Another huge presence at Gencon is Steampunk, a genre that plays on a “what-if” history where steam, rather than electricity, had remained the source of power after the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century. Steampunk aesthetics combine elements of Edwardian costume and Punk glamor, and can be seen in American movies like Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes, and in animes like Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicca, Valley Of The Wind.
Steampunk or flying monkey? You decide...
I think one of the draws is that one can look either rugged or pretty in Steampunk, or even a bit of both. The genre defines gender and defies it at the same time. Male or female can be a handsome/striking explorer, or belle of the ball/fashionable fop. It's also a chance to create a character for oneself, complete with a back story, something gamers love to do. In addition to a multitude of Steampunk costumes, there were a dozen or more Steampunk vendors in the dealer's room.
The dealer room is full of all things gaming. The variety of gaming dice alone is mind boggling!
Many of my readers know that I collect and customize Japanese Blythe dolls. I am not alone... The con scene has a large doll collector presence. Every year I facilitate a workshop where people who collect Japanese dolls can meet up and show off their dolls. We talk about new trends in collecting, who our dolls are and where we got them, etc. There are a couple of Blythe collectors (the doll I collect and customize), and a few Pullip collectors, but by far the doll that dominates the scene is the Japanese Ball Jointed Doll (BJD). These come in various sizes, and are made by various companies (there are several dozen companies making BJDs now). Here are some of the people who came to my Gencon event, with their dolls.
A few of the dolls brought to my workshop...
This doll is wearing a Gencon tee shirt, and has a tiny con badge.
Most of the dolls represented at my workshop are Japanese Ball Jointed Dolls (BJDs). These sisters collect together. They are pretty awesome.
This doll is wearing a Star Trek uniform.
A fellow Blythe collector. This Blythe doll has mohair, very different from the modacrylic fiber dreds I use on many of my girls.
I love this woman's doll tattoo.
Freaks and geeks in the halls, and a Dragon appears before our eyes!