects of the genre. But keeping things much simpler is the best way to understand a culture and all it’s subcultures and ramifications.
We can break down a basic definition of cyberpunk by dissecting the word itself. Cyber refers to technology, and is most often associated with cyberspace (this word was originally coined by William Gibson himself), and cybernetic enhancements to the body. But this can can also refer to other technologies such as biotechnology and nanotechnology for instance.
Punk, on the other hand, refers to the people and the attitude that cyberpunk has. Protagonists in cyberpunk tend to be outsiders, anti-heroes, outcasts, criminals, visionaries, dissenters, and misfits. The underlying aspect that applies to all of these groups is their subversive nature.
Popular in media are printed works as Neuromancer, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Drive by William Gibson, the Eclipse Trilogy by John Shirley, anime works as Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ergo Proxy, Serial Experiments Lain, movies like Blade Runner and its sequel Blade Runner 2049, Hackers, Robocop.
Also the gaming industry came with a set of titles like Observer (as seen above), Deus Ex, System Shock, Oni, Cypher and others like the long awaited and not yet released Cyberpunk 2077.
As a general statement cyberpunk is collection of wires inducing violet dreams.
It has associated a palette of colors varying from purple to green and from light blue to turquoise. Also the music associated with it ranges from static ambience and city sounds to electrifying beats and even dubstep-ish wobbles.
The future articles will cover essential reading, short movies and big-screens films, games, other important aspects of the culture, music mixes, fashion trends and more. For now you can begin exploring more of the cyberpunk world with this music mix.