Dystopias are often referred in literature, as futuristic societies that have taken a turn for the worse evolving into a repressive and controlled state. Dystopian literature is most often characterized as warnings to society, it shows possible outcomes of our society if we continue to live how we do. Dystopian societies often explore different scenarios of us humans abusing technology and look to how we both as individuals and a collective society handle the rapid evolvement of technology. They are often associated with the privations of corporations, lack of personal freedoms attempting to create a homogeneous society, as well as political oppression, and/or constant discrimination based on factors such as gender, social class or age.
Dystopias in Cyberpunk
Dystopias are a central theme in the cyberpunk genre. It often reflects the break down of Western Industrialized societies. The driving forces behind the dystopian societies lie in the dark consequences of humans and their strive for material goods, rapid development and use of technology and globalization. Most often, the cyberpunk societies used are viewed as dystopias formed from capitalist societies where large corporations driven by economical interests hold the power rather than national governments. Another effect of this is how the exploitation of resources has left the environment at a miserable state making it almost inhabitable.
In some cases, dystopias represent a warning of what the future might hold. In other cases, they are simply the result of the natural progression of human life. In both cases, though, they present a stark possible reality that should be avoided at all costs. Situations such as these are presented in almost all the readings for the class.