We've all seen numerous cyberpunk-styled rpgs over the years by some VERY intelligent and sophisticated people. R. Talsorian [Cyberpunk 2020] , FASA [Shadowrun], Steve Jackson [GURPS Cyberpunk, and Iron Crown Enterprises [Cyberspace]. All of them captured the feel and tone of the '80's cyberpunk scene. But as cool as Shadowrun and all the rest are, every one of them was firmly rooted in that gloriously decadent, wild decade of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Don't get me wrong, that's not a bad thing. But this game isn't about what cyberpunk was, its about what cyberpunk IS and perhaps will become.
So how is Cyberpunk 2117 different?
I once read a definition of the cyberpunk genre that said "Cyberpunk is High tech and Low life. As the basis for the classic definition of cyberpunk its fine but is now a over-simplification of what Cyberpunk has become since then. Cyberpunk 2117 is based on the headlines and we've seen in this decade and reactions the 'counter culture' has had to them.
Headlines that might include:
- Widespread grassroots efforts like CrowdSourcing in the attempt to save the future from further decay.
- The annexation of Crimea and proxy wars between superpowers across the world.
- Touch screen technology and powerful computers so small you can carry in your purse.
- The spirit of a man standing in front of a line of tanks in Tienanmen square reborn in Occupy [insert your city name here].
- It's Tahrir Square in Cairo, Enron, the Economic Crisis of 2008, and the slow death of the European Union.
- It's predator drones, stealth bombers and hellfire missiles, watching war being waged live in High Definition on CNN, and the resultant desensitization to the violence.
- It's the privatization of mercenary groups like Black Water and conspiracy theories about everything from executive orders laying the foundation for a police state, to Shadow Governments secretly controlling the world.
- It's a meme so strong; it goes viral and compels you to form an opinion on a topic you didn't know anything about five minutes ago.
- It's the ongoing struggle – for the right to live your life as you see fit, and the efforts of those who would keep you from exercising that right.
And THESE are the issues which echo in the near future era – instead of the headlines from the 1980's or the 1990's.