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The Analysis Of Steampunk Elements In Various Video Games

3184 words - 13 pages

Since its emerge as a genre of science fiction in the 1980s steampunk has transformed into a sub-culture with developing fan communities all around the world. Its distinctive features based on Victorian fashions, recreation of this fashion with modern tools and equipment, and solving modern day’s problems with steam powered, bronze coated unrealistic machinery. (Ferguson 66). Although the elements that created steampunk were mainly based on fashion, Rebecca Onion expanded this idea by claiming most steampunk works based on aestheticism, and a relationship of visuality between retro-Victorian style and contemporary technology (Onion 138). This relationship between style and technology helped creating a unique connection for popular entertainment of today and became intriguing for the generations of modern age. As one of the most popular ways of entertainment, video games were the most suitable choose for answering public demands and steampunk games started to be published by game developers. The children of the modern age showed their interests almost immediately and steampunk themed video games became one of the most loved genre for video game enthusiasts.

Game developers first started to work on steampunk games as early as 1985. The game called The Eidolon were published in December 1985 by Lucasfilm Games. As a prototype it did not provide fully created steampunk world as gamer are familiar today. But it opened the way for further development in the industry. The game started with player’s discovery of the Eidolon, a Victorian era machinery, in an abandoned lab. As player investigated, he accidently teleported to another dimension because of the malfunction in the machine. The energy emitted from the Eidolon awoke the creatures of this mystic world and player forced to fight the hordes of creatures from this mythical realm. The steampunk elements embodied in the machine Eidolon and the weapon that provided in it. Eidolon, when it was first contacted by the player, started to run by unknown energy source and the machine created with gears and bronze material. The weapon provided to the player also worked by unknown energy source and the outer structure was similar to the machine itself. Although it was the pioneer of the genre, The Eidolon did not take much positive votes from the game critics. The magazine Computer Gaming World did not like the game because of its lack of creativity but praised the graphics (Williams 1).

Despite unsuccessful marketing and negative criticism of The Eidolon, steampunk genre was rewarding for later developments. In 1990, steampunk themed game called Space: 1889 was published by Paragon industries (Rpgnet 1). Gamers were familiar with the story and the environment of the game, because it was originally a successful board game. Plot had similarities with various well-known steampunk themed works. The game based on Victorian era and its accomplishments in science. With the help of the steam powered machine and its...

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