I believe a large part of the Steampunk mindset is reuse, upcycle, and create. I know that most of the people in my community prefer to buy secondhand clothes and make them over to a Steampunk Aesthetic; many make their own gadgets; and when we do buy something it has to be authentically Steampunk (or beyond our skillset to make). We can spot a ‘fake’ from 100 metres, because nothings replaces real enthusiasm. It is kind of hard to commercialize the kind of dedication that will spend hundreds of hours making a costume or a raygun or a backpack, because half the fun is knowing your item is unique. It becomes a point of pride to DIY.
Those people who do make money from Steampunk didn’t choose Steampunk to make a quick buck … they loved the genre and their love shows. Hence the Proff’s popularity. They are genre savvy. And even as Steampunk becomes more accepted into the mainstream, it retains the charm of the ‘can do’ attitude of Neo-Vicwardian Retrofuturists.
I read with interest, an article by Professor Elemental that he wrote for Airship Ambassador and the Steampunk Hands Around the World project. In it, he mentioned that he thought steampunk had got a little bit too serious and that we all should release our inherent silliness.
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