Cyberpunk 2077 is a contemporary game (2020) that allows a player to explore a vast world filled with multiple quests, with some ultimately affecting the storyline of the central protagonist, V.
V (in a light-brown jacket) as a male if the player decides to choose the male protagonist.
Cyberpunk 2077 offers players to explore various futuristic technologies wrapped around its intrinsic universe, for example brain-dance. It resembles VR technology that we have today, allowing people within the Cyberpunk universe to watch films and play games, but it is more advanced as one may think, to the point where a person using it can presumably feel the same emotions as the person recording that movie.
Nevertheless, the main concept that follows players throughout the game are Cyber-Implants, like cyber-eyes and cyber-hands.
Johnny Silverhand and his Cybernetic arm.
Almost everyone in the game has some sort of cybernetic implant(s) in their body which helps them in their day-to-day life. This concept looks astonishing in the game, leading some inveterate players to wonder if we have something similar in the real world. The next few paragraphs shall offer some examples of implants that exist in the real world and a summary of how they function.
Implants and Prosthetics in our world:
By 2020, the world had already witnessed the successful creation of several implants and prosthetics that were tested and now are being widely used by humans (and on rare occasions, by animals). Here are two examples:
I. An implant for hearing:
To restore or enhance the hearing ability, a cochlear implant is used. It is a small electronic device that electrically stimulates the cochlear nerve (nerve for hearing) which restores an individual’s hearing ability. The external part is placed behind the pinna (as can be seen in the picture below) and the internal part is placed under the skin behind the ear. The wire sends signals to the cochlear nerve which directs sound information to the brain to produce a hearing sensation (Johns Hopkins Medicine, 2021).
The Cochlear implant
II. Implants for Limbs:
Prosthetic limbs can replace lost limbs like a prosthetic arm or hand. Additionally, there are different types of these that are available in the market. For instance, in the United States, if you do not have an insurance, you can expect to pay around 5000$ for a cosmetic prosthetic; up to 10000$ for a functional prosthetic; and between 20000$ to 100000$ for a myoelectric arm which is a very recent technological advancement. While it is fairly straight-forward to understand the function of the first two, the myoelectric arm takes technology to another level. It is possible to control it with the electrical signals generated naturally by peoples’ own muscles (Ottobock, 2020).
As stated above the concept of prosthetics and implants is very popular in the Cyberpunk universe, however the reason why it is so gruesome. The streets of the game are swamped with weapons and drugs, augmenting the susceptibility to get hurt in this dangerous environment. Therefore, it is relatively easier to buy prosthetics and implants in the game, so that people could stay functional even if they get (or are) physically disabled. In our world, however, we do not feel the need to be in constant awareness of a similar danger (as experienced by the characters of the game) and, thus, implants and prosthetics is not the commonest thing we think about. And so, it would be feasible to conclude that one of the things that the game tries to apprise is that a ‘bad peace is better than a good war’.
John Hopkins Medicine. (2021). Cochlear Implant Surgery. Retrieved January 8, 2021. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/cochlear-implant-surgery#:~:text=A%20cochlear%20implant%20is%20a,internal%20part%20of%20the%20implant
Ottobock. (2020). Myoelectric prosthetics 101. Retrieved January 8, 2021. https://www.ottobockus.com/prosthetics/info-for-new-amputees/prosthetics-101/myoelectric-prosthetics-101/