Thursday, September 24, 2009

Steampunk Poll Results to "Your Shade of Steampunk"



"Steampunk", by Kethaera (@ deviantart.com)

Back on the 18th of August, I had posted a poll on the preference of Steampunk (at least, of the readers of this small blog). The survey had some issues in its descriptive issues, which may have skewed it, and had a few surprises (to my perception of Steampunk, anyways) as well…

First, as can be seen, "Classic Steampunk" topped its closest competitors by a two-to-one margin. I must admit, I did expect an outcome of this sort, but my contention was using the term "Classic" when describing the term Steampunk. I was a bit concerned that by using it, it would lead to perhaps a "safer" or "more-familiar" connotation of Steampunk (vice, say "Old Fashion" Steampunk, "Traditional Steampunk", or simply "Regular" or "Common" Steampunk). Nonetheless, I went with the term "Classic", as once the description was of it was made, the results would speak for themselves (e.g. it would quite likely be the most popular choice). So the result was not a surprise, in a manner of speaking.


"Steampunk Aesthetic", by BlackRoseImmortal0 (@ deviantart.com)

I will admit that I was very surprised that "Fantasy Steampunk" did as well as it did, tying "Scientific Romance" for the second spot in the poll. I did believe that "Scientific Romance" would do well, being described as a precursor of what is currently known as Steampunk, but honestly didn't have an inkling why Fantasy Steampunk did as well? Any suggestions why?

Finally, I did appreciate the inputs in the "Other Steampunk" category. I didn't really consider a Post-Colonial tangent of Steampunk (or as Rin stated, "Japanese Taisho Futurism", but it is certainly worth investigating.


"Steampunk", by Albionia (@ deviantart.com)

To comment on Duke Pearse's and Miss Jameson's entries, I would believe that as Steampunk evolves in the coming years, categorization can help provide some coherent boundaries on what is or isn't Steampunk (e.g. Art Nouveau would certainly fit within Steampunk, whereas Art Deco (and its descendent, Streamline Moderne) wouldn't be Steampunk - "Dieselpunk" perhaps, but that is an entirely different matter).

Of course, I do entirely concur with the danger of those who dogmatically adhere to their own perception of Steampunk, discounting others who would disagree with their perception of the genre (the "Steamier than Thou" syndrome).

A sincere "thank you" to all who generously took part in the poll, and I shall have a new question up soon!

1 comment:

Edward Pearse, Duke of Argylle said...

My own opinion as to why Fantasy Steampunk may have scored higher is because this is what steampunk in SL is. Each of the "Steamlands" has magical inhabitants, whether they're tall Elves running a sim or short Tomtes running another. Caledon Tanglewood was specifically put in to cater to the faeries. Arguably Victoriana doesn't have a fantasy element (though with a Mayor who is a were-squirrel it's debatable) but Victoriana also has a policy of No Steampunk either.

Certainly New Babbage has a high component of Lovecraftian flavouring in its stories and characters. Occult practitioners and nameless otherworldly beasties are fantasy.

And furries are more fantasy than Wellsian SF to me.