Home / Brand Stories / The Cyberpunk Gaming Genre: the Past, Present and Future
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As much as cyberpunk might sound like an 80’s punk rock band, it’s not quite what you think. A marriage between the words “cybernetics", the concept of replacing human functions with computerized ones, and “punk", the music genre - cyberpunk is in fact a subgenre of sci-fi which has been around for the past few decades.

The Early Days

First emerging in the 1970’s, the concept cyberpunk is described as a dystopian, post-apocalyptic world, which features an unsettling mix of high tech and impoverished society, often being noted as being a massive juxtaposition. Lowlife and high tech mix to create a dark future.

Although cyberpunk themes started circulating around the 1970’s, The first official use of this word was used as the title of a short story novel, written by Bruce Bethke, which follows the story of a teenage gang “vandalising the net", which in modern terms is equivalent to that of hacking. After this novel was later published in 1983 - the term and concept of cyberpunk grew in popularity amongst other writers including Bruce Sterling, Rudy Rucker, and Katsuhiro Otomo.

The theme of cyberpunk quickly overlapped into other industries including film and fashion, with some notable movies including Blade Runner, Mad Max, The Terminator, and of course, one of the most successful cyberpunk movie franchises of our generation - The Matrix Trilogy. As far as fashion goes, the love for cyberpunk runway looks makes a comeback every few decades it seems. From Mugler’s Fall Collection of 1995, to Balenciaga’s Terminator inspired Spring 2007 Collection and most recently, Jean Paul Gaultier’s 2019 Fall Couture, the cyberpunk genre keeps on making a comeback, bigger and better each and every time.

The Merge of Cyberpunk and Gaming

It was absolutely inevitable that the theme of cyberpunk would infiltrate the booming gaming industry, where the world saw games such as Shadowrun and Blade Runner hit the shelves in the 1980s/1990’s. Similarly to other industries, the cyberpunk genre isn’t leaving any time soon. In fact, the popularity of cyberpunk games has been booming over the last few years. One of the most popular cyberpunk games of the last few decades, ‘Cyberpunk’, which was first published in 1998 and written by Mike Pondsmith, saw a return to the gaming market with three additional editions being released in 1990, 2005 and 2020. Cyberpunk 2077, the latest version released in 2020, saw a whopping 18 million copies being sold by April of 2022.

Where to Next?

With the main theme of cyberpunk being extremely futuristic, advanced technology, the introduction of cyberpunk themed games into the world of Web3 feels like a perfect fit. Web3 is what many believe to be the new age of the internet - fully decentralized, built on digital ledgers known as blockchains, allowing individual users have control over their own content and data - unlike large corporations having centrallized control in the age of Web2 (the internet as we know it today). Web3 gaming does just that, it gives users and players the ability to control their data and assets online, safe from the hackers that we see in many cyberpunk stories. The decentralizatoin of these games is merely one appealing aspect of the Web3 gaming world.

One of the most exciting aspects of Web3 gaming is the change to a Play-To-Earn ecosystem (P2E), through the support of NFT mechanics. This new age of gaming models gives players the opportunity to earn an income while playing games, as they progress through different levels and unlock new skills. Through NFT’s, players are able to invest in different digital collectibles such as new weapons, new avatar skins and so much more. By owning an in-game NFT, that specific digital asset is owned by one person, allowing them to trade, buy and sell their NFT’s as they please, with the possibility of their NFT growing in value, adding an extra layer of potential income through Web3 games.

Looking to the Future

Although Web3 gaming may sound like a foreign concept some might think is a concept of the future, many would be surprised to know that the Web3 cyberpunk gaming world already exists. Games such as Project Hive are truly bringing the world of cyberpunk and Web3 gaming to life, while still staying true to the original cyberpunk genre along with the new age of blockchain, NFT’s and the revolution of P2E. Will you be taking the leap and joining the new world of cyberpunk in Web3?


Disclaimer: This article is a paid publication and does not have journalistic/ editorial involvement of Hindustan Times. Hindustan Times does not endorse/ subscribe to the contents of the article/advertisement and/or views expressed herein.

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