Subculture – Steampunk

Steampunk  a certain subculture in which the members all have a common liking towards the steampunk style and practices. Steampunk is the name used to describe a 19th century style that heavily uses a theme of (slightly more) advanced versions of classic steam-powered and industrial devices and machinery.

The steampunk theme (as mentioned above) is a genre of fantasy Victorian England fashion and design, with a large touch of advanced industrial work thrown into the mix. This theme is very creative on what can be included within this sort of fantasy world, as it usually includes the ideas of airships, advanced weapons that run using primitive electricity and chemicals, as well as even robotic devices such as prosthetic limbs that function using cogs and gears.

The genre/idea of steampunk has existed since the early 1900’s, although mainly in the use of artistic fantasy media, and was not developed much further. The origin of the term steampunk first arose in the late 1980’s as a tongue-in-cheek variant of cyberpunk. It was coined by science fiction author K. W. Jeter, who was trying to find a general term for works by Tim Powers, James Blaylock (Homunculus, 1986); and himself (Morlock Night, 1979, and Infernal Devices, 1987)—all of which took place in a 19th-century (usually Victorian) setting and imitated conventions of such actual Victorian speculative fiction as H. G. Wells’ The Time Machine. In a letter to science fiction magazine Locus, printed in the April 1987 issue, Jeter wrote:

Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for Powers, Blaylock and myself. Something based on the appropriate technology of the era; like ‘steam-punks’, perhaps.”
— K.W. Jeter (1*)

Steampunk has been the source for a large variety of artwork and clothing for years and is still going quite strong. Several recent video games have even adopted the steampunk style time and time again, such as the “Bio-shock” series and “Guns of Icarus”. Many people even cosplay in steampunk fashion because of their love for the inspiring creativity that can come from what they can ware.

Despite it still being a lively subculture, for the purpose of the project I will act as if the steampunk subculture is being revived. I have personally chosen steampunk over skater punk as I think that this will help lead me to more creative possibilities due to it being an actual design style (that I’m actually familiar and comfortable with) as well as being a creative one at that.


1* – Wikipedia


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