Cyberpunk, to me, has always been a genre about people living in a stagnant society brought upon them by mega-corporations, trained to display a performative apathy towards everyone and everything in order to easily and without question participate in a capitalist machine that really hasn’t made any remarkable advancements in recent memory, but that controls so much wealth theres no other way for anyone to function.
But eventually these people find little things. Relationships, work, a cause etc. to care for and hold on to in a world that hates them, and maybe (just maybe) they start to change it little by little, at the very least at a small scale. Maybe for their communities, or for their families and friends.
In a way, the genre kind of relies on that stagnant attitude towards society. It allows the characters living on the fringes to come forward and become the heroes, but maybe it also makes the genre stagnant, and I think when genre becomes stagnant people start losing it’s messages, and it becomes purely aesthetic. Which I think is where we get Post-Cyberpunk. If Cyberpunk is a genre about learning to care, we need stories that take that second step and are about learning to act.
Edit: it’s pretty late where I’m at and my thoughts are pretty muddled on the whole thing, so sorry that this kind of reads like rambling. But I really like Cyberpunk and I’m endlessly frustrated by people who seem to ignore a lot of it’s messages because they think neon or flying cars are cool or whatever and don’t try to ask any new questions with neon and flying cars.