The dystopian cyberpunk future I always wanted

2020-05-01

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It was only a few shorts months ago that I was proclaiming 2020 as the Cyberpunk future I’d always dreamt about since I was a teen in the early ’80s. A futuristic milestone notched up on the electrified twirling baton of time. Little did I know it would get quite so dystopian and quite so bleak where human contact becomes the vector by which to spread my own demise. I have no doubt the current situation will shake it all up and shape our dystopia for years to come. Perhaps a global pandemic is the catalyst for change that our society seemed to be hankering for the past few years?

I’d kind of hoped I’d have had my breather and cyberdreads sorted out by now.

The future past

I set out to describe intimately why I love cyberpunk.

I’m not sure I’m going to do a very good job of it.

Internally, it’s a feeling for me. It’s a look. It’s an attitude. It’s a fantasy. But one grounded in near future tech realism and one of overwhelming corporate dominance, with a hint of sly tech wrangling and enhancing the human condition with crafted bio-mechanics and digital exocortex functioning.

Humanity++

But with an edge, a fight, a struggle - against the oppressors.

Taking from them, ground level engineering and integration, enhancing and using it against them. Self improvement and payback through bionics and interfacing. Hacking the planet.

Young and impressionable, these films had way more of an effect on me than my parents would have liked. (I’m going to list films now, formative and genre expanding throughout the years)

FILMS

I have an armful of Anime too

ANIME

And

GAMES

I’ve bound to have missed out a lot. But these media sources have all played their part in cementing my love for cyberpunk.

I’m leaving out books and music, although I could write a book about those and have a cool darkwave soundtrack for the audiobook.

What is this Cyberpunk thing?

Cyberpunk for me, is essentially fantasy writ gritty with its balls out and its heart replaced with a beating machine.

My hopes and dreams digitised and gone viral.

Humanity built large with steel and surgical chrome.

Mind function accelerated and expanded with hijacked processing power and elusive connectivity.

It is a partly shaved head, exposed enhancements, torn tight functional clothing, chemical enhancments, neon glows, shimmering custom tattoos and the technical know-how to escape the cage that surrounds us all.

It is fighting back, from the gutter, using their technical advancements against them. Whoever ’they’ are, at the moment, for the right price, monetarily or ethically. It’s our time to RISE! [1]

I’ve probably failed to convey exactly what Cyberpunk is. But some of the above succinctly reminds me of what it is.

It’s a feeling, I have, that I am very fond of.

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