How immersive are you in steampunk?

steampunk self portrait
Steampunk Journal Editor Lord Matthew deMaris

Many steampunks throughout the culture envelope themselves fully in the fashions, accessories, music and decor. I would love to live in a neo-victorian house. Recently a co-worker in my very modern job asked me an interesting question.

“If I had the opportunity to live in a parallel steampunk universe, would I do it?”

I gave it some thought, considering the glamorous aspects of life in a science fiction landscape, travelling by dirigible, admiring ladies, living off cake and shooting from the hip.

Then I considered the real-life issues such as sanitation, hygiene and lack of modern necessities. I wondered whether, given that a neo-victorian utopia (I wouldn’t want a dystopia) is based on modern items in a Victorian theme, modern necessities and hygiene would be part and parcel of it all anyway.

Satisfied with that line of thought, I imagined the scenery, the people I would live with, the technology and fine craftmanship. I dreamed about the wonderful build quality, the fairness to each other, being terribly polite and not having to rush around everywhere.

Finally I gave my answer no.

The reasoning behind this is because to me, steampunk is about being different. It’s about standing out from the crowd for just one day. Getting the public to admire the outfits and ask questions while taking photographs. For that one day I can be a different person to everyone else, I’m not just part of the crowd.

If I lived in a steampunk reality, I’d be just like everyone else. In fact, because I don’t go in for all the flamboyant dressing up and accessories, I’d be less so. No, I enjoy my time on this Earth because every so often I get to go somewhere in the bitter cold or driving rain and stand around smiling for people as they point an iPhone in my face.

But at least I’m getting noticed.

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10 thoughts on “How immersive are you in steampunk?

  1. I’m not a fan of corsets and girdles, so I think I’d stand out in a steampunk world by virtue of being a fashion deviant! >;-D
    Would there be room for a steampunk artist? Most of the genre applies to the scientists, the inventors, and the adventurers, I’d be happy to wait for their return, then paint the portraits.

    1. I say, how can you not be a fan of corsets? Nonetheless, there are lots of steampunk artists and indeed, creators who don’t dress in Victorian clothing. I’m sure there would be space.

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