I consider myself a diverse person. Because of this, I have a particular fondness for the Steampunk culture, and I say culture because it is just that, a community with shared experiences and interests. But more specifically my focus is on the conventions or festivals where nearly everyone dresses up as characters. When you compare it to Anime culture, Video Game Culture, Fantasy Culture etc, as much as I still wholeheartedly love each and every one of them, they are all limited in the experience of their own culture creatively in a way that Steampunk culture is not.

I have been to gatherings, conventions, and festivals for each one of these other cultures that I have mentioned and more, and none of them act quite like Steampunk does. In Steampunk, you can be anyone you want. And by anyone you want, I mean that you do not have to be a pre-existing character. As far as I know, there are a limited number of pre-existing characters from media that anyone can dress up as. You have Fullmetal Alchemist from anime, Doctor Steel from Youtube, Firefly and Serenity from the TV and movie, and Bioshock from video games. No doubt there are plenty more characters, but none quite as established as the ones found in those stories. Yet if you delve into any one of the cultures I originally mentioned, especially anime, you are water hosed with hundreds upon hundreds of characters and shows that you can pull characters from.

This leaves Steampunk comparatively wastelandish. And yet, it is no wasteland. This is because that wasteland has been filled by the creative, the innovators, the lovers of Steampunk who realize that it is something for them not just to appreciate from a distance, but to play with. To tinker with. To create the mad scientist that you saw but no one else imagined, to create the gatling wielding child cyborg that no one wrote about, or to be the barber with the mechanical hair cutting machine that could be opening up shop just down the corner.

Steampunk is an alchemizing of future and past and allows not only that, but all the rest of the fantasy elements you can imagine as well. There are no walls; well, relatively. You may have to figure out one or two things for how to make your character operate in a society that is purely steampowered, but then again, maybe there is a spark of electricity in the version of steampunk you are operating in. There are no rules. It is purely up to ingenuity, imagination, and it’s main purpose to to have some seriously mad scientist fun.

This makes it, from a creative standpoint, so much more accessible to put a costume together. It can be more personal and fit exactly what you are interested in. Then when it comes to the actual and literal creation of your outfit, you have nearly free range to craft everything however you would like as well, and this does not always happen otherwise.

So, I say go have fun with it. Hopefully you appreciate it a little more than before and are now thinking, planning, and mapping out and then constructing all the possibilities.

– Caleb Sundance