Cyberpunk!

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Cyberpunk!

Is Neo Scavenger Cyberpunk? Let's discuss the themes!

- Takes place on Earth in the near future, so it's grounded in our reality.
- Embodies a dystopian Police State, in contrast to the anarchy of the wastelands.
- Everything is corrupt, economically, politically and socially.
- Has clear examples of wealth disparity and class struggles.
- A protagonist that can enhance himself "beyond" humanity (cyberware).
- The protagonist is clearly an outsider, at odds with the establishment (a punk).

I realize that there are many, many other layers to Neo Scavenger, including fantasy and horror elements. It's an original setting with it's own distinct flavor. But I'm very excited about the Cyberpunk themes of the game, which are very pronounced. Am I wrong? I've never heard Neo Scavenger described as Cyberpunk before.

I obviously agree that there are some traces of cyberpunk-like theme in the game, but I cannot say for sure that it was to be cyberpunk intentionally or it became like that as side-effect of an inspiration brought from titles sharing said setting. For example, I remember that DMC was meant to look somewhat Blade Runner-ish, which movie has a fair bit of cyberpunk in it.

I wouldn't go nearly even half as far with some points, though. The character isn't any punk - he may be an outsider, but it's not due to his socio-political views, he's also not part of any gang or anarchistic organization (what an ironic term).

Additionally, in cyberpunk itself, most of the planet was urbanized if I recall correctly - no matter if orderly or lawless, beautiful or derelict. There's no anarchy of the wastes and or random forests and meadows people can move to, to look for some scrap to sell on flea market; at most there are slums which aren't visited by any representative of law unless he's in armored van with bunch of companions, all in heavy armors and totting high-caliber rifles. Also implants were not a thing reserved for a rich elite, but something nearly everyone had, in lesser or greter amount - corporate executives had their to kick ass, manage their contacts, company's interest and control sophisticated devices, regular middle class had theirs to help them with their work and slum gangsters had theirs to kill each other and occasional bystander more easily, or because they believed that having iron spikes protruding from big, clunky arm looked cool. Any hacker, no matter his morality and social class had to have their for the sake of accessing cyberspace.

So no, Neo Scavenger isn't exactly Cyberpunk (or even, given it's paranormal undertones, Cyberpunk's 'magicked-up' cousin, Shadowrun) any more than it is post-apocalyptic wild survival or sandbox, crafting game - it is eclectic product taking it's inspiration from many sources, as stated by the developer anyway.

I wouldn't go nearly even half as far with some points, though. The character isn't any punk - he may be an outsider, but it's not due to his socio-political views, he's also not part of any gang or anarchistic organization (what an ironic term).

Not to start an argument, but you don't seem to be using the term "punk" correctly. In fact, you seem to think the term means the opposite of what it actually means. When you think "punk," think an individual who is defiant against a corrupt establishment. A gangster is the opposite of a punk, because that is the embodiment of corrupt authoritarianism. Also, a punk doesn't need political views necessarily just a desire to be free in an oppressive society. I'm not calling you stupid, but what you wrote based on an misunderstanding of those terms.

Additionally, in cyberpunk itself, most of the planet was urbanized if I recall correctly.

Again, not to start an argument, but that's not a defining feature of the Cyberpunk genre. The only requirement for the Cyberpunk world setting is that it be a logical prediction of what the near future might have in store. Typically, the urban areas are viewed as dystopian, but that doesn't mean there can't be wastelands in a Cyberpunk fiction. For a good analysis of what Cyberpunk means watch this YouTube clip: TUN: Cyberpunk is back.

Not to start an argument, but you don't seem to be using the term "punk" correctly.

I would like you to present based on what you make your definition. I am using summary on punk subculture, which, while many of them were concentrated around expression in art, did emerge with anarchistic tendencies - thus my mention of socio-political views. Moreover, (probably) because of such views and general non-conformity anti-capitalism in broad western society, said subculture was fameous for opposing law enforcement, leading to establishment of different gangs. You claim the 'desire to be free in an oppresive society' - and that's actually proves that the way I defined them is not only not opposite, but quite fitting. In fact, most of subcultures and generations with anarchistic tendencies would use sentence akin to yours as a reason for their behavior.

Now, most punks are just followers of particular fashion and music, but while I don't know where you live, here there are still mentions and stories going around of groups of the representatives of that subculture who, while not as hostile to random citizens as regular street thug, did regularly involve themselves in brawls with both police (if they feel their freedom was constricted by rules in any degree) and subcultures presenting opposite, usually right-wing views (in fact, most commonly punks are pitted against skinheads, even if there apparently were some left-wing groups of them - guess just not around here).

Again, not to start an argument, but that's not a defining feature of the Cyberpunk genre. The only requirement for the Cyberpunk world setting is that it be a logical prediction of what the near future might have in store.

Logical is very arguable, as it implies high degree of possibility, and there are elements in cyberpunk which one would find quite improbable (governments seceding for the benefit of megacorporations which grow exponentially and start dictating their laws, against basic conventions and human rights, freely available augmentations created for the sake of creating small-scale warfare etc). You're right though, plant-spanning city is by no mean necessary for Cyberpunk. Here, I'd just suspect misunderstanding - you refer to broad cyberpunk genre while I was refering to setting of somewhat classic Cyberpunk tabletop RPG (possibly and partially created by amusing video that refers to Shadowrun [magical cyberpunk] tabletop RPG rejuvenation as a MMO).

Glad we cleared that up, although if it's whole genre, I must disagree with you forcing a mantle of a punk upon main character even more, especially since he at best acts just like regular bandit when outside of DMC, hardly presenting any ideology other than 'you may have stuff I want, gimme' which is by no means what punks were/are upholding. Character's motivation is to understand his wherebouts and find a place for himself the current order, from what I understand, not any ideology of opposing such order. Though it would be nice if in the future there would be conversations, missions and events allowing one to establish particular worldview of player's choosing.

I would like you to present based on what you make your definition.

I will refer you to the video I posted that explains what Cyberpunk means and I would prefer that this thread not be derailed by confusion over semantics. The fact is that many different ideological groups can refer to themselves as "punk," but at it's core Punk is largely characterized by a concern for individual freedom and anti-establishment views. It's that aspect of "punk" that is applied to Cyberpunk. If you had watched the video I posted that explains these themes for the layman, this would be understood by now. The genre of Cyberpunk only needs a select few elements and Neo Scavenger has all of them. This thread is about themes in the setting, not about the protagonists choices. In fact, the protagonist's worldview is a blank slate, because the player shapes his character with those choices. That doesn't negate the overwhelming Cyberpunk elements in the game. Now that I've cleared that up, please keep further off-topic comments out of this thread.

Now that I've cleared that up, please keep further off-topic comments out of this thread [discussing an ideology "characterized by a concern for individual freedom and anti-establishment views"]

I LOL'd.

I wonder, as a Voluntarist/Anarcho-capitalist, am I Punk?

A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.

I believe so. In my view, anyone who highly values their own free will has punk, because that type of person wouldn't tolerate living under the yoke of tyranny. Those who openly consider themselves punk are simply more expressive about that defiance in their music and their style. And you're right, it was silly of me to worry about thread-derailing when the topic was essentially about free will.

NeoScavenger's setting seems to be cyberpunk enough for me. All ingredients are here: future-times - check, hi-tech gadgets and cyber enhancements - check, social/urban dystrophy - check, weird guys with guns (and most likely mustaches) - check, flying bikes - check.

What is missing is a story. What cyberpunk needs is a good social conflict: rebels vs. government, man vs. machines, humans vs. mutants, free-spirited youth vs. over-controlling corporations or even gangs vs. law enforcers. If not as a main story point, at least in the background. In NS we have (so far) nothing of that sort. As far as we know, life is all nice and dandy for DMC citizens, with their clinics and diners at hand and caring guards keeping them safe. People from outside the wall are not shown as unhappy either, politely waiting in their line to go in or out.

That is the case, of course, only until Dan will present us with some encounters to change that blissful state.

In the end, if we accepted NeoScavenger as a post-apocalyptic without a single mention of apocalyptic event, a cyberpunk can be easily approved as a secondary theme without any visible social conflict going on :D.


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Insightful comments, Kaaven, thanks. I agree that we don't know the enough about story yet, so we'll have to wait and see. But I can already see classic Cyberpunk conflicts arising in the setting. The DMC is a Police State in decay and the young people especially would have a rebellious attitude. There are is also a clear culture clash between the people living outside the DMC and those living inside it. It's up to Dan how much he wants to explore those concepts, but these types of narratives almost write themselves.

I first heard about Cyberpunk when Shadowrun came out for the SNES, which great game. So was the Genesis version, as a matter of fact. And yes, Neo Scavenger has all the qualifying features of the genre, as Kaaven said. That doesn't necessarily mean the game has to adhere to them, but like it or not, Cyberpunk themes were put into the setting by the developer. Personally, I like it a lot.

I'm curious what Dan's thoughts are on the subject. :)