Modern cyberpunk's problem isn't dystopia. Cyberpunk fiction has always had dystopia. Punks need a bad world to resist.

Modern cyberpunk's problem is tone. Feels like there's more stories of surrender / evil-ultimately-wins cynicism now. We've stopped resisting the bad world.
Maybe this is natural:

As we slip further into dystopia, cyberpunk begins to dress in the costume of realist fiction.

In real life, as we discover the insurmountability of the corpo-state; as we realise that evil wins not because it is ruthless but because it is convenient;

Creators working in the idiom of cyberpunk may feel like its their duty to reflect these realities:

"We live in a dystopia now. Turns out, we aren't the punks. We're the wage-slaves."

Other creators forswear the genre as a whole: give up the rainy neon cities for stuff like green, sunlit solarpunk -like city people dreaming of country idyll.

I'm not knocking this. I literally moved away from my city, into the country. I *get* it.

Seems like a lot of the punk spirit in cyberpunk is now to be found in stuff like YA fiction, which generally feature protagonists fighting against their terrible societies.

(Saying this might make genre-fiction snobs feel salty, hah.)

For cyberpunk itself, the question remains:

How do you make fiction about resistance in neon-lit corpocracies, if your lived reality of that setting tells you such resistance is naive or hopelessly outmatched?

How do you resist your own despair? This is the tough one.

Despair is also a costume.

Folks in the West: the unmasking of your societies' rot must feel terrifying. "We failed to fight Covid-19. Human civilisation has failed!"

(Well, other human civilisations are still trying to fight Covid-19.)

Asian metropolises were the original cyberpunk heterotopias. Folks there have lived in the crowded neon rain, under terrible statist / capitalist regimes, for decades.

Is there no heroism to be found in those cities?


Hong Kong protests? Thailand uprising? Etc

You could look at these, and learn that:

"Bleh. These revolutions will be crushed by the government, there's no hope for these kids."

Or you could learn that:

"These kids grew up in our dark and terrible now. They hope, regardless. Punk does not die."

Up to you.

PS: this thread wasn't commentary about Cyberpunk 2077. No strong feelings about it- except that I have like 10gb of free hard drive space left and modern games are huge; if a game is bigger than Johnny Mnemonic's head-space is it worth it???
PS: the OP tweet I typed out originally was:

"Feels like there's more stories of surrender / evil-ultimately-wins-why-bother cynicism now"

But I ... uh, ran out of characters. Thought my point would come across anyway?
Not arguing that cyberpunk was previously triumphant ("The Man wins at the end" is a standard genre trope, I know that)- I mean that it felt like it took struggle more seriously:

"Dystopia! How do we live???"

as opposed to today's:

"Dystopia, it's just the way we live ..."

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