How To Be A Cyberpunk



Cyberpunk was birthed by the Sci-Fi works of William Gibson called 'Neuromancer', 'Mona Lisa Overdrive' and 'Johnny Mnemonic' all laying out the groundwork, concepts, aesthetics and ideas of cyberpunk meaning to envision the rustic, edgy and brooding edge of the future for it is more realistic than all the ultra-utopian works of the space-age-craze period. Unlike Steampunk attaching itself to different subcultures, Cyberpunk is like Victorian period fashion as it simply represents the modern man adapting to futurism, some could just say Gaga period fashion. Cyberpunk is based in a post-futuristic time such as the mid 2010's to the 2060's or in the pre-futuristic times better known as mid 00's to mid '0'10's which in some cases is called the Nano-period which is centered on a world gradually and even dramatically evolving from modern times into futuristic times. Cyberpunk fiction normally revolves around technology and how it effects the world but also increases dystopia not by how the powers could use technology to control the populace but more in how they ensure the slags below can never become bigger so their power is secure. Cyberpunk is a current culture finding itself in fitting times where technology is evolved to compliment its existence in the world by the way of how Gibson puts it 'high tech, low life' and by how much turmoil and corruption is happening along with escalating dangers like crime, hacking, riots, fierce uprisings and more. Even now the world appears strongly Cyberpunk in theme because Cyberpunk novels are often based in a world that is mainly modern but also giving radical show off displays of futurism. The cyberpunk world commonly has a suburbia which has started to become the futuristic slums and the old slums have become abandoned industrial areas taken over by deviant groups and dark religions which deeper into the future escalates into full blown, the remainder of the city is where the core is the location of the rich realm thus shined up, glowed up and made to look like a masterpiece, the workers areas look still digital era modern age but with many hints of futurism. Sometimes the aesthetic is a massive futuristic paint job over a once modern looking world as shown by the lately Cyberpunk 2077 but the common look is always referred to Bladerunner. Cyberpunk worlds are often where the corporate world is starting to become vastly more powerful than a countries government, thinking they are above the law and can spread like empires imposing the corporate tax upon the lands they own presenting them to people who live on their lands and use their resources for better living, in equal cases they take over lands those people owned for longer than them. The corporate tax is always outrageously expensive cleaning out the accounts of people who barely make enough to scrape by which always motivates the Cyberpunks to act as vigilantes to take out and take down these corporate thugs by any means necessary. In some cyberpunk novels, there are political/corporate conspiracies that try to blackmail the good guys or work to crush potential paragons from making their mark in the world or from helping people in a time of need. As always there never fails to be some crooked asshole who uses the system to his advantage to gain headway and crush those he deems too weak to try and strive for it themselves and could have made a difference, or some jerk who is part of a crime ring that infiltrates the powers and uses them to turn the system upside down. Cyberpunks are what people once thought Liberators/Freedom Fighters/Revolutionists to be whom were always treated as criminals by the mega corporations, as threats by criminal combinations and as terrorists by power hungry politicians but treated as heroes by the common people. You can call them the Braveheart, the Catwoman or the Robin Hood of futuristic times yet all they are is individuals willing to do whatever it takes to keep balance in the order of things and fight the powermongering juggernauts! The society of cyberpunk is often a rich or poor environment, the workers are forced into a dystopian system where they are mind wiped of free-thinking abilities put on a socialistic system and only the loyal get perks. The resistant workers are forced into a welfare system that is hardly enough to live on and are taxed for their resistance or are met with extreme force by the drone soldiers who the corporations use to monitor society. Outside of this dystopian system are the underground resistance made of the funders (rich men who want a better world), laborers (workers who want to save the world from the evil in power) and the modders (poor men yet innovative enough to create an inventory to challenge the powers) they work feverishly to bring the dystopia to its knees and then behead it when it looks for an escape. Often siding with the resistors are the anti-terror police who see the villainy of the system and find legal ways to topple its position of power but also stop criminal despots from gaining power as well. Themes of revolution, rogue machines and lethal intellectual criminals are often found in cyberpunk as well as anarchic warfare where sovereign powers fight each other over who gets the power. The story often finds itself to where the main character ends up where he began after his struggle and the only changes were his own for what he was after but the overall picture is unchanged yet the worst of the worst is done for though some stories have the dawn of a new era for all, a new history to write into the books where the issues of yesterday are old stories, but the problems of tomorrow become the new fight. Cyberpunk music often crosses techno, rap and industrial metal into one atmosphere representing both the modern and futuristic worlds, the time of engineering and mechanical convenience to the time of machinery finesse and technological crutches! The rough slum dog urban realm and the high tech powered skyscraper realm is the setting a lot of the time in Cyberpunk except in the film Elysium which showed a trash heap ruined slum dog earth and the rich living in a high tech space station fortress with the facade of earth's beauty. Cyberpunk fiction however could take place as early as the late seventies during Vietnam and the recession and as late as the silicon era of the future age in a time when the market goes from money stacks to cyber storage with chits in a locker, there are street levels in the skyscraper hub and flying cars as well as hover cars are as common sight as vehicles today, some cyberpunk fiction could cross-form with fantasy as shown in Shadowrun but it is still passionately sci-fi and futurism with a modern aesthetic. Cyberpunk aesthetics have come to influence non-cyberpunk based subcultures such as dubsteppers who's music also adds to the cyberpunk atmosphere, rebel rockers in part and indefinitely cybers an entire club counter-culture with fashion that reflects the art of cyberpunk.


These fonts show a bit of a blend of influences to the Cyberpunk world like 80's action films, dubstep, hacker message fonts, interstellar savage burned lettering and much more. It reflects the low-life in a futurism driven time with a bad economy, corporate overlords, political morons and a people having to eke out a living in an unforgiving world where tensions are high and crime becomes a necessary evil. In the ironic contrary apocalyptic cyberpunk reflects a world overrun by disease or intense weather systems and the only governing body is the corporate realm which does whatever is necessary to maintain whatever life on earth remains and keep it sedate so it doesn't riot though villains can find easy ways to exploit such powers. The font makes you almost literally see a portrait of the atmosphere, character and narrative of such a world or time while the music merely immerses you into it.


Thermal visors are the major eye wear of the Cyberpunk because they double as thermal detectors and can sense a person's mood with thermal emissions. Cyberpunk eye goggles help to distinguish the Cyberpunk culture from the private clubbing lifestyle of Cybers who wear full goggles.


Cyberpunks don't bother with jewelry since they are more baggage and annoyance than the Cyberpunks want to deal with. The only kind of jewelry Cyberpunks do is the tech stuff or the jewelry that proves to be useful and isn't just an image accessory as it is for the Steampunks, they want jewelry that could be used in stuff they do. Maybe the Holo-ID tag is just jewelry but it is also carries their identity when at work or meeting up with their work group for lunch.


Mini laptops are basically the cyberpunks way of hacking and sometimes when in the motion they hack local locks and also find routes in the middle of a fire fight. These tiny things are easy to use when time is short or they are walking and can't afford to stop while needing access to a locked up place.


The virtual combat training program is common in the military but also presented to the public in the post-apocalyptic cyberpunk film The Matrix. Its intended purpose is to prepare the Cyberpunk for any combat situation he might run into, being like in action films they have various situations so they must utilize their surroundings as much as their resources and their skills.


The taser gun was crafted strictly for pacifism so that the naive fools who work for the villains won't be killed or harmed in the event they are caught within the same situations as the villains. This helps to sort the innocent from the guilty! Many cyberpunks use lethal guns but most of the time they'd prefer to use the least lethal of all so they don't have to put so many assholes down. They rarely do melee unless that involves upgraded weaponry that does real damage and doesn't just deliver finishing blows, that's why the riot baton and laser katana are preferred. Gun modding is a major favorite amongst all Cyberpunks but a specialty of the Mechanic since not only can they repair a battle droid, a Mech and the armored bus or any vehicle but they can also mod guns to their preferred style of gun fighting.


Holstering boots are a good idea when faced with hardcore bad guys cause they can carry knives, small hand guns and other dangerous weapons when they are most needed whilst keeping them pretty well concealed from those who would detect it with ease.


The led helmet is a major part of cyberpunk culture but mostly used to disguise the individual in case they go against a gang who is known to hunt down people screw with them. Whereas they have no fear of showing themselves to corporate thugs so the corporates know who they pissed off!


An android is basically the new ideal slave, cyberpunks use them in their bunker which is a long abandoned car shop. An android has no intelligence nor emotions, they are simply drones by nature or husks by human sight, they are programmed to do as commanded. Cyberpunks use them as keepers, fighters and as spies for capturing information they will need to expose the corrupt and the sleazy to the public.


The Cyborg is basically the newcomer or what humans like to call the machine race manifesting themselves in the flesh. Many anarchic humans disapprove of these machines taking their livelihood from them or even their future from them as they feel is what Cyborgs are doing thus they are willing to strike back against them. Cyborgs are sometimes humans made immortal according to scientific views being the Cyborgs only have to keep themselves functional and well fed. Cyborgs are often the police in a cyberpunk story or the rouser of a revolutionary cause to overthrow those they feel oppress them! Unlike science fiction where the ultimate villain is a Borg which is a machine that mimics a human appearance, their ultimate villain is a terrorist who is enhanced with cybernetics and most often is a psychopath.


Super cars with a peculiarly sleek and badass design are often the cyberpunk cars used by agents whether for the government or for a corporation. Normally most of the masses living in the dregs of the city go around with modified sports cars and street race them as a way of life. For many it beats getting into gangs, hacking, getting involved with power players by stealing information or being the run-of-the-mill hippie type who tried to find the truth behind a spiraling conspiracy.


Cyberpunk fashion often consists of PVC, leather, mesh, satin or light denim, it was influenced by rockaholic subculture as well as science-fiction and dystopian films with the ideal of putting punk rock itself into a fictional world.


CYBERPUNK OCCUPATIONS


Cyberpunk Mechanic

The Cyberpunk mechanic is usually the badass chick but for the most part it is someone who knows how to repair an auto vessel or use scraps to replace destroyed parts! For the most part its about repairing the armored bus (which is a vulgar parody of the hippie van), since the armored bus is about the only thing they have to go around the slums and other dangerous areas like Corporate territory. They also hook up drones or battle droids from this bus so they can strike from a remote and quiet spot unleashing their fury in the areas of their enemies but all they do with the battle droid is repair it if it got damaged both minor and severe. They like to build spy cams or put up tools for higher grade usage, even making guns that could do things they usually weren't manufactured for.

Usual Roles: Repair Work, Synthetic or Steel Replacement, Minor Scale Construction and Weapon Building.


Cyberpunk Agent

The Cyberpunk agent does what few Cyberpunks are capable of and that is getting into heavily guarded places in one piece. He's what you would call the James Bond of Science-Fiction who uses more tech and intense training than any top agent of modern history. They often carry the Cyberpunk weaponry because those are their tools for a successful mission, they are often assigned missions by the agency or by the Government sect they are hired by. There are levels within the agency alone, which in their view an agent evolves to their given role not buy their way up the chain or perform to the bosses satisfaction for a promotion. They often have to deal with the crazy, the corrupt and the dangerous yet powerful making them seem untouchable but not by standards of an agent who makes his own rules of how a mission is to be completed. Agent's need to beware of going rogue cause that is where jurisdiction falls through the floor and they are suddenly meat on a slab for semi-legal hounds.

Usual Roles: Espionage Involving Top Secret Files, Scaling Buildings For An Entry, Unleashing Spy Drones, Private Room Interrogations and Taking Out Tough Guards or Breaking Through A Secure Building Of A Corrupt Corporation.


Cyberpunk Ninja

The Cyberpunk Ninja doesn't usually involve himself with the establishment but when someone hires him depending on who, his only duty is to carry out their orders upon being paid so think of them as freelancer agents or mercenary soldiers. The cyber ninja doesn't always think of his client but can judge whether his target will make him a wanted man by the Masonite establishment or a foe of the equatarian establishment who uses corrupt people for their own goals. Cyberpunk Ninjas usually have vendettas or scores to settle with rivals or enemies, they are sometimes considered assassins due to their role. Cyberpunk Ninjas are the last thing you want to run into if you are an enemy to the system!

Usual Roles: Assassinations, Tearing Down Secret Cults, Taking Down Rogue Agents, Wiping Out Riot Groups and Killing Dangerous Individuals.


Cyberpunk Hacker

Cyberpunk Hackers are based upon Cyber pirate culture which is only known in the underground and only widely known whenever there is a serious crime. Cyberpunk Hackers have clear anti-establishment sentiment being they despise the government more than anything, they can hack into mainframes of mega corporations or crack the security gates at secret lab areas. Scientists and guards are often in a frenzy to try and stop the Cyberpunk hackers, so as a safeguard they use a virus or sever their link so their IP can never be traced, yet agents can track them through a number of methods. Cyberpunk Hackers are the brains of the vigilante crew and are usually the ones who remotely control battle droids or drones to complete their mission. The Cyberpunks would be a total joke if they didn't have their hacker who's also good at many technical things, which is sometimes why he is their technician.

Usual Roles: Breaking Into Mainframes, Cracking Secure Locks, Pirating Credits And Information, Seizing Control Of Drones, Piloting Battle Droids Or Drones, Creating Private Servers and Sending Hoax Videos.


Cyberpunk Adept

Cyberpunk Adepts are also known as cyber psychics who utilize a skill between electronics and psychic ability which makes them Adepts. They use their psychic ability for a number of purposes as they are usually the most helpful members of the vigilante group. They have headaches and sometimes all cases of debilitation like nightmares, hallucinations or hysteria which comes from exhausting themselves or up against greater odds than they are capable or losing sleep over seeing a dark future. Vigilante groups do take care to see to the well being of their adepts because the crew succeeds on their visions meaning to reverse their fate creating a better outcome if the vision saw misfortune and peril in their mission but do follow the vision that shows them succeeding being nothing but a guide to how they will succeed. Adepts only carry hand guns since they have little use for guns because their psychokinetic abilities do the hard stuff for them through what they call mundane electronic skills.

Usual Roles: Healing People With Brainwave Synchronization, Mind Bending (such as telekinesis), Predicting Choice Outcomes, Seeing One's Future, Technological Mind Over Matter In Combat or For Demonstration, Seeing Through Objects With Their Head Visors (to see traps or incursion forces), Overriding System Operations To Achieve Their Goal and Mind Bombing (instant killing people within close proximity by causing their virtual plugs to backfire on them frying their brains).


Cyberpunk Rocker

Cyberpunk Rockers can also be called 'rockstars' or 'jammers' due to the generation of rock that were first known as the Cyberpunk Rockers. Their only skills is in writing, songs, poetry, persuasive arguements and rousing slogans though they are treated as icons by the vigilante group unless they prove them wrong. Some Cyberpunk Rockers are known as 'icons' which means performers who are owned by a music producing corporation thus hardly write their own songs and mostly play softcore crap and then are reduced to pill mixtures that will kill them aside from the seeming perks of rockstardom which means to party with rebellious teens and celebrities, mess around with pornstars, drugs and alcohol abuse, making white noise music believing it to be the anthem of rebellion, driving around in cool sports cars, owning a private mansion and hanging out at the popular bars and clubs. Other Cyberpunk Rockers are known as 'rockaholics' which means performers who run their own music producing studio writing all their own stuff promising a mixture of soft and hardcore, they rarely have a need for drugs except maybe marijuana cigarettes to calm nerves and alcohol to chill out, block parties with the locals to celebrate success, hang out at their own favorite clubs and bars with likeminded individuals, hit one-night-stands or get hitched with someone they love, making noise as a 'in your face' revenge tactic with self-expressing song, taking up the discontinued or junkyard vehicles and restoring them to be their signature 'batmobile' and squatting a house to keep a neighborhood from being bulldozered just because it's 'in the way' of a corporation buying new land. The Rockers are both audacious characters as well as chart topping kings, for the Cyberpunk crew they choose audacity and rebellion over being an iconic figure for the masses to worship and adore.

Usual Roles: Making Statement Songs (these make charicatures of known society, economy or politics with truth painted on it), Narrow Exit Handy Pistol (when their show is being shut down because they upset local authorities or gangs), Conspiracy Music Videos (to expose all manners of evil that the big guys are up to quietly), Rousing Audiences in Difficult Times, Making Outfits For Their Performances, Running An Independent Record Label, Calming Crowds With Feel Good Tunes, Kicking Corporate Soldiers Or Gangsters Off Stage, Persuading Powerful Figures By Offering A Vicarious Lifestyle, Planning Ahead For Gathering Suppression, Anti-Gang Songs And Music Videos To Fight Human Stains (like bullying, threats and posing a challenge to the threats that are).


Cyberpunk Vigilante

The Vigilante isn't so much a role or job but is a fate chosen by the one who chooses a life of fighting the corrupt powers that be. They will use any means necessary and any skills they have to bring down the powermongers, they care little if the media calls them a terrorist or a common criminal misfit since the powers known as the corporate world have always shown them in such light. The cyberpunk group sees them as leaders, captains, heroes if you will of an age where money men think they can seize upon an opportunity for supremacy as the progressive government realm crumbles. They generally live in isolation in a remote small home taking care of an elderly parent or working hard to keep their family in good hands trying to assure their siblings a future. They can externally hack to an extent, fight street kung fu style to a limit and are creative modders for just about anything yet are master artists, poets and could develop simple Java games.

Usual Roles: Revolution, Taking Down Crooked Businesses, Shutting Down Cartel Operations, Hacking Into Databases Intentionally Exposing Conspiracies, Rooting Out Power Mongers (a lot of assassin's creed stuff basically).


Cyberpunk In The West

The Americas are known as the west and in some cases so is the oceanic region, for them the cyberpunk thing leans into more of the anti-corporate revolutionary direction whereas it is more about the cyber cop in Asia. America's rapid emergence into technology is such to prompt how they fit a cyberpunk atmosphere without question, however most of that tech is known as Area 51 or Austin tech university that constantly develops new tech. The revolutionary aspect of western cyberpunk leans into anarchic or revolutionist ideas of creating a better tomorrow through the struggles of today and bears an element of dystopia through a sense of rich and poor where the rich live like emperors having all the high tech and the poor get all the old tech to play with but fell through the cracks resorting to going through the stress of getting work (which also means boot-licking the people on top), joining a gang or drugging themselves out till they are brain dead most of it depending on the content of their character. The cyberpunk anarchist very much reflects the vigilante but in a far darker tone meaning they are deliberately about strenuous liberties but like any anarchist are driven by angry hatred for those they oppose and exist for satisfying a revenge respite the innocence they harm much like the Al Quaeda, they believe the innocent are brainwashed and weak thus feel without a ravenous and crazy character on top of it then they are as good as dead. The cyberpunk civil guard is basically a policeman but like the cyberpunk agent they spend time getting to the bottom of common crime and strife to unravel what may have motivated it, their interest however is to serve and protect commerce and the clusters of populace while exercising the law, so where the monetary system or the community flows they must be. The cyberpunk bounty hunter is always looking for a score and quite often takes up any job involving missing shipments, dangerous individuals (such as enemy of the state or murderers or conspirators) or anything that is out of the law's reach, they are as indecent however as a mercenary but get the job done even if they live like bums.


A Soundtrack For Cyberpunk And Its Fans