A genre-punk dictionary
- Cyberpunk - Neon lights, mechanical body-horror, lots and lots of electronic junk lying around, tightly confined city slums, flying cars, androids, and last but not least, lots of grungy browns and grays. Bladerunner, Judge Dredd, Bubblegum Crisis etc.
- Dieselpunk - Similar to cyberpunk, but less about electronics and androids and more about internal combustion and industrial robots. Technology is less ubiquitous in this setting but when you see techology, it will be combustion powered in some way… or at least look like it should be. Expect grease stains and bits of sludge on everything. Final Fantasy VII (the original game only) is a prime example.
- Laserpunk - The Anti-Cyberpunk. Spotless with a lot of legroom. Expect glowing lines, fancy grooves, bright white glossy walls, and some shiny blues on everything. Everything in this setting has something that glows, even when it doesn’t need it. These are your Xenosaga’s, iRobot’s, Star Ocean’s.
- Garbagepunk - The kludgey cousin of steampunk. Everything in this setting, and I mean EVERY SINGLE THING, is made of trash. Goggles made of bottles, water filtration made of old oil drums and used coffee filters, etc. Mad Max, Deponia, Water World, etc.
- Steampunk - Steam power, leatherbound handles, brass fittings, lots of circles and rivets. I shouldn’t have to really clarify this one.
- Clockpunk - Steampunk but with clockworks instead of steam engines. Its a small difference, listed only for the reason that steampunk requires steam and clockpunk doesn’t always have it. Expect gears, cogs, wheels and springs.
- Codepunk - This one is difficult to pin down. Its less about the aesthetic and more about the concepts. This is a setting where everything that happens is related in some way to programming… Where the laws of physics are just functions being run with parameters, alterable by anyone with knowledge of how to access them. This is a setting where people do battle by compiling text that subtracts a number from the other person’s vital statistics variables, but that is what the world is actually made of, not just a game abstraction. Codepunk is characterized by parts of the world actually breaking down visibly into raw text. .hack//, Fate／Extra, the parts of the Matrix series we don’t get to watch where someone is actually typing on a keyboard to make things actually happen…( not that Neo-Morpheus crap. )
- Naturepunk - What happens when you invent modern or even futuristic technology without actually using any technology. Reclining armchairs made of sticks and moss. Aeroplane’s made of palm fronds and vines. If cavemen invented space travel. Everything is made of locally sourced natural components, but the level of technological advancement and sophistication isn’t necessarily diminished because of it. You might have all the classic weapons of war, guns and grenades and such, but made of curious growths. Mushrooms with highly flammable spores for example, instead of a grenade. While not the only example, the best I can actually think of is… The Flintstones. You might also consider many depictions of Atlantis under this category.
- Biopunk - Naturepunk’s heavy metal big sister. Everything is made of bone, meat, blood and teeth. Everything is either alive, or was alive at one time. Technology is either made of raw carcasses, or is actually some creature bred or engineered specifically to be used in the way a machine would. Don’t expect to see much inorganic material in generally anything. eXistenZ, generally anything that takes place inside another organism.