Steampunk is a wonderful culture that is more of a movement than a fashion statement and more of a way of life than a hobby. Being a steampunk means becoming part of a global community where Victorian principles of politeness and etiquette are blended with 21st century tolerance and acceptance. To be a steampunk means to be splendid to everyone. There’s a wonderful array of people that enjoy steampunk. You don’t have to be from a particular somewhere, like a certain type of person or even be in the right skin. Hopefully your new journey through steampunk will be one filled with joy, laughter and cake.
It’s widely discussed – some would say argued – that steampunk has no rules. That is to say that you can pretty much do anything you want because steampunk is a completely personal interpretation. How you view steampunk is different in some way to how every other steampunk on the planet views it; and that’s amazing. It creates such a broad spectrum of creativity, one can never really see everything. Because of the artistic base for steampunk (being a literary genre and a branch off from science fiction and particularly cyberpunk), the vast majority of steampunks are artists. As such, we all like to express our interpretation of steampunk in our own way. I’m doing it right now through news media.
Can steampunk really have no rules though? If you think it should remain rule free, how do we all come together? How can we classify ourselves as steampunk because if there’s no line drawn as to what is and what isn’t steampunk then anything at all can be considered.
But we draw ourselves together by our common interest in a time gone by. Blended with the thrill of an alternate universe and the thought of what could have been. We create worlds and adventures, heroes and magnificent steam powered flying machines to absorb ourselves into.
Boundaries are created whether we like it or not by that aforementioned common interest of the Victorian age. Regardless of whether you want to be a Victorian gentleman with a collapsible quantum continuum transportation device in your hat or a futuristic steel armoured, steam propelled soldier sent from the future to correct an erroneous error. The appreciation of the design aesthetic from the age are what draws us in and gravitates us into one big lovable ball of brass, leather and Battenburg.
Over the coming days, I’ll be posting guidelines to steampunk. It seems the most logical thing to do in order to help people who struggle with the lack of rules and/or boundaries thereof. None of these guidelines have to be adhered to, but if you find yourself in a quandary, then hopefully I can help direct you.