Are We One Scene?
Written by Adok
Are we, the sceners on PC, the sceners on Amiga, the sceners on C64, and the sceners on the other computer systems, one scene?
This question popped into my mind when I read the Amiga diskmag Generation #26. This issue of Generation featured a big charts section, called the Generation Awards. It's so big because they only do these charts once a year and in this way want to show who the sceners of the years are.
And who do you think was the winner of the Best Graphician Award? It was Lazur/Scoopex, who is also leading most international graphician charts in the PC scene, here known as Lazur/Pulse. I met also some other people I knew from the PC in Generation, for example Ravian/Jello or Remdy/Ex-Dentifrice.
In fact, Ex-Amiga sceners have built up the PC scene a lot during the 1993-1995 days. The Black Lotus, Melon, Haujobb and many other PC groups have also been active on Amiga and still are. The roots of a large part of the 'PC Scene Elite' is the Amiga scene and partly also the C64 and other sceners.
There is also a big number of PC sceners that have started right on PC. A famous example is Unreal/Pulse. And, although he has never had an Amiga, he spends a lot of time in the IRC on Amiga scene channels. Unreal is quite well known among the Amiga sceners without contributing to the Amiga demo scene actively.
On the other hand, many PC sceners have no interest in other systems and also don't see any reason why they should get into contact with Amiga/other-system sceners. Which is an argument against the theory that "the sceners of all systems form one scene".
If a PC scener meets a scener of another system, it can even come to quarrels. That's especially the case with C64 sceners. For example, in Germany, many C64-only sceners hate the PC and everything that has to do with it, maybe because of jealousy, maybe because some PC lamers boast with their systems and call the C64 users lamers. The PC sceners behave usually in a friendly way towards the C64 sceners. But if the C64 sceners don't care about that and attack the PC sceners, the PC sceners won't behave that friendly any more either. Quote from the article "Mekka^Symposium'98 - report." by Shark/Ultimatum in Measure #5 (a PC diskmag):
"The mood during the PC compo was at the highest. What really pissed me off was the fact that a few C64 lamers in our vicinity began packing up during the PC compos. After the PC carried on with the C64 demo compo, the guys were so freaked out that the mood became worse. The reason could be that the first few entries were rather pathetic. Smash Designs had created a masterpiece with 'Our Darkness'. In the scroller of the demo AEG asked his girlfriend whether she would marry him, she had little to say about it."
Another example: A recent posting in the German PC scene mailinglist (scene.de list) stated that on the InterJam party, the people with the "oldest, 'worst'" computers had the loudest stereo sets, i.e: "PC < Amiga < C64".
These two examples show that some sceners on older computer systems, especially the C64 sceners, seem to have a minority complex. Also their diskmags contain attacks against the PC regularly. I find that strange. As I said, we, the PC sceners, usually respect their work, eventhough some of us might be of the opinion that they waste their talents. Those PC users who call someone lame just because he uses a C64 are usually real lamers. But that's not the PC scene.
If you read through Atari diskmags, you will also see that the Atari people have prejudices especially against the Amiga guys, like the companies Atari and Commodore fought against eachother in the past.
Like there is racism between the peoples in real life, there seems to be a kind of racism between the users of different systems in the scene life.
After those contra arguments, I want to list some pro-arguments for the theory that "the sceners of all systems form one scene" again. On the IRC, there is a channel called #thescene, which is dedicated to PC, Amiga, and C64 sceners. The people can communicate there without problems, and in the time I have been there, I haven't noticed any quarrels between PC sceners and other sceners. This probably also results in the fact that many users of this channel are active on more than one computer system.
Moreover, we have an online magazine called Network, located at http://www.scene-central.com, which is dedicated to the PC, Amiga, C64, Atari and Acorn scene. It is published by the group Comic Pirates that has been active on the C64 for a long time. About a year ago they started getting active on the PC, too. Nowadays they have members for several computer systems. The Comic Pirates and their Network magazine are a good example for an united scene made of sceners on several systems.
It also depends on where you live. In some countries, areas or cities, the sceners of different systems know each other and thus form one scene. In others the sceners of different systems ignore or fight each other, like these mainstream C64 sceners in Germany. But there are also exceptions: e.g. Smash Designs is active both on C64 and PC. Groups like this exist everywhere.
So what do you think? Are all sceners part of a big scene, no matter on what system they are active?
I think that nowadays this isn't the case most of the time; the "big scene" is too split into system-scenes with the PC scene being the largest.
However, if you consider the history of the system-scenes, you see that the PC scene has evolved from the other systems' scenes. If there had been no scene on early computers like the C64, there would probably not have been a demoscene on the PC today, at least not in the form that we know.
The PC scene has got a lot of terms from other scenes, and the single system-scenes keep exchanging new ideas at least on the bigger, multi-platform parties, where sceners of different systems meet and partly compete in the same platform-independent compos like the GFX or 4-/multichannel music compos.
If you are a graphician or a musician, it doesn't really matter what system you use. Your skills matter. Only coders of various systems can't be compared easily.
And, all scenes are connected with eachother. If there hadn't been a scene on the C64, we wouldn't have a demoscene on the PC now. Don't forget that.