There was a tweet sometime this last year where someone said “Good luck getting a good job with that coat!”, meaning my Ambassador coat. I know it was meant as an insult, but all I could do was laugh at their attempt. The funny thing is that I already have a good job, and great coworkers who embrace my passion for steampunk. Not only does my boss encourage me to buy some fantastic boots for my outfits, and awesome hardware for my steampunk-themed guest room renovation, other people in the office often come up to me to share something they read or saw, saying that they thought of me, as well as how much fun they thought steampunk is.
And THAT is a big part of why we do what we do in our community. I love information and sharing it so it’s great fun for me to interview people, and read and read and read to share news and information out to everyone. For others, their fun is writing books, or music, or creating artwork, or building props. We do all these things, maybe partly for a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, but also because we find it fun and fulfilling.
There are conventions all around the world, and I greatly enjoy every one that I’m invited to – there’s new people to meet, new things to learn, and so many great things to do. It is such a wonderful thing to walk into a convention and see so many smiles and hear so much continuous laughter. We get to wear such fancy clothes, eat food that’s bad for us, and stay up until dawn deep in conversation (and maybe some frivolity).
On the local level, more and more cities are towns are forming steampunk groups, which is a great way for people to be involved socially more often than conventions, and get to see people more often. Local events include outing like picnics and museum tours, as well as steampunk themed events sponsored by other groups like libraries and book shops.
For cities of a certain size, there maybe stage plays and musical concerts. More people have been writing steampunk themed performances and more bands in our global community are touring.
Then there’s the whole gamer aspect of our community, and it keeps growing! There’s Live action role play (LARP), and role playing games (RPG), along with card and board games, and even a few dice games. Several got their start with crowd funding, and others had the opportunity to expand with it. People aren’t just playing at conventions in a special gaming room or programming track; they are playing at home with friends and family, or at coffee shop get-togethers.
Another thing which we have fun with are the variety of web series and short films. This last year I was caught up in the creativity of Progress, and there were some truly laugh-out-loud moments watching Felix Blithedale (please Erik, please create a second season!).
Let’s not forget artwork – we have an embarrassment of riches with our artists. There’s images on Deviantart.com, fine art in galleries, framed prints on walls, and iconic images on book covers. Each of these brings some aspect of our community and our steampunk worlds to life.
One last item that might be fun for many of us – creating and competing! A brand new steampunk competition game show has put out a US-wide call for participants.
For all of the contributors to the fun I’ve had these several years, thank you so much! Thank you for your creativity, your time and effort, your conversations, and your friendship. It’s been so much fun so far, and I’m looking forward to many more decades of fun to come!