(photo taken at Astral Dreams)
One of Second Life’s role-playing communities involves steampunk fandom. For those unfamiliar with the term, steampunk is a genre of science fiction/science fantasy that takes place during the era of steam power (usually the British Victorian era or the American “Wild West”) in which the fashion, technology, and physical settings are influenced by designs from the future. The aesthetic can be anachronistic, containing futuristic elements that are set in the past, or retrofuturistic, where the design is inspired by depictions of the future made in an earlier period.
Residents can visit a number of steampunk regions to be immersed in a wondrous mixture of time and imagine what might have been. The decor often contains a sense of whimsy and magic, with polished brass, plenty of iron, and wood. Leather clothing is quite common, as are clocks/watches with visible gears and thick goggles to protect your eyes while flying airships or welding.
The marketplace has tons of incredibly creative steampunk items, from tophats to Victorian furniture. You can also take inspiration from notable steampunk films, such as The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and The City of Lost Children.
For those who just want to see what others are up to before diving in, check out this chat on the forum. Steampunk is an easy style to experiment with, since the accessories are so distinct. You can start out with a monocle and a watch on a gold chain and take it from there!
(An example of a steampunk setting, photo by Orion)