What is Steampunk?

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Have you ever felt the desire for a place that never was in a time that never was?

Do you feel a strong attraction to brass machines?

Does the sound of steam coming out of a pipe excite you?

Well, you are not alone. These are all elements of the steampunk genre.

But what is steampunk?

Join us as we show you a whole new world.

Steampunk Origins

The subgenre was born thanks to the works of HG Wells and Jules Verne. The action often takes place in Victorian-inspired worlds, where the power of steam is still widely used.

But this alternate reality isn’t just rainbows and roses. The steampunk universe hides many dangers. Imagine a city on mutually consuming wheels, gigantic mechanical robotic spiders, and airship pirates.

It is easy to see why the modern world is fascinated with it and tries to adopt it.

Here are some examples:

Steampunk in contemporary culture

Today, steampunk is still a strong and developing genre in various media.

In music, he found a comfortable place in the goth subculture. Steampunk artists bring with them an endless desire to travel, integrated with technological ingenuity. Its lyrics are inspired by Victorian sensibilities, far-flung adventures, and the struggles of the industrial age. The videos draw heavily on the steampunk aesthetic, with gears, brass goggles, and top hats among the most easily recognizable elements.

The steampunk genre has also influenced numerous game developers. For example, “Frostpunk” is a city-building survival game that takes place in an alternate version of the late 19th century. The world is experiencing an ice age and only thanks to steam technology can the world survive.

Another noteworthy title is “They Are Billions”, in which humanity uses steampunk technology in its last attempt to survive a seemingly endless horde of zombies.

The steampunk genre was influenced by seminal cinematographic works such as Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” (1927) and “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1920). Both films examine the role of technology in society and its influence on human nature.

Nowadays, we have movies like “Around the World in 80 Days”, “Hellboy” and “Van Helsing” where retro-futuristic technology is used. The genre also entered animation with such works as “Treasure Planet” and the “Fullmetal Alchemist” anime series.

steampunk elements

Is a pair of goggles and a silly hat all there is to steampunk?

Absolutely not.

The steampunk wardrobe

The steampunk costume is inspired by the Victorian era. The emphasis is on suits, corsets, military uniforms and work clothes. Clothes can be left as is or decorated with mechanical elements.

The steampunk style can be expanded with the right accessories. These include brass cannons, flight goggles, utility belts, bolt-action rifles, plasma pistols, and others.

Human enhancement has its place in style. You can find:

  • machined prosthetic limbs
  • lenses used as eye implants
  • mechanized respiratory masks
  • complete bodies of automata.

steampunk technology

Steampunk is endless inspiration for creative imagination. What do airship pirates fly on? By plane, of course. They run on coal, and often their engines have to run on coal, but not too much, or they might explode.

In “Arcanum of Steamworks and Magick Obscura”, the wizards are sent to the back of the train, as their powers interfere with the technology and can destabilize the engine. At the same time, the Mechanics are deployed on the battlefield to keep the soldiers alive. The electrical arcs fired by Tesla’s guns vaporize anyone unlucky enough to end up on the wrong end of the barrel.

Other elements of steampunk technology include bulky diving suits, such as those seen in the “Bioshock” games. Another example: Anabella’s box to resurrect the dead. Also, the jarring contraption of the same name from “Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs” and, above all, Samson’s soap.

Steampunk technology is big, messy, barely put together. They eat coal and workers alike, just ask Frederick from “Blood, Sweat, and Tears.” Sometimes the machines are even capable of growing seven times their size and firing lasers from their eyes. This world is full of surprises.

the steampunk community

The steampunk style has brought many people together.

For example, the “Wild West Steampunk Convention” in Arizona. It is an annual meeting of three days, where lovers of all things steampunk can meet, attend workshops, listen to live music, etc.

Other noteworthy events for fans of steampunk life include “Clockwork Alchemy” in California, “Watch City Steampunk Festival” in Massachusetts, and “STEAM Fest” in Pennsylvania.

If you prefer a more intimate encounter with the steampunk community, you can find the nearest steampunk pub. A good company is just an Internet search.

Last words

What is steampunk?

For some it is a literary genre. For others, it’s an extravagant aesthetic. Some even claim that it is a way of life. Steampunk culture is diverse and robust enough to bring all kinds of people together. But what unites them is the desire for a place that never was in a time that never was.

So if you like modern Victorian clothing and modern steam engines, you might belong in this community.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.

Why do they call it steampunk?

The suffix “punk” in words like “cyberpunk”, “silkpunk”, “steampunk” presupposes rebellion. A total rejection of the status quo gives way to an alternative life. In “steampunk” it means that today’s world is abandoned in favor of Victorian-inspired fashion and technology.

Is steampunk still popular?

Books like “The difference machine” and “Leviathan”. Movies like “Mortal Engines” and numerous steampunk-inspired video games prove that the genre is alive and well.

Is cyberpunk like steampunk?

What is steampunk? Well, steampunk is the rejection of the current lifestyle and the embrace of the past.

Cyberpunk, on the other hand, rejects reality to embrace the digitized future.

However, that does not mean that they are radically different, since both styles share common arguments such as social injustice, human improvement, technology and its power to create, corrupt and destroy. So the differences between the two genders can be considered more cosmetic than conceptual.

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