[RPG] Justifications for the existence of cyberpsychosis


Several games (Cyberpunk, for one) have an effect like cyberpsychosis (defined here as "a psychotic aberration suffered by excessive users of cyberware"). Others, such as Eclipse Phase, consider augmentation a natural state of being for humans.

Are there any reasons why cybernetics/augmentations would cause psychosis, apart from game balance?

Best Answer

Well, from a literary standpoint, I'd say it's because the games you mentioned represent specific genres in which the concept of cyber psychosis does or does not fit.

The cyberpunk genre is one in which, despite considerable technological change, human nature is proven again and again to be a nearly-unchangeable constant. This makes for some awesome 'human' stories in which cyber psychosis is both a way of preventing characters from straying too far from the human norm, and as a metaphor for becoming 'increasingly inhuman' as a natural consequnce of refusing to accept the natural limits of being mortal.

The transhumanism genre, of which Eclipse Phase is an example, is by contrast all about exploring the consequences that occur when the what it is to be human is sucessfully altered. As a result, any negative consequnces of augmentations in Eclipse Phase are usually the unforseen consequences of their use, and the effects they have on the relationship between the character and the world.

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