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This had me thinking, what is cyberpunk. For me there needs to be at least tech that questions what it is to be human. But many films have this that I would not class as cyberpunk. Terminator, In Time, and 2001 for example? Is it the setting then, or maybe the punk. Does there need to be ‘The Man’ in some form that people are rebelling against, be that the traditional government or corporations? I am not sure.
I might define cyberpunk in different ways in different contexts, but in the context of miniatures/tabletop gaming, it’s mainly just a certain look and a certain mood. “High tech and low life”, as they say. The more tropes, the better. I want it to be a genre romp the same way I want swords-and-sorcery, gothic horror or spaghetti westerns to be genre romps.
To communicate my idea of “what’s cyberpunk” in this context, I would point to the trailers for Cyberpunk 2077, and the artwork in Reality’s Edge and Cyberpunk Red (much of which can be viewed with a Google image search, as the publishers have been using their respective artwork for promotional purposes). All of these have in common that they harvest ideas from other, more original sources of the genre (a bit of GITS, a bit of Blade Runner, a bit of William Gibson, etc.) and condense them all in a very trope-affirming way. Which to me is a good thing.
This might be slightly different, but there is a YouTuber named “Astral Throb” who puts together Synthwave/Chillwave/Darksynthwave music mixes. They are excellent for getting into the Cyberpunk mood. Some are very “this is someone escaping from the Man to avoid cyborg organ harvesting” while others are “this is someone living off in the wilderness, trying to survive in what remains”. I cannot get enough of them. When I play any Starport Scum games I put these on. When painting Sci fi miniatures, I put these on. They are very Bladerunner in my opinion.
Checking it out now. Normally I’m more of a lofi/chillhop/jazzhop person when it comes to YouTube-sourced background music, but said genre is not terribly cyberpunk-conducive.