Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Steampunk Generation

One of the reasons Steampunk is getting so hot is because Generation Y is in to the past. "That's so vintage." A lot of this is due to Gen Y being termed the "Peter Pan" generation, meaning that they take longer to grow up. They're closer to their parents and more appreciative of older generations, which is exactly opposite of Gen Xers who never needed their parents and were better off without them. Often times, a Y kid will enjoy the same music, movies and cultural interests as their parents. With this comes an attitude of respect toward older things.

I see this in my own lockshop.

We have a Baby Boomer supervising locksmith who was in the Vietnam War and believes in using his hands to do the trade. He likes things completed manually. He, in fact, has an inherent mistrust of technologies that make the work automatic.

We also have a Gen X locksmith who wants technology everywhere. He grows impatient with the Boomer. "Just stick it in the automatic duplicator," he always says. The Boomer just shakes his head and mumbles about the importance of learning skill.

I'm the Y in the shop. I tend to look at my Boomer boss with awe, although I also can't wait to update the lockshop's ancient technology. I'm somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, who duke it out at nearly every turn.

The growing Steampunk phenom is due to a lot of this culture in Generation Y, I think. The Millennial kids are the digital experts, sure. But they're also fascinated with the days of old. Steampunk, which is a sexy marriage between future and past, is going to explode.