Visions of a Victorian Future: Steampunk Makers Compete for $100,000 TV Prize

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Visions of a Victorian Future: Steampunk Makers Compete for 0,000 TV Prize

Have you checked out Steampunk’d, the new reality TV show on the Game Show Network (GSN)? It features ten top steampunk Makers all competing for a $100,000 prize. Even if you are not typically a fan of reality TV shows, one that focuses on Makers and steampunk may be enough to pull you in. Online steampunk groups are all abuzz about it.

If you are not familiar with steampunk, it’s a re-imagined history where science and culture took a different turn, often (but not always!) with influences of Victorian England style. There’s a strong Maker aesthetic within the steampunk community. Here’s a quick explanation of the style by some of the contestants of the show:

The show features Makers with a variety of backgrounds, from artists and builders, to clothes designers, to a watchmaker. The first two episodes have been really fun. The Makers split into two teams, each working together on designing and building a specific room challenge. The winning team has their room added to the show’s steampunk ‘mansion.’ So far they’ve built the kitchen and a ‘secret room.’ The top two Makers from each episode become the team leads for next week’s challenge, and one Maker from the losing team is eliminated from the show.

Steampunk’d is hosted by fashion expert Jeannie Mai, and three judges with deep credentials within the steampunk community: Thomas Willeford of Brute Force Studios, steampunk supermodel Kato, and Matt King, creator, writer, and director of the web series “The World of Steam”.

The skills displayed by the contestants are impressive. “Every time a challenge was revealed,” Thomas Willeford said, “I would think, this is it. There’s no way they can get all that in time… and they pulled it off every time! Understand it was never about anyone losing. It usually came down to some tiny detail that made one room fit the requirements ever so slightly more than the other. Being on this show was watching genius unfold before one’s eyes.”

Steampunk’d airs every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central on GSN. If you are already a steampunk fan or just curious, you should check it out. Here’s a first look to get you started:

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Andrew Terranova is an electrical engineer, writer and author of How Things Are Made: From Automobiles to Zippers. Andrew is also an electronics and robotics enthusiast and has created and curated robotics exhibits for the Children's Museum of Somerset County, NJ and taught robotics classes for the Kaleidoscope Enrichment in Blairstown, NJ and for a public primary school. Andrew is always looking for ways to engage makers and educators.

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