Posted By Mage Ingeneur on August 4, 2016
What is Steampunk?
This is our definition of ‘steampunk’: ‘steampunk’ refers to a fusion of steam-era aesthetics and/or principles with futuristic ideas about human existence in the space-time continuum, informed by the possibilities offered by ongoing scientific endeavour when joined to the imagination. Steampunk is brought to life by the power of dreamers with nostalgic notions, who are supported by a deep knowledge of past eras, deftly knitting together science-inspired visions of the future.
|Image Credit: Thomas Veyrat|
Let’s deconstruct it.
|JW Keter by Photo by Gemnerd 2011|
Steampunk is a neologism which (arguably) was coined in the 1980’s. It apparently arose from the mind of science fiction author KW Jeter who was searching for an accurate description of his works.
But this is an origin story and if you’re interested, you can read about it here. It still does not flesh out the meaning of ‘steampunk’ as it exists now after the pummeling we culture vultures give it. Thanks to us makers and appreciators and cosplayers and consumers, ‘steampunk’ is now a richly contested term. Let’s contest it a little more!
|Image Credit: Shanna Jones Photography Yatzer Truth Coffee Shop Cape Town. Used under Creative Commons 4.0|
The term ‘steampunk’ is largely used as an adjective.
Steampunk is used to describe speculative worlds, environments, communities and the attributes of people and things that exist within these. Those who adopt steampunk inspired identities often adopt affectations from their favourite eras: manners, mannerisms, speech patterns and communication styles. It adds to the flavor and experience. In delightful ways, it cross-fertilises the past with the digital age.