Could the commercialisation of steampunk be its downfall?

Steampunk desktop.
Steampunk desktop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Steampunk has been around for a long time. I’m a relative new comer to the genre. I’ve been aware of it for a while, but only got seriously interested in it within the last year. However, I came across this article from January this year that suggests that steampunk is going to be massive in 2013.

If this is true then retailers, fashion designers, television companies, advertisers, musicians and anyone who knows what a band wagon looks like will start to bring out “steampunk” products.

This is the passage that grabbed my attention:

ARMONK, N.Y. – National Retail Federation Convention – Based on an analysis of more than a half million public posts on message boards, blogs, social media sites and news sources, IBM (NYSE:IBM) predicts that ‘steampunk,’ a sub-genre inspired by the clothing, technology and social mores of Victorian society, will be a major trend to bubble up, and take hold, of the retail industry. Major fashion labels, accessories providers and jewelry makers are expected to integrate a steampunk aesthetic into their designs in the coming year.

You can read the full story here: New prediction of retail trend
Despite being a friendly and welcoming community, news like this could be the undoing of the substructure of steampunk. We’ve already seen horrid teddy bears with watch faces on their heads being called Steampunk Teddy. Victoria’s Secret have showcased lingerie with steampunk inspired wings on the model’s back. What next? Steam powered airplanes? Ok, so that’d be pretty cool, but you get my meaning.

If it all gets big, we need to stand strong and not let the commercialisation of steampunk ruin what has taken years to build. To quote Merlin from Excalibur, 1981 (played by the impeccable Nicol Williamson) “Years to build and moments to ruin”

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