Cyber Dog Days

‘When you think about it, a major theme of cyberpunk fiction was the idea that we were heading towards an era where giant, faceless corporations would know everything about us and control every aspect of our lives, and that the very concept of privacy would be a myth. Oh, and the Japanese would be running everything. Turns out, giant faceless corporations DO know everything about us, pretty much DO control every aspect of our lives, and privacy is more-or-less a myth by this point, but nobody really seems to mind much. So the genre seems to have kind of fizzled.’

Maybe its for the best that only through concept art, such worlds depicted with remnants of  a cyberpunk vision can be closer to reality. In other words, this genre hasn’t been really explored this decade or has it evolved to cater for much more of a realistic vision of the future that sits well with the current state of the world?

Although the fundamentals within Cyberpunk remain ever more prominent in our current world, such as the big Corporations smearing their ideologies within cultures, poverty (in other words: the rift between rich & poor) in addition to the consequent retaliation from society, Access of information; so what’s missing ..Cybernetics? Artificial intelligence ?

Clearly by the year 2000, the world should have seen The Terminator, a digital clone/android of Scarlett JohanssonMech SuitsFlying cars, Women with three boobs etc, and by 2010; a base on the moon would have given us the means to extract Element Zero from Mars (via the Planet cracker the USG Ishimura obviously) to fund research into Geth activity and/or Mass Relays.

My examples point out how far the concept of cyberpunk has moved into a more general sci-fi/futuristic field in my opinion. I doubt this is nostalgia but i would hate for a subgenre such as this within science fiction be somewhat lost in future rendions. George Orwell doesn’t have to be the only one who ‘envisioned’ a dystopian world.

Although the great titles are endless and somewhat forgotten , heres a list of Cyberpunk or related Anime/Films defiantly worth a glance:

Ghost in the Shell (2 series, 3 movies), Appleseed, New Dominion Tank Police, I Robot, Serial Experiments Lain, Ergo Proxy (a personal favourite), Bubblegum Crisis, Immortel, Real Drive, Technotise – Edit & I, Renaissance, Aeon Flux, Burst City, Akira, Black Magic M66, Gunnm / Battle Angel Alita, Battle Angel Alita, Armitage / Dual-Matrix, Wonderful Days, Cyber City Oedo 808, Ghost Hound.

Some interesting concept art ..not far from those stick men you draw as a kid (or still do)?

A recent not so cyberpunk game that i played was Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days which doesn’t promise you anything interms of the overall narrative. What Dog Days does deliver is a dark, spiraling, somewhat twisted world executed in such a way that the story and world aesthetics form the main concept of KL2 (not forgetting the camera mechanics).

It’s worth the time you put into Shanghai‘s underbelly; through the eyes of a psychotic Lynch & the aberrant Kane, you will be surprised at the end of this some what uniquely approached dynamic digital media. (poor Xiu ..still feel sorry for Lynch! Now IO interactive, thank you but get back to making Hitman 5!)

Why i’m including it within the realms of defining Cyberpunk is because of the basic concept/design & how it was successfully executed within the game as far as visual styling (purposely littered with digital artifacts) to the dark & gritty detailed ‘SciFi-Epos’, neon ridden recreation of Shanghai. (Not forgetting the game mechanics, atmospheric ‘sense of environment’ composed by Mona Mur & so on..)

Sometime I wonder if  I should have stuck with the Graphic Design world instead of jumping into Marketing..

Elements of the Cyberpunk theme in the original Kane & Lynch: Dead Men game Composed by Jesper Kyd 2007
” This track plays upon re-entering the night club after the incident in Yoko’s office.”

Other worthy games somewhat related to the cyberpunk theme or evolved from are:

Metal Gear Solid / Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty, Deus Ex, Beyond Good And Evil, Half Life 2, Apocalypse (PS1), Project Eden, Final Fantasy VII, Neo tokyo (PC), Fallout  (maybe?), Killzone [etc; more to be added]

More related to the genre:

Tsuburo no gara, Blade Runner, Tron: Legacy, Tetsuo trilogy, RepoMen, Sleep Dealer, Vexille, Scanner Darkly, Fifth Element, Strange Days, Total Recall 2070, Avalon, The Gene Generation, Hardware, Minority Report (yea dont really like tom cruise but..), The Matrix, Metropolis, Animatrix, 964 Pinocchio, Hardwired, Johnny Mnemonic..

(I would absolutely recommend checking out  ‘Cannabis Works‘ which is an artbook by Tatsuyuki Tanaka

Books & Graphic Novels: The Coffin – 10th Anniversary Edition, Cryptonomico by Neal Stephenson, Romantically Apocalyptic, Neuromancer by William Gibson, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, The Surrogates

Lets not rule out anything here, All types of media relating to this genre need a mention and i will be adding to this space at a later date ..or when i can be bothered.



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