2020 is the Year Of Cyberpunk, as foretold by the prophet Mike Pondsmith, in the title of the roleplaying game he wrote three decades before: Cyberpunk 2020.
Let's look at the evidence.
Almost everyone feels economically and sociopolitically alienated, regardless of political ideology. The number of people dressed in all-black in urban areas has increased dramatically. Corporations and government are semi-accidentally colluding to squeeze small businesses out of existence.
Amputation prostheses are getting pretty advanced, and they seem to be poised on the edge of becoming full-blown robotic limbs. Some of them are already internet connected in some way. Neuralink is developing direct brain-computer interface technology, and has it working "like a FitBit in your skull" for pigs already, in Elon Musk's words. Networked lightbulbs and always-connected consumer pocket computers are normal now, and they spy on us. People have experimented with implanting digital payment chips under their skin.
The Anonymous movement is so familiar it has become passé, but it's still active. Black-block bands of violent agitators roam the streets, and are a matter of controversy: are they heroes, or misguided radicalized people disenfranchised from influence over their own lives, or just disaffected youths acting out, or terrorists; have they been co-opted by conspiratorial interests; are they perhaps something else entirely?
Everyone's wearing masks. Parts of the United States have been overwhelmed by semi-constant smoke. A pandemic rages across the world, disrupting almost everything. Off-and-on perpetual riots threaten to become the norm, and anarchic zones have been established inside major cities in post-industrial nation-states.
Everywhere in the world seems to be turning into surveillance-police states, many of them turning into fascist states -- and some of those pretend they aren't, even as parties on both sides of their political divides employ fascist policies. Military forces are increasingly deployed to domestic urban areas to help police "maintain order", and they often don't look as militaristic as the police themselves. Politicians are literally trying to build walls around their nation-states and it's sometimes difficult to tell whether it's to keep someone out or keep someone else in.
Russia, China, and the United States are active participants in covert cyber-warfare on a regular basis. Post-industrial federated superstate warfare occurs through proxy wars in small, pre- and peri-industrial regions, often by way of technologically advanced special operations teams under cover of night and by remote-piloted drones.
There's a thriving industry in quantitatively optimizing AIs that are gradually taking over the dynamics of society through subtle manipulations even their creators don't understand. This is literally true. This is not an exaggeration.
This is the world in which we live in 2020 and beyond, welcoming our new techno-megacorp overlords with open arms.
If you've ever wanted to launch a cyberpunk themed project -- writing a novel or screenplay, murdering out a car/motorcycle/pickup and adding cyberpunk flourishes, building your own cyberdeck, or whatever -- do it!
If you have a web presence with cyberpunk themes, or if you write articles or blogposts with cyberpunk themes, talk about the Year Of Cyberpunk and add the
#cyberpunk2020 tag with a link to this site. Let me know about it, and I'll add you to a list of links on this page. To get in touch, you can use the IRC channel,
LiberaChat/##cyberpunk, or send a text email to email@example.com with an email subject that starts with the
#cyberpunk2020 tag so it won't go in the spambin.
Adopt the underground techno-agitator resistance ethos of the cyberpunk life: use more encryption, use less surveillance technology (e.g. Facebook, Google, and Alexa), wear masks and gloves to defeat surveillance technology even if you don't care about pandemic hygiene laws, and so on.
Get in the mood with some cyberpunkish music:
These projects include the
#cyberpunk2020 tag and a link to this webpage and seem both relevant and appropriate for inclusion.
n2020: Working Title: Death Alley
a novel project by Chad Perrin
There's a cyberpunk channel on Libera Chat called ##cyberpunk with ties to this page as of 2021-06-09.
There's a Cyberpunk forum thread for NaNoWriMo.
This website has no relationship with R. Talsorian Games, Mike Pondsmith, the Cyberpunk 2020 RPG itself, or the Cyberpunk 2021 independent revival project. This website is not a business. It costs me money. It's not worth your while to sue me, and I intend no infringement of legal rights and privileges in any case.