Video Games

Authored by: Paweł Frelik

The Routledge Companion to Cyberpunk Culture

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815351931
eBook ISBN: 9781351139885
Adobe ISBN:


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Given that the genre system in the medium of video games differs significantly from that in most narrative media, including literary fiction, film, and television, the question of what cyberpunk games are or what parameters define them is far from obvious. This chapter proposes three ways of thinking about cyberpunk games: aesthetic, historical, and meta-medial. The first approach treats them as extensions of understanding cyberpunk at large as a visual aesthetic. The historical perspective offers a tentative genealogy of cyberpunk games, within which a certain kind of politics seems to be the strongest unifying principle. Finally, the meta-medial treatment assumes that games recognized as cyberpunk are possessive of a dimension which makes it possible to describe them as meta-medium of cyberpunk in general that is both self-reflexive and self-unaware. Each of these approaches results in a distinctly different canon of texts; each is less text-focused and more general, traveling a trajectory away from close analysis and toward the meta-analysis of the entire grouping; and each requires a different degree of attention.

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