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How did the world of Cyberpunk wind up different than ours?

Jan 25, 2018
Southeastern USA
So, Cyberpunk 2077 is not a reboot of Cyberpunk, the prior game books like 2020 are supposed to be 2077's backstory, making it not our future but the future as imagined by the 1980s, a world where even 90 years later the culture has not moved totally away from 1980s style aesthetics.

The first edition of Cyberpunk launched in 1988 and was set in 2013, so that's a 25 year gap, what transpired in those 25 years to make the world already Cyberpunk and different than our own?

I'm assuming the books go into at least some of the history of the world, though I don't know what exactly, but it's fun to speculate.

For starters, I can only assume it's a world where Bill Clinton was never elected President, instead either George HW Bush was reelected or some other fictional Republican was President for most of the 1990s, plus the Cold War may not have ended in 1991, keeping America stuck in that 1980s mindset and culture.

And of course it must be a world where the Japanese bubble economy never burst, explaining why every Japanese culture is such a big part of the world and perhaps why there were greater technological innovations than our reality.

Basically it's a world where the cultural, economic and political trends of the 1980s continued on past the 1980s, to where the 1990s was just the 1980s part 2 and so on, it's a fascinating scenario and I'm glad that's the idea CDPR went with rather than just rebooting it and simply saying it's "the future" instead of an alternate future.


Feb 17, 2019
There is a great video by Mike Pondsmith on this, I will dig it up when I get out of work if not posted sooner
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Jan 7, 2018
I don't know anything about the series lore. But the currency is called eurodollars or eddies. I guess that means Europe or the EU took over the US role as the dominant global leader.


Jun 20, 2013
Los Angeles, CA
The aesthetics are a staple of the genre, but the overall themes will probably always be relevant. Megacorporations with too much power | the nature of man either corrupted or enhanced by technology | humanities capacity to adapt to change. It's my favorite kind of scifi, dystopian or utopian. From Neuromancer to Blade Runner to Snow Crash to Judge Dredd to Shadowrun. Good shit.


Jan 6, 2007
"Once we get out of the 80s, the 90s will make the 60s look like the 50s."
-Dennis Hopper

After reading the OP I'm sorry, it's the first thing I thought of. Been keeping my eye on this, really looking forward to more info. 😊
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May 9, 2016

I'm a big cyberpunk fan, and I love to examine what they got wrong. I think mainly the "punk" got beaten out of us, but the cyber dystopia is becoming sharper every day: in their timeline, the game of us would be Cyberpussies 2020.

Will check that vid when I get home as this game is starting to capture my attention.
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Feb 17, 2019
I think the system as a whole has done an amazing job at rendering the consciousness impotent. People are too cushy, buying $1000 phones and $300 sneakers spouting off about how unfair the world is across social media platforms that exist just to capture information and flood you with ads. The people in glass towers sit and laugh at all of the piss ants with their cute little marches that exist just so people can pepper their facebook feeds and instagram with photos while changing their logo color for each month's current cause. People who try to push through or speak out are vilified by one side or another because they do not want to hear unless it sync's up with their cause not realizing that the cause of the month is dangled out there for them to jump at when the reality is that there are much larger issues out there that would need to be brought down before any real change could happen.