Steampunk, a term that can be used loosely in terms of fiction, has been around since the 1980's. Remember the 2003 film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? This film literally popularized the steampunk genre. It is listed a sub-genre of fantasy and exploratory fiction. While steampunk can be found in any genre, whether it be historical, futuristic, or goth, often the era that steampunk is often used in would be the 19th century, or the Victorian era. The predominant theme would be science fiction or fantasy, where fictional technological inventions would be created and used.
Basically, steampunk can include any previous or recent science fiction that has taken place within our culture. For instance, it can revolve around the era when electricity had yet to be created and the emphasis was placed on steam or spring gadgets. It revolves around an era when a mad scientist could be found in his dark laboratory creating anything and everything imaginable.
Today, steampunk is not only a literary genre, but it is becoming a cultural lifestyle. While there are no rules or guidelines for steampunk, it is generally followed that it finds its basis in the Victorian age. This can be seen in the foundations of any gadget, item or article that is labeled as steampunk; whether it is a binocular, a watch, lighting or petticoats and bustles. Often, anything labeled as steampunk will be accented with a mixture of technological and period accessories. Even a cellphone can be used as a steampunk object as long as it is modified to look Victorian.
Steampunk is many things; it all depends on the fan. It has been labeled as an intersection of technology and romance, a genre of fiction, an aesthetic, musical style and an evolving sub-culture. It is a story that draws the reader in until they feel they are the character trying these new inventions for themselves. It is about technology and science. It is about humanity at its basic form, the need to invent, create, tell stories and grow.
Recently a lot of LARP (Live Action Role Play) players have started to create games based on the Steampunk style. Even at Calimacil, LARP Weapon enthusiasts have been asking when they will begin to create a new Steampunk sword style.