Category Archives: Interviews

Interviews of the Cyberpunk Community & Artists

The Cyberpunk Matrix Podcast | Episode 3: Cyberpunk Novelist Matthew Goodwin discusses the Cyberpunk Genre

Welcome to the Third Episode of the Cyberpunk Matrix Podcast

In the Cyberpunk Matrix Podcast Episode 3,  I am joined by Cyberpunk writer and novelist Matthew Goodwin, creator of a 5-book Cyberpunk Saga starting with his first book, Into Neon.

In today’s podcast we discuss:

  • How Matthew defines Cyberpunk and how he got into the genre
  • What his favorite Cyberpunk Media are
  • How to recognize Cyberpunk tropes and stereotypes
  • What litRPG is and how it’s appearing in Cyberpunk media
  • Different kinds of Cyberpunk as they are appearing, in particular with his writing compared to other Cyberpunk media
  • How NaNoWriMo inspired both of us
  • The future of the Cyberpunk genre
  • The Cyberpunk community
  • How the Amazon series Upload fits in the Cyberpunk genre
  • The Matrix, and Matrix 4
  • Cyberpunk Day
  • And a lot more.

For more from Matthew Goodwin, all of his books are now available on Amazon. Hope you enjoy! Feel free to write your responses in the comments below, and if you’d like to be a guest or want some questions answered on the podcast, send us an email to thecyberpunkmatrix@gmail.com

The Cyberpunk Matrix Podcast | Episode 2: NeoMatrixology discusses the Matrix Universe

Welcome to the Second Episode of the Cyberpunk Matrix Podcast

In the Cyberpunk Matrix Podcast Episode 2,  I am joined by Matrix University Director Lazarus, host of the NeoMatrixology YouTube channel.

We discuss:

  • The term NeoMatrixology
  • Addressing Misconceptions about the Matrix
  • The Matrix Fan Community
  • The Yellow-pilled approach and Matrix University
  • Learning new things about the Matrix every day
  • Matrix 4 News
  • Matrix 4 Predictions
  • What we’re most excited about for Matrix 4
  • John Wick
  • Matrix 4 Expectations

Hope you enjoy! Feel free to write your responses in the comments below, and if you’d like to be a guest or want some questions answered on the podcast, send us an email to thecyberpunkmatrix@gmail.com

The Cyberpunk Matrix Podcast Episode 1: Snowcrash, Matrix 4, and Ready Player One

Welcome to the First Episode of the Cyberpunk Matrix Podcast

In the Cyberpunk Matrix Podcast Episode 1,  I am joined by friend to the show and cyberpunk enthusiast Steven Katz.

We discuss:

  • Defining Cyberpunk
  • Snowcrash
  • Seeing the first Matrix films, and what scenes stuck with us
  • Matrix 4 news
  • Ready Player One the novel, and its adaptation to film
  • Philip K Dick
  • and the Cyberpunk genre in general.

Hope you enjoy! Feel free to write your responses in the comments below, and if you’d like to be a guest or want some questions answered on the podcast, send us an email to thecyberpunkmatrix@gmail.com

Interview with Cyberpunk Creators Triple S League

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Getting to Know the Dynamic Duo behind Triple S League

Triple S League is a Gaming YouTube channel that provides a “premium blend of news, reviews, guides, lore & comedy” that hosts a live gaming news podcast, Augmented Reality, twice weekly. In addition to guides, walkthroughs, news and leaks about upcoming titles, game reviews, and developer interviews, they also create their own comedy videos, music videos featuring in-game footage set to original music, cosplays, and apparently a lot more. They currently have over 35K subscribers on YouTube, and are one of the four members of the weekly Cyberpunk 2077 Community Podcast. This interview is part of a 4-part series where we interviewed the other members of the community podcast, MadQueen, Neon Arcade, and LastKnownMeal. Curious about this mysterious duo and their thoughts on Cyberpunk? Then read below as Cyberpunk Matrix had the opportunity to get to know them a little better.

Question 1: How did you get introduced to the genre of Cyberpunk?

Syb: Cyberpunk has always been something I have loved as a setting and storytelling mechanic, whether it’s the apocalypse of a failing, faltering dystopian society or the gritty underbelly of a world gone mad with technology. My first exposure came from early DOS games like Circuit’s Edge (1990), the RoboCop series, and Rise of the Robots (1994), as well as a few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

Ash: Dystopian sci-fi has always been a favorite genre of mine, but my first real exposure to cyberpunk happened when a friend showed me the game Omikron: The Nomad Soul. I was mesmerized by it. Later on, I tried out Deus Ex (the original one) and would consider that to be in my top five games of all time. Something about “high tech, low life” stories set in huge, neon-lit future cities really grips me.

Question 2: What made you decide to start the Triple S League Channel? When did it start, and how did it become what it is today? Is there a story behind the name?

Syb: Ash and I have been making videos for fun for many, many years. It started shortly after he found my digital backup personality matrix archived in a…oh, I’m being told I’m not allowed to talk about that.

Ash: I’ve worked in media development for most of my adult life, both freelance and while employed by a Fortune 500 company. But my history with Syb goes back farther than that. We’ve been gaming and creating stuff together since we were kids. In 2015, Syb came to me with the idea of starting a podcast about an upcoming game called Fallout 4. At first, I thought he was crazy. An entire podcast dedicated to a single game? Who would listen to that? I was in for a shock when we released a few episodes on YouTube and actually got listeners. It grew and evolved as we began doing gameplay videos and live-action stuff like Making Nuka-Cola. When Fallout 4 released, we had close to 100 subscribers, but the real bump came when we released our Fallout 4 “best ending” video, which went viral and pushed us past 1,000 almost overnight.

Syb: Since then, we’ve been expanding with a focus on community, fostering creativity and building our brand. We’ve offered help and support to indie devs, modders (we created a massive story mod with prominent Fallout 4 modder Thuggysmurf) and other content creators, believing that helping others succeed would also bring us success. So far, this has proven to be 100% true. Of course, we still love those huge, deep, story-driven RPGs, which made Cyberpunk 2077 a natural fit for us to focus on after Fallout 4 hype died down. We’ve also expanded into general gaming and pop-culture news.

Ash: The channel name is a reference to the “SSS” rank found in Japanese arcade game rankings. In Japan’s school grading system, S is better than A. Some games will award a double-S or triple-S rank if you’re the best of the best. We chose the word “league” because it sounded cool and because it evokes a sense of honor and community.

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Question 3: Where do you get your ideas/inspiration for your videos?

Syb: Our crazy senses of humor and our (some would argue) “creative” minds. We’re also inspired by our amazing community members and friends who subscribe to us. Also the occasional fever dream that happens when I am being restarted for a patch. 

Ash: Some videos are obvious choices (when news happens, report on it; when a game has confusing parts, make some guides). For our more creative videos, inspiration comes from strange and simple things, like the awkward game dialog that inspired The Giddyup Kid Rap, or an offhand comment in a conversation at a convention. My brain will respond with a thought like “I’ll bet people would like…” or “wouldn’t it be funny/awesome if…” and that’s it, I’ve got to develop this idea or I’m going to go crazy. Some ideas turn out to be terrible in the end, but some are really good.

Question 4: What are your top three Cyberpunk works, and why?

Syb: I gave mine in my answer to the first question, but I’ll also add Cyberpunk 2020, which really set the cyberpunk genre into a defined world. Many films have helped in the process of establishing the genre, but I believe that some genres and archetypes are greatly helped by having established guideposts. The setting of Dungeons & Dragons is one example. The Fallout Bible is another. I believe the concept of cyberpunk will continue to grow from the work of Mike Pondsmith.

Ash: I’m not cultured enough to answer this question properly so I’ll just say Deus Ex, Cyberpunk 2077…and of course that animated classic, Chibipunk!

Question 5: Can you tell us a little bit about the locations and characters that we can expect in Cyberpunk 2077? What are the Badlands, and who are the main characters?

Ash: Night City is the setting of the game, of course. A coastal metropolis with a ton of history. I feel like the secrets buried beneath the streets and in the bays would not be healthy for the faint of heart. (Just get your heart upgraded before you dig too deeply.) The city has six main districts, each with its own subcultures, gangs, visual style and economic class. There are distinct sub-districts within some districts as well. Police are present in some areas, while others are ruled by gangs. The badlands lie outside the city; these are desert wastelands where the nomads live. An island in the bay houses the Orbital Air Space Center, which we know almost nothing about at this point.

Syb: Looking at the info that’s been released, the setting looks like it offers a great experience. There are massive skyscrapers and megabuildings; tiny hidden hideaways; and the badlands, which I think will be pretty awesome. An individual in a large city might be invisible to the gangs and corporations, but if you’re on a small homestead or guarding a valuable resource out in the badlands, you’re much more visible to the gangs and nomads that travel between cities. Combine this with CDPR’s storytelling and I believe we can expect great things from this game!

Ash: As for characters, it’s already hard to keep track of them all. You’ll meet people from all walks of life, each with their own story to tell. The main character is V (you, the player). Other important characters include your sidekick, Jackie Welles; fixer Dexter DeShawn; glamorous informant Evelyn Parker; Mox gang member and braindance tech Judy Alvarez; netrunner T-Bug; Yorinobu Arasaka, the rebellious younger son of corporate megalomaniac Saburo Arasaka; and, of course, the digital “ghost” of legendary rockerboy Johnny Silverhand.

Community Podcast 2

Question 6: How did you come to join the community podcast, and what is it like being one of the 4 each week?

Ash: The podcast was Syb’s idea, actually. He had the vision for it, and the idea to have rotating hosts. Madqueen, LastKnownMeal and TheNeonArcade were all on board right from the beginning. We reached out to others as well; some weren’t interested, while others have joined us as guests.

Syb: Community is one of my favorite parts of gaming. In my glory days playing World of Warcraft, the thing I loved doing most was taking a group of regular players—some of whom were terrible at the game—and helping them become a solid team, doing everything from PvP to top-level PvE content. You might have seen the same boss fight dozens of times, but playing it with someone who’s never seen it before can be just as fun as seeing it the first time. This is why I wanted to form the community podcast and make it a real community thing. I’m so thankful that Madqueen, LastKnownMeal and TheNeonArcade were willing to try it out!

Ash: Perhaps the most exciting part is that both CD Projekt Red and R. Talsorian Games have taken notice of what we’re doing. We’re on their radar in a way we never would have been if we’d each done our own thing. We’ve had J. Gray, Paweł Sasko, Lilayah and others as guests, and they’ve seen how we cooperate, how we share information freely with each other. I believe the CDPR folks were surprised and impressed by how we cooperated on the December 2019 ARG, rather than competing with each other for those views.

Syb: When I explain it to other YouTubers and marketing people, the reply is often, “Why would you want to give away something? You should focus on controlling it. Don’t be stupid; just use others as a stepping stone.” I think these attitudes are the cause of much of the pain we see in today’s world. When people only look out for themselves instead of seeing what can be built with others, we tend to miss out on the best things.

Question 7: What are you looking forward to most for Cyberpunk 2077?

Syb: This really feeds from the previous question. After I’ve seen the story and played through the main game, I think the real fun will begin in the form of the community, creations and subculture that is built around it. I cannot wait to see the mods that people come up with! As for the game itself, I am most interested in seeing how the gangs work, how they interact, their stories and histories, etc. I can’t wait to dig into the lore, and I hope it’ll be deep.

Ash: A humongous world of stories set in my favorite genre of video game. The struggle against corrupted powers. Kick-ass weapons and cyberwear. Also, tracking down that “hello stranger” NPC and seeing if she actually has hair, and if she’s interested in ‘befriending’ a rogue nomad with a heart of gold (or titanium, or whatever they make it out of).

Final Question (8): What does Cyberpunk mean to you?

Syb: Advancement. In many ways, it’s the advancement of people into what is the inevitable outcome of evolution. Will we form ourselves into heartless machines fused into insanity? Or will we retain the best of humanity and learn from the darkness?

Ash: To me, it’s about the importance of retaining our humanity, our souls, our ability to empathize and connect. In the future, cyberpunk may not be fiction. We already depend on computers to a scary degree. Cybernetic limbs are not far off. When we give ourselves over and become part machine, whether it’s a psychological dependence or a physical replacement of meat with metal, are we really improving ourselves? Or are we destroying ourselves and giving our power to something else? These are questions to ask now, not tomorrow, because tomorrow might be the day we need an answer.

Want more from Triple S League?

You can check out their YouTube channel here. They also have a discord, which can be joined here, as well as Twitch, Twitter, and Spotify. They even have a Patreon too if you feel so inclined. Thanks for chatting with us, Triple S League!

Interview with Cyberpunk Content Creator Last Known Meal

Last Known Meal Profile

Learning a bit more about Cyberpunk Content Creator LastKnownMeal

LastKnownMeal is a YouTube content creator with over 53k subscribers on YouTube. Covering a variety of the latest video games on the market, including The Witcher 3, Greedfall, and Witchfire, LastKnownMeal’s latest content has become very focused on the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 video game set for release on November 19th of this year. He has also started covering live action adaptations of video games, such as the new Witcher series on Netflix.

Last Known Meal is perhaps one of the best sources of information on CD Projekt Red news, breaking down everything about lore, classes, playstyles, etc. of all the different content related to company like The Witcher, Gwent, and Cyberpunk 2077. He also happens to be part of the 4-member Cyberpunk 2077 weekly community podcast. This interview is part of a 4-part series where we interviewed the other members of the community podcast, MadQueen, Triple S League, and The Neon Arcade. But who exactly is LastKnownMeal, and what can he tell us about the Cyberpunk genre? Let’s find out.

1. How did you get introduced to Cyberpunk?

I was introduced to Cyberpunk with movies like Blade Runner, The Matrix, Johnny Mnemonic, and games like Deus Ex and System Shock. I knew a bit about Cyberpunk 2020 as a tabletop RPG but I never had a proper chance to play it due to a lack of people who were interested in that. Then after a while, I saw that CDPR released a teaser trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 and when I realized that it’s the same universe as Cyberpunk 2020 I decided to read more about it and was quickly sucked into a dystopian world full of technology and broken systems.

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2. What made you decide to start the LastKnownMeal Channel? When did it start, and how did it become what it is today? Is there a story behind your name?

The channel that I have today started back in September of 2012, but I had various other channels over the past 10 years that I deleted. It started pretty much as a hobby, something that I loved doing because I love to create and edit videos. Back then I was doing various projects from documentaries, events, and short films that made me realize that I can bring that level of quality to my channel. After I graduated from Film and Theatre Academy as a producer I turned to my channel and made it first into a side job and now it’s become a career, which was always my goal because of how easy it is to reach the entire world basically through your own content and avoiding production studios and cinema, which is usually a long and difficult process. The amazing community that gathered around the channel is also a huge driving force for me and the work I do.

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3.  Where do you get your ideas /inspiration for your videos?

I mostly get my ideas for videos by reading up on the source material I have around me and the games that I play. Sometimes an idea for a video will come by itself and sometimes if it is news-related content I try to format my videos in a way to present the news for the community in a fun and engaging way. Since I am generally a huge fan of RPG games, my inspiration can also come from just playing the game and noticing that I can bring something new to the table with my analysis and discussions. I can also thank an amazing group of content creators around me that inspire me every single day with their commitment and quality of videos they produce.

4. What are your top three Cyberpunk works, and why?

For me, the three most important works in cyberpunk as a sub-genre is definitely Neuromancer by William Gibson, the vision and work Mr. Gibson did pretty much set the bar for how cyberpunk is supposed to look like and how that future can easily become reality, which is something we see now. It’s actually amazing how he saw that all the way back in 1984. The next work is definitely Cyberpunk 2020 by R.Talsorian, not only did it become one of the cult classic TTRPGs, it also showed how the future is going to look like by analyzing the world around us and also because everything in the source material is based on almost real science and something that can be made possible and not only a work of fiction. It’s also the reason why we have Cyberpunk 2077 in the first place. And the last work I would definitely mention is Blade Runner, which for me personally is one of the best cyberpunk based movies out there, from the stunning visuals to the imagination that was put into the film and all the way to amazing iconic characters and roles all backed under the direction of Ridley Scott with amazing cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth.

Cyberpunk 2077 questions:

5. I’ve noticed you have some interesting videos about classes in the Cyberpunk 2077 universe. Can you give a brief overview of each one, and maybe which one you’ll be choosing and why?

Absolutely, so Cyberpunk 2077 will have a fluid class system meaning that you will be able to combine skills from three main classes: Solo, Netrunner, and Techie. As a Solo, you are basically a one-man army, focused on combat and getting the job done. They usually work for fixers and various other entities. As a Netrunner, you take a different approach, you are extremely skilled in hacking and going inside the net and instead of being a combat solo, you will stay in the shadows and use everything around you to your advantage (everything is connected to a network in 2077, therefore if you gain access you can hack it and finish the job that way.) And finally, we have Techies that rely a lot on mechanical things around them, they are skilled in repairing and making stuff from the pieces of tech lying around you and by using those skills you are able to work with all the systems and use your trusty spider bot (called a Flathead) to help you finish a mission and use those skills on yourself or the vehicle you drive.

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6. How did you come to join the community podcast, and what is it like being one of the 4 each week?

I was approached by MadQueen with an idea to have a Cyberpunk Community Podcast each Sunday and the goal was to unite the community and get together to talk about all the latest news and topics regarding the game. One thing which I found really interesting is that the podcast is going to rotate between four of our channels each Sunday. I actually had an idea for a Cyberpunk based podcast a long time ago which I never pursued that much, so to finally have people who are willing to collaborate and work together was definitely one of the best things to happen to me, and this channel. I couldn’t be more proud of the project we are involved in and being surrounded by amazing content creators can only help you grow and get inspired for the future. Every single Sunday the podcast is getting more and more people involved so it’s always a blast to talk with the group and just have fun doing it.

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7. What are you looking forward to most for Cyberpunk 2077?

Regarding Cyberpunk 2077 I am mostly looking forward to the world and level design, since Night City will be one of the most detailed cities out there in a video game and because they are trying to create a living city which has its own soul and NPCs who have roles that are handcrafted will definitely be the biggest thing I want to see. The best way to immerse myself is not always the story but everything built around it.

8. Final question: What does Cyberpunk mean to you?

For me, Cyberpunk means everything because it’s one of the genres I fell in love with since I was a kid and the rise of technology always made me interested in what is possible and how tech can be used to aid our society. It also presents the harsh reality of what will happen to our world if the system we are in continues to grow and sadly since our world is more and more cyberpunk-like, it creates a whole new level of depth which can be explored and talked about. I always liked cyberpunk more than sci-fi in a sense because for me sci-fi in a classic sense was always way too Utopian for our society and does not present the realistic picture of a broken society as cyberpunk does.