Here is a brief (ish) synopsis of the past 25 years,just as an aid for story and character development, as well as game immersion. There is a far more comprehensive list on the actual shadowrun wiki page, but it encompasses over a hundred years. This is just choice bits from the last 25 years, things that happened while our characters were alive.
Current year 2075
Just last year all the great dragons went somewhere to have a big assembly. This was the result of a couple of years of hostilities between meta-humanity and dragons, most of the actual fighting taking place in central/south america, and southwest UCAS/CAS. Dragon eggs were smashed, thousands of people and several cities were destroyed. A coup!e great dragons died. The assembly resulted in the great dragon Hestab being stripped of her lairs and treasure, and ostracized from other dragons. Moving forward, all grievances dragons held towards meta-humanity are considered settled, effectively giving us all a clean slate.
A few years back, spirit summoning was outlawed in the city-state of Denver. Doing so is considered treason, slavery, and will get you executed.
Five years ago technomancers became a thing. People just spontaneously gained the ability to talk to computers with their brains. Also, the first manned colony was established on mars, the first manned mission (successful) having returned to earth 7 years prior.
In 2068 part of California became an island, and other parts sank into the ocean as a result of 2 earthquakes. This happened shortly after an attempted coup that resulted in the UCAS president being assassinated.
2064 (11 years ago) marked the second matrix crash, and the subsequent wireless age.
2061 marked the return of Hayley’s commet. The year earlier the Seattle renraku arcology locked down, trapping thousands inside. The military surround it. There was a major shootout weeks later as people tried to escape. Officially, no explanation has been given for the lockdown, or the military response.
About 15 years ago a magically induced earthquake killed tens of thousands in Vancouver, and martial law was enacted due to riots in Tir Tairngire (elven capital).
A little less than 20 years ago the great dragon Dunkelzahn was elected president of UCAS, and died spectacularly that night. The years before his election, he enjoyed popularity from his critically acclaimed radio show Wyrm Talk.
Around 25 years ago boiware became publicly available, as did closed circuit simsence. This is also when the metahuman civil rights movement started.
Thanks for reading!