Cyberpunk Research

Upon deciding that I want to do a 'cyberpunk' for my main task, I have decided to research further into this sub genre so that I really know what I am doing.

I found this quote, which explains very clearly the general definition of cyberpunk:

"Cyberpunk literature, in general, deals with marginalised people in technologically-enhanced cultural 'systems'. In cyberpunk stories' settings, there is usually a 'system' which dominates the lives of most 'ordinary' people, be it an oppressive government, a group of large, paternalistic corporations, or a fundamentalist religion. These systems are enhanced by certain technologies (today advancing at a rate that is bewildering to most people), particularly 'information technology' (computers, the mass media), making the system better at keeping those within it inside it. Often this technological system extends into its human 'components' as well, via brain implants, prosthetic limbs, cloned or genetically engineered organs, etc. Humans themselves become part of 'the Machine'. This is the 'cyber' aspect of cyberpunk. However, in any cultural system, there are always those who live on its margins, on 'the Edge': criminals, outcasts, visionaries, or those who simply want freedom for its own sake. Cyberpunk focuses on these people, and often on how they turn the system's technological tools to their own ends. This is the 'punk' aspect of cyberpunk."

This quote pretty much sums up all of my ideas! I definitely want a society dominated by technology, which humans are a part of (i.e. brain implants). I have always liked the idea of some kind of oppressive government running the system, and the idea that my protagonist is an 'outcast' trying to escape the system.

Next I thought that I would sum up my favourite previous encounters with cyberpunk . . .

1. The Matrix

I loved this film, I love the idea of us all living as a slave to a virtual reality to cover up the mess that we made in the past. I loved this movie, I'm really glad that I can now clarify what it was that gripped me so much, it is the elements of cyberpunk that I love in a film!

2. Sword Art Online

This is my all time favourite anime. It is about people stuck in a virtual reality, run by the guy who created it, and they have been trapped so that if they die in the game, they die in real life. This is on the edge of what truly defines a cyberpunk, but it has most of the elements like a virtual reality, character who challenges it and run by an overlord. This series is so gripping, every episode a new challenge, I would highly recommend it!

3. 1984

This is a novel by George Orwell that I read over the summer. It is basically about a society in 1984 (far in the future at the time) overrun by a government who lies to it's people and completely controls them by watching their every move. Technology like this would have been incomprehensible to most of the people in the time that it was written, which makes it a cyberpunk. This is one of my favourite books I have read so far this year and I am glad that I can talk about it here!

To conclude, some of my favourite films and literature are in fact cyberpunk! It's eye opening to see that these are all from the same genre and I can connect all of the elements of cyberpunk within each one. I think that's why I like them all so much!

Until next time!

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