Steampunk is a genre of science fiction that has grown to encompass everything from cosplay to gaming. However, the concept is not an easy one to pin down. With steampunk conventions aplenty and even bars and restaurants opening under its theme, we explain what steampunk is in our essential guide.
What is Steampunk?
Steampunk is a genre that uses the concept of science fiction, taken from the perspective of Victorian-era literature. In particular, this includes the work of writers like H G Wells, Jules Verne, and Mary Shelley. It is an imagining of what the future would be like, from the viewpoint of this period in history.
Some themes become endemic in this. The concept of steam power is the obvious one, allowing it to run fantastic machines and contraptions. Yet other icons, such as airships, a reliance on cogs and coal power, and even Lovecraftian beasts like the Kraken have worked their way into its tropes.
Steampunk in Gaming
As a fantasy genre in its own right, steampunk has crept from the world of literature and embedded itself in gaming. While there have been many different takes, each with its spin on the genre, at their heart they all contain some or all of the elements outlined above.
It is not only mainstream PC and console games that have it either. Online slot titles such as Kraken’s Sky Bounty use the imagery and themes of Steampunk to build their worlds in the sphere of iGaming. These slots and games have become extremely popular due to their convenience, allowing play on mobile devices or browsers. By adding the Steampunk element, they can attract more players who may be interested in casino and puzzle-based titles but also enjoy fantasy elements.
Steampunk in Movies
As a fantasy genre that has been around for a long time, Steampunk has always had a place in cinema. While it may not have been as prevalent as space adventures or sword and sorcery, it has kept a fine pedigree. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne was adapted into a movie in 1916, making it one of the oldest genres of all.
Unfortunately, many Steampunk movies fail to make the commercial waves they should. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003 was a fantastic adaptation of Alan Moores’s graphic novel, collecting popular fiction characters like Mr. Hyde and the Invisible Man. The year after, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, a love of labor by actor Jude Law, was released. It had a stellar cast including Angelina Jolie and Law himself, who also produced it using his own money. Despite both being cult classics, they both bombed at the box office.
Steampunk will continue to produce new, interesting stories in literature, movies, and gaming. A quick look through social media will show the many conventions and subgroups dedicated to the genre. With this article, you should have a better understanding of its themes and hopefully delve further into the genre.