Spirit of Clockwork Canon

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Clockwork|Canon

The Spirit of Clockworld|Canon

on the inspirations, the spirit, and philosophies of Canon


It's a hard question to answer, "Why did I want to design Canon as a game and not just stick to it as a fictional setting" My answer is very simple. I want to have fun, tell stories, and play make believe games with a healthy dose of suspension-of-disbelief. An RPG set on my fictional world is a great way to do all three in just one place. Besides, this isn't just a playground for me. I don't want it to be just another playground at all. It is also a sandbox for ideas from people who wish to share their minds with each other over beer & pretzels, or coffee & cream.

Canon as a setting serves as a collection of insights and perceptions on what the real world means to me. In a way, you could call this an alternative earth; the product of my whims and fancies, especially my speculations and my unashamed admiration for the clever, the awesome, the fun, and at the utmost--the cool. All of these are tied together by people having fun; ideas bound together by narrative, exposition, and experiment; a game for reasonable adults through which they may discover more about themselves through constructive imagination. This is as much a place for the dreamer and he explorer as it is for escapists and gamers.

Now, "Why did it have to be clockpunk?" Now this is a much simpler thing to ask myself and answer. I chose clockpunk just as much as clockpunk chose me. When I first encountered steampunk, of which clockpunk is a variation, I had thought at first that it was nothing more than a motif used by speculative fiction writers to embellish their material; it was nothing more than a visual curiosity of alternate histories which are usually of western perspective. What truly fascinated me about the material then was how different it was from both science fiction and fantasy. One could easily say that it was a melding of the two into one, but yet it held its own mystique. I never bothered to look too deep into it. I was still much more focused on sleeker and sexier material like the Front Mission Series, or D20 Modern, or other future tech content.

I continued to allow it to inspire me though, bookmarking various websites about steampunk and visiting these occasionally to amuse myself. It was then that I discovered that it was not just a genre after all. It was a lifestyle, a collection of philosophies, and entire subculture existing for and by itself. Three things finally captured me and cemented my belief that I had found my niche; steampunk offered a perspective on design and technology that was more intuitive than dogmatic, more personal than collective; steampunk reinvented and reintroduced to me the intellectualism of an older, sepia-toned, and alluring world; and lastly, steampunk made me value personal skill, intelligence, and craftsmanship in the creation of an object over the material qualities of the object itself.

In a world where even culture is mass produced, many symbols have begun to lose their meaning and beauty. We have invented a term for every human condition we could discover and have defined them within rigid schema. In a world where money could buy everything, and everything was made to be bought, what has become of creativity and true ownership? It has become trivialized. In the end, the only way anyone could truly own anything anymore, be it their personality, identity, material possessions, and so on, is through personal craftsmanship. Meaning is now personal. Understanding is now personal. Reality is now personal. The only way we may maintain our individuality in our times is no longer just through the beliefs we hold, the stands we make, and the things way like or unlike. Our individuality must now be discovered through personal industry, labor which may seem selfish, but only because its meaning and value is only apparent first and foremost to the one who employed it.

The war we need most win is the war within.