Cyberpunk refers to both a culture and a genre. It’s science fiction that features advanced science and technology in an urban, dystopian future.
Cyberpunk is also a culture attitude and a distinct style. Anti-authoritarian, brand-averse, and tech-literate.
But what is the reasoning being the mass interest in cyberpunk culture? and how does this genre relate to the relationship between media, audience, and place?
My aim is to research this phenomenon to answer these questions and discover possible causations and effects.
Pitch for how I intend to complete this research:
Firstly where does Cyberpunk exist in media spaces?
- Online gaming (steam platform)
- Fashion and lifestyle ( careers in cyberpunk)
Investigation of culture through an in-depth study of the members: involving systematic correlation, description, and analysis of data for development of theories of cultural behavior. For example, Observation.
There a number of online chat rooms and forums I could actively observe or passively observe for an extended period of time. If I was to be active I would participate in their conversations and directly ask the users why they are interested in this media, how they interact etc. If I was to be passive I could observe users public conversations and interactions without becoming involved. For either of these research methods, I would have to make it clear to the people I’m observing what I’m doing and my intentions.
Another form of observative research could be fully involving myself in the culture by playing the games, watching the films, reading the books etc. This would allow me to analyze my own response to the culture. The downside to this kind of research would be personal bias, but if my response matched to other individuals it could assist me in fully understanding the subject through personal experience.
The purpose for this kind of research is attempting to understand what is happening naturally in the environment.
Interviews are another form of ethnographic research I could use, I intend to conduct at least 15-25 interviews to get a broad range of answers.
Some of the possible interview questions:
- What interests you about cyberpunk culture?
- Which media form would you mostly involve yourself in and why?
- How do you access that platform?
- Is your experience a mostly individual or a group activity, if it’s a group activity who are you with?
- Age group, gender, location?
- Where are you usually located when interacting with cyberpunk culture
- Is your expense mainly on or offline?
- Have new forms of media and interaction changed how you’re involved?
- Are you a passive or active audience?
Lastly, I could use a correlation research method:
Correlation research is a statistical study of relationships between multiple variables, for example, an online survey. For an online survey on this topic, I would have similar question to the interview question but the survey will allow me to gather mass data efficiently. But one disadvantage could be bias due to individuals having to use the self-report method.
For all the research methods I use involving people I’m obligated to inform them the purpose of the research and where it will be used to ensure I have no objections to using their personal information.
Using similar research methods and results from these methods it will be interesting to answer questions such as:
- How has the way we audience and use media changed based on time and distance?
- Has the relationship between audiences, media, and place changed based on these new forms of culture or have these cultures changed them?
- Who is involved, why they are involved and how they are involved? and if there is any correlation in the types of groups involved and whether they are involved because of the access they have?
- What effect do these cultures have on the general audiences and media’s?
Who will benefit from this research?
- Promotional companies interesting in know how and who to market to in oder to sell any cyberpunk merchandise or products.
- Developers of cyberpunk culture media
Krishnakumar (2017). Types of Research. [online] Slideshare.net. Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/vaisalik/types-of-research [Accessed 19 Aug. 2017].
Neon Dystopia. (2017). What is Cyberpunk? | Neon Dystopia. [online] Available at: https://www.neondystopia.com/what-is-cyberpunk/ [Accessed 17 Aug. 2017].
Petkovic, V., Dick, P. and Gibson, W. (2017). Cyberpunk. [online] DeviantArt. Available at: https://www.deviantart.com/art/Cyberpunk-420524793 [Accessed 21 Aug. 2017].