Cyberpunk 2077 Social Class & Night City

Cyberpunk 2077 Social Class & Night City


One of the most important elements which determine
the level of immersion that a player will experience in Cyberpunk 2077, will be the
interactions between V and the inhabitants of Night City. Suffice to say, Cyberpunk 2020
contains a cornucopia of characters that CDPR can add to Cyberpunk 2077 game that emulate a social
hierarchy not to dissimilar from our own. When writing the source material for Cyberpunk
2020, Mike Pondsmith aptly used the analogy of a coral reef to represent the diversity
of life one shall meet on the streets of Night City. Just like a coral reef, each area of
Night City has its own type of native lifeform. Some are secretive and deadly such as sharks,
others wrap themselves in camouflage to get the jump on their prey, some like hermit crabs
take their heavy armour and weapons wherever they go. In Cyberpunk 2020, the populace can
be broadly demarcated into seven distinct types, many of whom one can expect to make
an appearance in Cyberpunk 2077. These are Powerdealers, Corpzoners, Movers, Edgerunners,
Mallplexers, Beavers & Streetscum. Powerdealers without doubt are top of the
food chain in the Cyberpunk world. Elusive and secretive, they represent the CEO’s of
the Megacorporation’s or world-famous media personalities, and those that pull the strings
behind international politics. As the social elite, they are always surrounded by an impressive
entourage & security detail. These individuals live lives filled with unimaginable extravagance,
treat themselves to the best that money can buy, eating luxurious organic food, attending
concerts, expensive banquets or indulging themselves with bioengineered sex toys. Most
Powerdealers are found living in penthouses of the towering monoliths of Night City’s
Corporate centre. While Powerdealers exert their influence internationally,
it is the Corpzoners who manage the running of the corporations on a national level. These
individuals also live in the Corporate Zone of Night City, albeit not in the extravagant
penthouses that the Powerdealers reside in. Their lifestyle is elegant and on the cutting
edge, with many having personal servants, fitness trainers, maids and bodyguards. Corpzoners
often have contracts with private protection firms such as Arasaka security. Their past
times include attending galleries, restaurants, playing tennis and recreational drug use.
On the fringe of the corporate zone where more affordable apartments are found, are
those commonly referred to as Movers. Typically, these are the individuals that are on the
lowest rung of the corporate ladder. Movers neither have the finances or time for the
ostentatious lifestyle of the Powerdealer’s and Corpzoners. In line with the Red Queen
Hypothesis, a Mover typically spends most of their time working for an advancement opportunity
or to ensure they do not fall off the corporate ladder.
The next level of social hierarchy is occupied by the Edgerunners, also known as the Cyberpunks,
whom no doubt you will become intimately familiar with during your time in Cyberpunk 2077. Edgerunners
are the most heterogenous group in the Cyberpunk narrative and often the characteristic that
defines them is their unorthodox lifestyles. Their occupations cover the full spectrum
of activities, smuggling, assassination, netrunning or more artistic endeavours such as musicians
or entertainers. Capricious in nature, one month an Edgerunner can be highly successful
enjoying the pleasures of organic food or erotic braindances, while the next month it
maybe dining upon roasted rat kebabs. In contrast to the Edgerunners we have the
mundane Mallplexers. A Mallplexer is the Cyberpunk equivalent of the middle class. Miserable
corporate slaves who spend their life in economic bondage. The name Mallplexer is derived from
Mega shopping malls that the middle class reside in. Originally these were heavily secured
urban shopping malls, but over time underwent modification with the addition of office towers
and residential apartments. Because of the high degree of security, they afford to the
inhabitants, Mallplexes generally survived the collapse of American society. However,
their popularity meant competition for space became intense. Inhabitants typically live
in a single room with bathroom facilities and these are often shared with others. The
middle class do mundane jobs such as sales, clerical or service positions, or simply flipping
burgers to make a living. Beavers, the moniker is derived from the derogatory
street slang “Leave it to Beaver”. Perhaps a reference to an old American television
sitcom. Beavers are another form of middle class worker, although in contrast to the
Mallplexers, they live in corporate owned and controlled housing developments on the
outskirts of Night City’s Urban Area. There are several Beavervilles, such as WestWind
Estates in Pacifica, Apple Corporate Valley in Heywood and Executive Estates in Westbrook.
They are all connected to the Corporate Centre by private maglev lines. Life in a Beaverville
tends to clean, quiet and far more family friendly than the Mallplex.
The final category is the Streetscum. The moniker is self-explanatory. Too poor to afford
rent in a Mallplex, Streetscum are forced to live in the Combat Zone in decaying dilapidated
tenements. The alternatives are coffins, cube like structures which are nothing more than
sleeping modules for the homeless. The Combat Zone is where you will find the most notorious
gangs, cultists, dorphers, killers and other deviants. Security is non-existent, with the
corporations only occasionally sending in a squad to clean up things to prevent trouble
spending to other parts of Night City. Typically, a Streetscum’s sustenance revolves around
kibble and the epitome of fine cuisine the infamous roasted rat. It will be interesting
if CDPR expand on the list of rodent recipes! I am Kazuliski and I hope you found this succinct
discussion on the potential social hierarchy in Cyberpunk 2077 to be informative.
Thank you for watching!

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9 thoughts on “Cyberpunk 2077 Social Class & Night City

  1. Great video series. Would love to see future videos covering weapons and bio enhancements (like the metallic lining we see on a lot of people’s skin in the trailer).

  2. I´m watching all your videos on Cyberpunk 2077 and i´m impressed by the good work brother, your knowledge of the subject is deep, you sound like a profissional cyber-scholar hehehehehehehe!
    It´s very entertaining also, i like to dive deep in a games lore, if it is game that has such level of scripting, and your work is making me love CP2077 even more.
    Thank you so much!

  3. I'm guessing there will be the choice to climb the corp ladder somewhat in Cyberpunk 2077…
    The convo with Stout at the end of the gameplay demo seems to allude to it. Then again, I maybe dead wrong.

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