The BlackHammer CyberPunk Project

Thesis of Change
An argument defending the systems for Humanity Loss and Cyberpsychosis by Denise Robinson
R I T E S   O F   T R A N S F O R M A T I O N : More Than Meets the Eye

I've been poking through your Cyberpunk mailing list (the CPML), and wanted to add my 2cents re. people griping that the cyberpsychosis rules in CP are merely a game mechanic, and aren't realistic.

I agree with your argument that until clinical trials are held, it will be difficult to gauge what realistic effects will be had. Until then, we can extrapolate from what we have now, and I offer the following examples:

Tattoos and Body Piercing. Over the years, we've had thousands of clients get pierced or tattooed, and comments such as, "I feel so much stronger now", "I know it's just a little ring in my belly, but I feel much better about myself now" were not uncommon. And many of these people were discriminated against because of their appearance. Many of these people were marking their belonging to a certain subculture or group, and thus distinguishing themselves from other groups. Once they got one piercing or tattoo, they would come back for more saying how "addictive" they were. Whenever they had a photograph taken of them, they'd have to stick out their tongue to show their piercing or roll up their sleeve to show their ink. Others would play constantly with their tongue jewellery to the point of pissing off friends or coworkers. Some would scrimp and save every paycheck so they could get more metal, better metal, shinier metal, or more ink, brighter colours. They'd start to come into the shop more than once a week worried that their piercing was getting infected. Or come in and moan and groan about how they got fired because they had a piercing or tattoo (not because they were chronically late or lazy).

Is it just me, or does this sound like classic Egotism, Alienation, Obsession, and Paranoia? Why is it SO difficult for people to accept that knowingly changing your body changes the mind and spirit? I guess the whole Modern Primitive thang is foreign to these guys, having not experienced it, so they can't possibly understand- their thought processes are too mired in western-judeo-Xian ruts to jump out. Too bad.

Hmmm- maybe they'd appreciate looking at it from the other viewpoint- of a clicical disorder like self-mutilation. It is a psychiatric condition where people cut or harm themselves in order to make themselves feel better about their bodies, exerting control over them, or making their bodies look and feel better. What kind of special someone does it take to voluntarily cut off an arm for these same ends?

Many people who have had amputations feel as though they have lost a part of themselves when they lost a pinkie, toe, etc. Think of the effects people experience after vasectomies or hysterectomies! Flesh and bone can never TRULY be replaced by plastic and metal.

There are plenty of examples in modern psychiatry today of people who claim that their dental implants contain tracking devices, or of the government tracking us through microchips in our money. Sure, these aren't the most balanced people to begin with, but give them some good ol' edgerunner stress and environment, and you're looking at some cyberpsychosis potential.

But first and foremost, I wish people would remember that it is CYBERPUNK, and it is a GAME. Cyberpunk is the exploration of a dark future in which the clash between metal and meat is explored. And games need rules. And these rules work (with some tweaking).


Denise Robinson is a retired Body Artist who has pierced thousands of navels across North America during her career, and welcomes your rebuttals, comments, flowers or worship.