The gritty, unrestricted yet confined world of Cyberpunk 2077 is starting to crawl under my skin with its dark promise of escape. I’ve been following the games development since its inception by the cyberpunk overlord, Mike Pondsmith. (Take a look at "Cyberpunk, more than high tech and low life" to understand what the genre is about). The latest bit of insanity to escape from the Cyberpunk 2077 community revolves around the concept of braindancing. The best way for me to explain what braindancing is, is to liken it to surfing through a mind.
That mind can belong to anyone.
Masos, a Cyberpunk 2077 forum user explains braindancing. “Braindances are digital recordings of a person’s experience. The viewer can stream a braindance directly into his neural system via special brain augmentations, called a BD player. Braindances allow the viewer to experience all brain processes registered, including emotions, muscle movements and all stimuli perceived by the recording person.“
It reminds me of the concept of memory manipulation that we see in Remember Me. The difference in Cyberpunk 2077 seems to be that braindancing is used as a form of entertainment, whereas in Remember Me it is used to steal information from a person’s mind. In the world of Cyberpunk 2077, brandancing can take you into the dark abyss of a serial killers mind, or you can take a flight of ecstasy through the mind of a user high on “e”.
According to Masos “The range of themes of these recordings varies from simple braindances made by mega corporations, which e.g. allow the viewer to feel the full experience of an explorer with all its thrills, sweats, smells, views, sounds and the real feeling of curiosity that pushes men to go beyond the horizon against fear and physical weakness. But there are also more controversial sides of braindance, because some recordings are created illegally in the underground. Entering the mind of a serial killer means not only seeing the monstrosity he performs, but also living his lust to kill and fulfillment. This is the world of 2077. The gap between high and low is bigger than ever. Drugs, violence, braindance, psychos on the loose…
Will you be able to function in this defunct society or end up a BD-junky with nothing left, set aside like garbage - still living someone’s else life – not aware of what’s going on around you? Whether you like it or not - this is the age of braindance decadence; this is Cyberpunk 2077.”
Source: Cyberpunk 2077
Are we ready for gaming that explores the underbelly of human nature to the extend where we have a multimedia experience that could include rape, murder and ecstasy of the wildest kind?
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