I used to stay up all night playing ‘Resident Evil 2,’ and it wouldn’t stop until the sun came up.. Then I’d walk outside at dawn’s first light, looking at the empty streets of London, and it was like life imitating art.. It felt like I’d stepped into an actual zombie apocalypse..
We keep trying to escape this reality; is that because this reality isn’t good enough? No, not at all.
It’s just that we keep realizing this reality’s deficiencies. Carl Sagan said, “It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” And that’s true. But…
It’s pretty damn arrogant to think we understand the Universe. I’ll be honest; it took me something like two years to figure out exactly how I liked my morning coffee. It took me ten years to realize that I look bad in shorts. We seem to think that a small portion of a human lifetime is enough to tell us what’s “real”.
Friends, reality is malleable. We are human beings; we are not slaves of destiny, we are not machines, we are not programs. We change the world simply by existing within it.
That’s part of what Steampunk says: “To hell with the real past; this past is BETTER!” This is what zombies say: “To hell with your day job, this future is more ALIVE.” That is what Goth says: “Forget the insipid joys; a real joy should be able to exist in the face of the complete and exquisite knowledge of sadness and remorse.”
We are beings of imagination and creation. Go ahead, try to tell us what’s “real”. We’ll fight back with a reality ridiculous and implausible, a reality flawed in every way except…
…except that as humans, we can make it real. And that is Steampunk and Renaissance Faires and zombies and Goth and Renaissance Faires…but it’s also cell phones, computers, video games, and a basic understanding of history. Reality is much less limited than anyone thinks it to be; Moore’s law alone proves it.
We’re humans. Our only limits are imaginary, and we can break imaginary rules any time we want; ask anyone who’s ever played Dungeons and Dragons.
Never let Reality hold you back.
Jeff Mach runs Jeff Mach Events, which in turn runs the world’s largest Steampunk event, The Steampunk World’s Fair; the peculiar Faerie festival Glimmerdark, and co-runs Dark Side Of The Con (with VampireFreaks). He’s on Twitter @steamworldsfair.