Cyberpunk 2077 Trailer: Cyborg Psychos, Techno Junkies & More Details

Meet the Techno Junkies

Another element of Night City life is “braindance” technology. Braindances are neurologically input experiences of other people — they’re like video games or movies downloaded directly into your mind, complete with all the sensory input the person who originally experienced them would have had them.

Braindances are downloaded into your mind through special cybernetic implants, so not everyone can experience them — but they also are culturally important and a symbol of status, so it seems that anyone who’s anyone is not only plugged in to the phenomenon, they also keep up on the latest offerings from both “New Hollywood” and “megacorporations.” There’s a degree to which this is sounding like the new opiate of the masses.

And “opiate” also seems to be the proper metaphor. As CDP notes in its press release, Braindances can become addictive and they create their own brand of junkies. These people live on the streets, content to experience other people’s lives endlessly. So it may well be that Braindance use among poor and disenfranchised people is subtly encouraged by the ruling classes as a means of keeping them in their places.

There are some other caveats, too. Apparently, the depth of a Braindance goes beyond just sensory input — you also experience the creator’s emotions, as well. This means that there are Braindances that are highly controversial, because while one Braindance might put you in the boots of an explorer, complete with her drive to succeed and discover, another might put you in the shoes of a serial killer, complete with his urge to do harm and the pleasure he derives from it. The use of Braindances is an ongoing debate in the Cyberpunk 2077 universe, complete with pundits on either side, as this PDF from CDP illustrates.

We don’t know much else about how Braindances figure into the game, although the press release asks the following: “Will you be able to function in this defunct society or end up a BD-junky with nothing left, set aside like garbage — still living someone’s else life — not aware of what’s going on around you?” That doesn’t really suggest to us how exactly braindances will actually factor into the game for players, or if they will at all. As for its affect on Night City at large: well, if the history of the Internet is any indication, braindance will be primarily used for porn.

That’s a lot of information to get all at once, but it still doesn’t tell us much about what playing Cyberpunk 2077 will actually be like. Some critics and players are also likening the teaser trailer to the problematic nun-assassin-bashing trailer we saw for Hitman: Absolution, suggesting a troublesome depiction of women in the game.

Still, it seems we’ll have to wait to get more info — possibly until February or later, which the trailer suggests is when CDP will be making more announcements about…something. And who knows when we’ll actually see Cyberpunk 2077 in action.


Read more of Phil Hornshaw’s work here, and follow him and Game Front on Twitter: @philhornshaw and @gamefrontcom.

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5 Comments on Cyberpunk 2077 Trailer: Cyborg Psychos, Techno Junkies & More Details

jlkawaii

On January 10, 2013 at 10:56 pm

“And who knows when we’ll actually see Cyberpunk 2077 in action.”
–> “When it’s ready” ? ;)

Blarty

On January 11, 2013 at 4:58 am

So looking forward to this, the trailer has all the right little throwbacks and nuances to the pen and paper game…. Hopefully they’ll do a good job with the Netrunning part of the game.

Also looking forward to them opening up REDkit as well, at some point

CatmanStu

On January 11, 2013 at 11:09 am

As a teaser it works pretty well (if a little vague) and if the studios track record is anything to go by this should be an awesome game.

I could see the Braindances as being some sort of information gathering system that would make problem solving easier at the cumulative risk to the protagonists sanity and effectiveness.

As far as the “troublesome depiction of women” problem some are having, all I can say is that those people have no concept of narrative subtext. In a dystopian future, most likely run by men, augmentations designed to improve on what nature gave us would be most attractive to a gender being constantly bombarded with information designed to prey on their insecurities and alleged inferiorities. This trailer doesn’t say “Only beautiful women can get augmented”, or “Give a women power and she’ll go insane”, what this trailer says is “How far has this woman gone to be beautiful and what has she lost in the process”.

Phil Hornshaw

On January 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm

@Catmanstu

I tend to agree with you on the “depiction of women in the trailer” thing. I think it’s reaaaally too early to start judging on that basis. This trailer is nowhere near the same thing as the Hitman Absolution trailer in my eyes. I was sort of surprised when people started bringing it up straight out of the gate.

Swcloud99

On January 11, 2013 at 4:22 pm

@Catman Stu
Word