The cyberpunk genre emerged in the 1980s as a dark and dystopian vision of the future. Its vision of the future owes a lot to William Gibson’s debut novel “Neuromancer” (1984), which introduced the world to the term “cyberpunk”. Given the ongoing trend, there are several entertainment platforms that are jumping on the bandwagon and offering creations that belong in the cyberpunk genre. You can now go to any online casino, and find several options of games that fall into this category.
Cyberpunk is a subgenre of science fiction that tends to focus on the impact of advanced technology and civil society on society and individuals. The stories of cyberpunk tend to focus on a society where advanced technology and high-tech have become the dominant force in society. The stories tend to take place in an urban setting, and they tend to revolve around characters who have to deal with the consequences of these changes. The themes that are common in cyberpunk stories include gang warfare, social pollution, and the dangers of technology.
As such, cyberpunk is often associated with the techno-dystopian sub-genre of science fiction. It might sound scary, but if you love science fiction and dystopia, then you’ll love cyberpunk too. There is much to be experienced in the world of cyberpunk, that might not be far from reality, given the unprecedented progress of technology in today’s world. Let us now dive into how and when this genre came about to be and what has been its impact on shaping the viewer’s outlook on the world. Here’s a guide to the genre and its best works.
Where Does Cyberpunk Come From?
Cyberpunk’s origins can be traced back to the early days of science fiction. It has been said to have originated as a way to explore the consequences of rapid technological advancement. As such, it is often associated with the techno-dystopian sub-genre of science fiction. One such author who explored this type of scenario was Philip K. Dick, whose works included “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” (1968) and “A Scanner Darkly” (1977). Another important author in cyberpunk’s history is William Gibson, whose debut novel Neuromancer (1984) popularized the term “cyberpunk.”
How Cyberpunk Works?
Cyberpunk works by imagining a world in which technology has advanced to the point where it’s accessible and affordable to everyone. This might sound like a utopia, but don’t be fooled — the genre explores the consequences of such technological advancements. Often, those consequences are dystopian. Cyberpunk typically imagines that advances in technology have led to social decay, inequality, and mechanisms of control. In other words, cyberpunk is usually bleak and dark without being entirely pessimistic about humanity’s future.
Best Cyberpunk Stories
The genre has spawned a number of iconic titles, including William Gibson’s “Neuromancer” (1984), Bruce Sterling’s “The Difference Engine” (1990), and Neal Stephenson’s “Snow Crash” (1992). If you want to start reading cyberpunk, then we recommend these two books. Each book tackles the genre in its own way and offers a unique experience for readers. But they all have one thing in common: they offer a dark and dystopian vision of the future that examines the consequences of rapid technological advancement on society.
Fictional Genres That Are Cyberpunk
Cyberpunk as a genre is often associated with other related fictional genres. These include neo-noir, dystopian, and techno-dystopian science fiction.
- Neo-Noir: Neo-noir has its origins in the 1940s when film noirs were released to theatres. The term was coined in 1960 by French filmmaker Francois Truffaut. This genre of fiction is heavily influenced by film noirs and modern dark crime dramas like David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” (1990).
- Dystopian Science Fiction: Dystopian science fiction is set in a world that’s post-apocalyptic and/or oppressive. It typically features an authoritarian or totalitarian society that’s been built up over time. And while often associated with cyberpunk, it can exist without the darker aspects of cyberpunk (such as high tech and low life).
- Techno-Dystopian Science Fiction: Techno-dystopian science fiction is set in a future where technology has advanced more than society has evolved to keep up with it. This future will often be seen as a place where humans are dehumanized, oppressed, exploited, or controlled by the machines they created to ease their burdens.
These stories might also focus on how these technologies have unintended consequences that lead to social breakdown or environmental disasters (such as climate change).
Here is a list of Cyberpunk movies and games that have changed the way we see the future:
|The Fifth Element||The Red Strings Club|
|Blade Runner||Shadowrun Dragonfall|
|Ghost In The Shell||Technobabylon|
Final Words: Is Cyberpunk a Good Thing?
The dark and dystopian visions that cyberpunk offers are often seen as a good thing by critics. Though there might be some opposition to the idea, most of the opinions are in favour of the world of Cyberpunk. These visions of the future show us what can happen if we continue to go down the same path that we’re on. They encourage us to think about our next steps and show us the consequences of our choices. It is not necessarily a bad outcome, but it pays to be aware of what can happen. It gives us a better time to be prepared and foresee the future in order to survive. When someone criticizes cyberpunk, they often fail to recognize its purpose. Cyberpunk is not “anti-technology” or “anti-progress”. It’s a genre that encourages discussion on important topics and promotes thinking about the future before it arrives. It is about time that the world experiences the true future.