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HorusArisen

Shadow of the Beanstalk TV/Book inspiration

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Generally Android follows the more Neo-Liberal critique of modernity, so in simplified terms its a dystopian genre where capitalism and profit driven corporations ran rampant to damage society; opposite to more authoritarian cyberpunk with a fascist/state-control critique.  Notable tropes often include four of: extreme exploitation of workers, widening class disparity, and increased crime rates, as rich become richer and poor become poorer; corporations becoming more powerful and even replacing the nation-state (and democracy); man serving technology rather than technology serving man, as we are dependent on our increasing complex devices without critical review; and since our review of technology is lacking it will ultimately replace or destroy us.  

Classic works following this are as follows:

Blade Runner (1982) and Its sequel Blade Runner 2049 - specifically good for Android's crisis of workers vs clones or bioroids, and exploring what it means to be an "artificial human."

Ghost in the Shell, Stand Alone Complex (season 1) - specifically good for relationship of how powerful corporation can be in the setting, and what sort of conspiracy they try to do against the nation-state (or to conspire with them) and its people.

Repo Men (2010) - not the best movie, but the premise is interesting. People buy upgrades or replacement medical organs from a corporation, and when they can't pay for these hired guns come to repossess them.

Robocop (1987) to (2014) - all of the movies addresses some critique to corporations and their motives, but also explores humanity in non or once human beings. 

I, Robot - both the movie and the novel kinda explores the three laws of robotics that bioroids in androids are prescribed to; and how they break out of it.

 

Edited by HelloRPG

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3 hours ago, verdantsf said:

Blade Runner is a classic, but there's also Altered Carbon.

Altered Carbon is great if your setting has the concept of a digital self, basically an ability to download a being, or transport oneself digitally. Ghost in the Shell had a large degree of this too.

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I'm surprised so few have mentioned William Gibson, his work (Neuromancer, Burning Chrome, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive,) and that of Bruce Sterling (Mirrorshades,) is foundational to the cyberpunk genre.  For a little tongue-in-cheek action, Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash is sure to satisfy.  These folks wrote a short paper on it.

One could likely mine R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk2020 for material as well - that was my intro to gaming in a dystopian near-future.  Of course it's all a little antiquated now, charming really. 

 

 

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14 hours ago, themensch said:

I'm surprised so few have mentioned William Gibson, his work (Neuromancer, Burning Chrome, Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive,) and that of Bruce Sterling (Mirrorshades,) is foundational to the cyberpunk genre.  For a little tongue-in-cheek action, Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash is sure to satisfy.  These folks wrote a short paper on it.

One could likely mine R. Talsorian's Cyberpunk2020 for material as well - that was my intro to gaming in a dystopian near-future.  Of course it's all a little antiquated now, charming really. 

 

 

Oh yes. Seconding Snow Crash. I need to re-read that one soon.

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2 hours ago, CMtheGM said:

Dark Matter is a bit more space opera, but it definitely touches some of the themes. 

Some of the elements around the Two character especially. And the corporations behaviour.

Dark Matter has a great filming style, very underrated show.

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Although this might be a stretch, but the Alien-franchise, especially the first one, has some cyberpunk elements; the first film (1979) also shares the same universe with Blade Runner, as with the reference to Wayland-Yutani, etc. All films have powerful exo-stat corporations, androids, and workers at high risk & low compensated jobs as the background setting; although the action is focused on the xenomorph.  

It could work for android, as they too have outer colonies (although not outside of the solar system, I believe).

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2 hours ago, HelloRPG said:

Although this might be a stretch, but the Alien-franchise, especially the first one, has some cyberpunk elements; the first film (1979) also shares the same universe with Blade Runner, as with the reference to Wayland-Yutani, etc. All films have powerful exo-stat corporations, androids, and workers at high risk & low compensated jobs as the background setting; although the action is focused on the xenomorph.  

It could work for android, as they too have outer colonies (although not outside of the solar system, I believe).

Ooh, I didn't catch that connection.  The Aliens setting is definitely apt but might be a little far-future for some.  But the hard scifi elements would play out well I think, and especially the noir aesthetic. 

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Some more off beat examples: Dirty Pair - the Adam Warren comics specifically have some awesome cyberpunk themes. If you're okay with a bit of violence, "EDEN: It's an Endless World" might be an interesting read that fits.

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In addition to Snow Crash, I would add Stephenson's "The Diamond Age" to the list - it covers the more "ristie" side of the genre, but the story itself is centered on nanotechnology, and what happens when a contracted sensie actor helps save a girl by being her guardian through the medium of an interactive storybook.

And a sex cult that's used as a processing hub for a nanite swarm.

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Are we going to venture into transhumanism?  I'm not far enough into the setting to know how much it plays a role - I know there are g-mods but I'm not quite seeing that yet.  It seems like a natural progression from most unfailing cyberpunk dystopias where they seem to fall into A Brave New World with body-swapping.

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54 minutes ago, themensch said:

Are we going to venture into transhumanism?  I'm not far enough into the setting to know how much it plays a role - I know there are g-mods but I'm not quite seeing that yet.  It seems like a natural progression from most unfailing cyberpunk dystopias where they seem to fall into A Brave New World with body-swapping.

Body swapping seems like a near future possibility in Android.  There has been some success in mapping memories onto existing human brains, but side effects made it controversial and Jinteki is supposedly not currently engaged in human trials.  Major genetic modifications for survival in deep space or other planets/moon also seem to be just over the horizon.  

I think both these topics make for fine adventure hooks.  For example, a hiding NPC seems to have a multiple personality disorder.  Maybe he was a test subject at Jinteki.  They'd sure love to have him back.  But Haas Bioroid would like to use him as PR against their rival.  And some politician could sure use some leverage over Jinteki.  Is there some Luddite group that wants to spread fear of brain wiping and reprogramming?  This guy is a valuable and dangerous find.

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3 minutes ago, TheSapient said:

Body swapping seems like a near future possibility in Android.

Sure seems the setting's right on the cusp, so the source material for Eclipse Phase ( a great setting, wish I liked the system more ) would be pretty apt. 

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