Name: Night City Founded: 1994 Population: 5,000,000 Businesses: Technical, light industry, trade, electronics
Background Night City is a moderately-sized city located on the west coast of the United States. It has a population of about five million in the Greater Night City Area, with the majority living in sprawling suburbs to the southwest. The city itself lies on a large bay, surrounded by several small subcities and suburban communities (Westbrook, Heywood, Pacifica, South Night City).
History Night City was founded rather recently as cities go. Before 1994, the city was merely a clutter of unincorporated suburban sprawl between San Francisco and Los Angeles. During the Collapse, an enterprising land developer named Richard Night bought up the majority of what was later to become the Corporate Center and City Center areas. He proposed to start a new, safe, clean corporate city, free of crime and urban blight. By offering lucrative tax packages to several major corporations, he was able to establish a strong economic base as well as an instant population of corporate employees.
As planned, Night City was a clean, open community with rapid transit, and safe streets. Unfortunately, Night’s plan went awry. In using his own advanced building techniques and materials, he excluded a number of established unions and construction firms, many of these controlled by organized crime syndicates. Four years after initial construction, the powerful gang bosses murdered Night and took over Night City Project. Between selling contracts to their cronies, setting up drug and extortion rackets, and generally inviting the scum of the collapse into the area, the gangs managed to turn a relatively clean, modern city into an embattled war zone. Crime, drugs, prostitution, random violence and cybernetic terrorism soon became the rule of law. By 2005, the name Night City had taken on a grim and deadly new meaning.
By 2009, the Corps decided they’d had enough. In lightning strikes, covert solo squads eliminated most of the gang leaders and established a corporation-controlled City Council. The newly elected Council, faced with chaos in the City, deputized Corporate security forces and allowed them full authority within the City limits. The Corporate and City centers were cleaned out and restored to their prestine state. The old Harbor mall was demolished and the New Harbor Mall put in its place.
Sources: Cyberpunk 2020 sourcebook (1990), Night City Guide (1991), Land of the Free (1994); world net map by cherno
William Gibson’s Neuromancer (the Sprawl Trilogy, technically) had it as “Simstim” (simulated stimuli), Ghost in the Shell calls it “Simex” (simulated experience) and Shadowrun had it as “Simsense” (simulated sense).
We can find similar concepts in many books and movies. Some of my favorite: