Because of the popularity of steampunk with goths, punks, cybergoths, industrial music fans, and gamers, there is a growing movement towards establishing steampunk as a culture and lifestyle. Some fans of the genre adopt a steampunk aesthetic through fashion, home decor, music, and film. This may be described as neo-Victorianism, which is the amalgamation of Victorian aesthetic principles with modern sensibilities and technologies.
Some have proposed a steampunk philosophy, sometimes with punk-inspired anti-establishment sentiments, and typically bolstered by optimism about human potential.
Steampunk has also become a regular feature at San Diego Comic-Con International in recent years, with the Saturday of the four-day event being generally known among steampunks as "Steampunk Day", and culminating with a photoshoot for the local press. The Saturday steampunk "after-party" has also become a major event on the steampunk social calendar; in 2010 the headliners included The Slow Poisoner, Unextraordinary Gentlemen and Voltaire, with Veronique Chevalier as Mistress of Ceremonies and special appearance by the League of STEAM, and in 2011 UXG returned with Abney Park.
Steampunk has begun to attract notice from more "mainstream" sources, as well. For example, the episode of the TV series Castle entitled "Punked", which aired on October 11, 2010, prominently featured the steampunk subculture and used a number of Los Angeles-area steampunks as extras.