Emerging Geekdom: Steampunk-Is that a boat or something?


The title of this blog, actually came from a co-worker of mine. We were talking about a lot of geeky things, and then she mentioned something about her child liking Steampunk, and was wondering what that was, and “is that a boat or something?” was the first thing out of her mouth about it. So I gave her my best answer, but I still did not know a whole lot about the world that is Steampunk.

As it an emerging geekdom, it’s hard to define still since it has not been around as long as many other geekdoms. So after much research, I have deducted the following about the Steampunk lifestyle. Please note, that as I am still learning about it, there may be many things and aspects that I am still missing. So please don’t bash to hardly, as this blog is only to introduce people to the world that is Steampunk.

Steampunk is originally part of the “cyberpunk” geekdom movement which involves the use of futuristic technology into all aspects our modern lives. Steampunk, instead of taking things forwards in time, takes things backwards in time. This geekdom is an emerging one since it has only been around since the 1980-90′s, and is now being recently recognized at many conventions. Steampunk focuses a lot on the style and designs of the Victorian-119th century era of life, in which there was much innovation being made such as harnessing petroleum and electricity. Many fans of the geekdom, take their inspiration from writers of the time period who inspired such thoughts like H.G Wells.

Steampunk is gathering forces like wildfire through its subtle yet classy ways of integrating its style. Many cosplayers, will dress in the traditional fashions of the 19th century of petticoats, vests, suits, top hats, and traditional gowns, while adding pieces like old school reading glasses, watches, clocks and designs. It’s has also been quietly been added in our visual media as well. One of the best well-known movies to incorporate the steampunk designs, is currently “The League of The Extraordinary Gentlemen” with Sean Connery. This movie is based on the visual novel, which also is known as a steampunk inspired work. Other well-known literary works include: “The Difference Engine”-by Gibson and Sterlings, “The Faboulus World of Jules Verne” by H.G. Wells, and “Extrordinary Engines”-by Nick Gervers. And what’s even cooler, is that the world of WoW, the newest race of Goblins, actually take on a form of Steampunk through their engineering skills and their creations of clothing, mounts and designs in their lifestyles.

In the fashion and design world, it has definitely become a recognized form. Many designers and builders have modified computers, laptops, clocks and even Ipods to make them look as if they were a 19th century piece. There is a sub-culture of clock makers who design “steamclocks” and they sell quite well on the internet. As you can see to my left, there is a modified version of a PC computer done in the steampunk style. (I would totally buy that too.).

Furthermore, the biggest indicator that a geekdom is to take notice, is if they actually have conventions for geekdom. And they sure do have some, quite a lot in fact. Steampunk conventions are now the third biggest geek gatherings that are held every year in multiple cities all over the world. So this geekdom has no intention on slowing down or disappearing any time soon.

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