PC Gamer

The origins of Cyberpunk 2077

Gareth Damian Martin
 

When Cyberpunk 2077 debuted its new trailer at E3 this week it stepped into the centre of a debate that has trickled on for a couple of decades or so. Is cyberpunk, the literary genre that became a fashion statement, that became a pop culture touchstone, dead? Can it ever be anything more than a nostalgia trip? It’s a debate that hinges around a certain view of cyberpunk, one that sees it as a set of works that were inherently anti-capitalist, dystopian in nature, and functioned as a warning for the future of mankind at the dawn of the age of computers.

The rise of vast mega-corporations, the creation of data networks that would criss-cross the planet, the deepening of financial inequality as power and capital was consolidated among the few not the many. These were the changes that cyberpunk writers saw in our future. From the vantage point of today, we can see how many of these events have come to pass. That's why cyberpunk as a genre seems prescient, important even, as a

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