Wednesday, 3 October 2012
Iconic Cyberpunk 2020 Images
Like a bride, a good cyberpunk image needs four things. First, it needs to be noirish: you have to be able to imagine whoever it depicts committing crimes. Second, it needs to be unspeakably 80s: it needs to be big hair, spandex, raybans and shoulder pads. Third, it needs to mix something conspicuously futuristic with something grimy and old; that juxtaposition is what it is all about, stylistically. And fourth, it needs to look cool. You get bonus points for big guns, cigarettes (though these can count, nowadays, as the "grimy and old"), and girls who a 12 year old boy would develop a crush on.
The fixer. Cyberpunk 2020 is one of the earlier games, I think, to contain what you might describe as "multiethnic art". I understand Paizo think they deserve plaudits for doing that with Pathfinder; maybe somebody needs to tell them Mike Pondsmith was doing it in the 80s.
All elements are present here: she's clearly up to no good; the leggings are unspeakably 80s; you have the mix of old leggings with holes in and super-duper cybernetic monocle thing; and she's cool. She also has a gun and is appealing to the adolescent male. (The adult male too actually.)
An action piece. He has wolverine blades and he has just shot somebody through the chest with a micro-jet missile, and someday your character can do that too!
There is no mixture of the conspicuously new and scuzzy and old here. He's all brand new. But he does have a BIG FUCKING GUN.
Probably my favourite piece in the whole book: I don't think there is anything more cyberpunk than a guy in a trenchcoat sitting in a bar drinking scotch and smoking while showing off his new arm.
This one deserves a special mention, not just for the 12 year old boy inside me but also for the cyberdeck: this is what people used to think the future would look like. You'd have to carry around your modem in your handbag. One day, I'd like to see this in one of those "Complete History of the Future" type exhibitions where people examine cultural artefacts from the past which purported to predict our future.
She's cute. She's exotic looking. She is hiding her gun behind her back. She is cyberpunk.