Cyberpunk has always been a sub-genre of science fiction that has captivated audiences due to its grittiness, dystopian futurism, and exploration of society’s relationship with technology. Recently, the popularity of cyberpunk has surged due to the release of games like Cyberpunk 2077 and movies like Blade Runner 2049. But with the rise of this popularity comes the emergence of a new term – Cyberpuke.

What is Cyberpuke?

Cyberpuke is a term coined by those who are critical of the new wave of cyberpunk media that has been released in recent years. It is used to describe a shallow and superficial interpretation of the genre, often characterized by an obsession with style over substance.

Cyberpuke can be seen as a bastardization of cyberpunk, a genre that was originally intended to explore the darker side of technology and its impact on society. It is often characterized by an over-reliance on aesthetics that superficially evoke the genre’s tropes but fail to deliver any meaningful exploration of them.

Examples of Cyberpuke media can be seen in the latest iteration of Cyberpunk 2077, which promises a rich and complex world filled with depth and nuance but ultimately fails to deliver on these promises. This game, which was hyped up to be a revolutionary masterpiece, falls short on substance, focusing instead on flashy graphics and superficial world-building. Another example can be seen in the film Upgrade, which has been criticized for its lack of meaningful exploration of the themes that it touches upon.

Why Cyberpuke is a Problem

The rise of Cyberpuke is problematic because it dilutes the essence of cyberpunk. Cyberpunk was a genre that was intended to challenge our expectations of technology and its impact on society. It was meant to explore the darker side of technology and its potential to lead us down a dystopian path. Cyberpuke, on the other hand, seeks to exploit the superficial aspects of cyberpunk to create an aesthetic that lacks depth or substance.

This lack of depth leads to a shallow interpretation of the genre, one that fails to challenge our assumptions about technology and the future. Cyberpuke media often focuses on aesthetics rather than substance, a trend that is ultimately detrimental to the genre as a whole. The genre was never meant to be a simple aesthetic, but rather a warning about the dangers of technological progress.

Cyberpuke media is also problematic because it perpetuates the idea that we can consume the future as a product, rather than critically engaging with it. It reinforces the notion that we can simply accessorize with the future rather than engaging with it in a meaningful and thoughtful way. This leads to a fatalistic worldview that is unable to grapple with the challenges and opportunities that technology presents.

The Future of Cyberpunk

Despite the rise of Cyberpuke, there is still hope for the future of cyberpunk. The genre has always been inherently flexible, allowing for a wide range of interpretations and explorations. The key to the future of the genre lies in creating media that takes the genre seriously and is willing to engage with its themes in a meaningful and substantive way.

One way to do this is to focus on telling stories that explore the impact of technology on society, rather than simply using it as a backdrop for flashy action scenes. This requires a willingness to engage with the complexities of the world that cyberpunk presents, while also being willing to experiment with new modes of storytelling.

Another way to ensure the future of cyberpunk is to engage with the history of the genre. Cyberpunk has a rich and complex history, one that is filled with nuance and depth. Engaging with this history can help creators to avoid the pitfalls of Cyberpuke, while also creating stories that are true to the spirit of the genre.


Cyberpuke is a term that has emerged out of a justified frustration with the new wave of cyberpunk media that has been released in recent years. It is characterized by a focus on style over substance, leading to a shallow interpretation of the genre. Despite this, the genre still has a bright future ahead of it. By engaging with the themes and history of the genre, creators can ensure that cyberpunk remains a vital and meaningful medium for exploring the complexities of technology and society.

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