Monday, May 31, 2010

World Steam Expo

So, after mentioning on the blog that there was a steampunk convention in town, I decided to just go.  And I had a really good time.
I spent a lot of time in the game room this convention, mostly because my friend Matt wanted to look at some games.  One of them happened to be Arkham Horror.  The goal of the game is to prevent monsters from taking over the town of Arkham.  It took a long time just to explain the game, and even while I was playing it, there was a small moment where I was confused.
But I am always really impressed with the art and storytelling that goes into these games.  The art is always so intricate and lovingly-done.  And all these complicated, tabletop games have elaborate-crafted narratives behind them that set the foundation for the story but also allow a lot of room for differences game to game.  Together, there's this incredible world-building going on, where they create full universes (and then some) for the game to take place in.  As an aspiring writer, I can't help but admire all the time, creativity and work that goes into them.
As complicated as a lot of these games are, I'm not sure that I really want to play them all the time, because some of these games can take hours, and unfortunately, I don't usually have time.  I don't play games often, but when I do, they're usually more as a filler while I think over something important, so they're relatively simple computer games (Solitaire, Mahjong, Bejeweled, Destruct-O-Match).  So I don't think I would invest in these games for myself, but maybe occasionally play them with friends.    
I also tried to get some pictures of the coolest steampunk costumes I saw while looking around.  I didn't get all of them, but I did get a few.

Here we have a young woman, not that it's easy to tell.  One of the things that was really popular at the convention (but I haven't seen much elsewhere) were these leather masks that people were wearing.  They sort of seem like a steampunk update on a similar idea from cyberpunk and cybergoth ten, fifteen years ago.

A mannequin doing the steampunk.

One of the many merchants at the convention.  I like that she incorporated green into her outfit.  A lot of people just do that brown, black and cream look, but it's nice to seem some color.  I also really love all the many things on her belt.


This guy was one of the most impressive costumes I saw.  I didn't ask where he got those tanks, but they looked really good.  (Though, like a lot of things in steampunk, not necessarily easy to move in.)  I love that he's doing a steampunk version of a Civil War soldier.  It would probably be easy, if you were a Civil War reenacter, to adapt your uniform into something steampunk-like.


One of the guests of honor were the creators of Girl Genius.  Here's one of them now, making a funny face.

Seriously now

She then apologized and asked to take a more serious picture.  What for? I thought.  I got a great picture of you right there.

Good day, ma'am

A young man looking super swab.  This picture illustrates my point of how easy it is to do steampunk.  He's wearing clothes that most professionals have, plus a few accessories and touches to complete the look.  If he was at a business conference, no one would think "steampunk," but yet he's really looking the part here.
There are more pictures up at my Flikr, if you're interested.  
One of the strangest things was that we had to leave the convention to get lunch.  Police officers and others stopped us to ask us about our outfits.  (Nicely, of course.)  We weren't particularly overdressed, just a little odd looking. 

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