DYSTOPIA (dystopic): An imagined universe (usually the future of our own world) in which a worst-case scenario is explored; the opposite of utopia. Dystopic stories have been especially influential on postmodernism, as writers and film-makers imagine the effects of various aspects of our current postmodern condition, for example, the world's take-over by machines (The Matrix); the social effects of the hyperreal (Neuromancer); a society completely run by media commercialism (The Running Man); the triumph of late capitalism (Blade Runner); bureaucratic control run amok (Brazil, 1984); and so on. For a Lesson Plan that ties such stories to postmodern theory, see the Postmodernism: Lesson Plans: Matrix/Neuromancer pathway.