I love many things about Steampunk, including the way the genre has grown over the last year, but it can sometimes be difficult to determine exactly what falls inside and outside of the genre. While many things definitively are Steampunk, it seems like there are any number of people who are simply adding the term to a variety of objects simply in hopes that they’ll sell them to a hungry audience.

I’ve even heard the term used to describe the movie Sucker Punch, and I get the confusion. It’s definitely period, although that period seems to obviously be the 1950s/60s for the primary world. And none of the imaginary worlds appear to actaully be Victorian in intent or nature. That said, the movie seems to have struck a chord in the community. I think the obvious reason for that is that it is, like Steampunk itself, it seems to be drawing on elements of the past (including now retro ideas of the future) in order to create a pastiche of old and new. There’s no arguing that appropriation is at least part of what makes Steampunk work, and It’s likely that for many fans of the genre that love of things old and new will spill over into any period as long as it’s done well, and manages to feel thematically consistent. But it doesn’t make it Steampunk. Perhaps we need a new term…

Take a look at the trailer, and let me know what you think:

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