Cyberpunk's Asian representation problem


#128

my kids get annoyed when i refer to things like the Tokyo Olympics as “coming in the amazing future year 2020.”


#131

Of course, we might be indulging in stereotypes to assume that we know what sex or race a person might be, simply by gazing upon them.

All well and good on the comment box but then again, I have not seen anyone that “looks like me” being a cyberpunk protagonist represented in-the-flesh… so one reading of this statement might be… I am “free to read” White people as Asian? Awfully convoluted answer to a simple task of representation—in some ways a fundamentally shallow task, compounded by the false promise that cyberpunk futures being depicted are sold to me as pluralistic, post-racial, and global.

That is to say, it’s really not that much to ask to have the shallow reality that someone in-the-flesh who “looks like me” (no matter what their interiority is) gets to be a protagonist on screen. If this were true right now, I’d have no complaints that white looking people identify with Asian culture…


#133

That’s not entirely accurate - we have flat screens and tablets.
Yay.


#134

I like to call the Olympic Games the IDPSM -
International display of proceedings in sports medicine.


#135

The very least of what was envisioned; whoo-ha.


#136

That GIF makes me sad, if only that it makes me think about two local Fox boys who got way too sick, way too young.


#137

I always thought those building were based off Ziggurats? But I guess they serve a similar purpose to the Aztec ones.

@atl or “2020, the year Trump was re-elected for the second of his 9 terms in office.” Yeah, I’m a friggin’ dystopian.


#138

But a lot of the characters are replicants so maybe its just that nobody is making Asian replicants.


#139

Oddly enough, I found the presence of a character named “Doctor Badger” to be very memorable despite the screen time. But then I would, wouldn’t I?


#140

Well, they have been using Akira in promotional materials: https://kotaku.com/the-tokyo-olympics-is-embracing-the-akira-anime-1797219571


#141

I haven’t seen it brought up yet, but as far as cyberpunk writing goes, it’s a case of combining what the author thinks the future will be like with characters the author himself or herself can relate to. Case in Neuromancer and Turner in Count Zero reflect this, in that they come from roughly the same part of the USA that William Gibson himself knew best. And I feel it is understandable, as he probably didn’t think he could pull off non-American characters without them being caricatures, at least not at that stage of his writing career.

So yeah, it was a problem in the sense of trying to show a different dominant culture, but rooting characters in more familiar backgrounds. And a lot of wannabes just copying his aesthetic. That’s my take.


#142

So sorta related. Friend of mine commented that all the replicants seen were white as well, including the “fresh” one and the ones in the “museum”. I was like, “Yeah, well, they are basically slaves. Sooo not sure one would want to portray them as anything else given the history.”

Also, was I the only one who squealed when Olmos made a cameo? I have his autograph, and we talked a little about his role, but I ended up getting a Com. Adama photo signed. He has the neatest penmanship!


#143

I did think about this yesterday. The animated prequel does star a black replicant though so there’s that i suppose.


#144

I still need to check that out. Its on Crunchy Roll, right?


#145

It’s on Youtube now :slight_smile:


#146

I did not know that LA had such rain and snow.


#147

ISTR than in one of Gibson’s books, there are a couple of central Asian car mechanics throat singing…


#148

This I don’t recall.


#149

I believe it was in Virtual Light but I may very well be miss-remembering.


#150

Maybe, but how would we know where they are from?