New Year, New Character
Cyberpunk 2020Cyberpunk 2020 (CP2020) is the "roleplaying game of the grim future." It paints a bleak vision of the far off year of 2020. A future filled with ecological collapse, near constant wars, overwhelming corporate power, and a divide between the small number of elites who control the wealth of the world, and the vast majority of humanity ground beneath their greed. As the masses are fed a constant diet of fake food and faker entertainment, the true power and decisions are happening in corporate towers and backroom alleys. An incredible imaginary world, indeed.
Ok, so, they got some things right. Others they got wrong--did anyone besides hipsters still listen to tapes in 2020? Is "protest rock" even remotely a "thing," let alone the voice of mass movements? Any "near future" work is going to be eclipsed sooner rather than later, and CP2020 was always on the tail end of the literary movement anyway. It's not about what the world is like now, or even really what people thought our world would be like back in 1990. It's a game, and that's how it should be judged.
And it's a high energy, hopefully nihilistic rampage of a game, driven high on emotions, passions, and fading glimpses of a dream you dare not let yourself belief. It's dark, and sexy, and violent, and goofy. Nowadays, it's probably best know for the video game based on it which had a...controversial rollout. But this book was the one that I was always fascinated by. It's also a game I've never been able to play.
Which I'm starting to realize is a recurring theme in this series.