Does a PC Scene exist at all?
Written by Adok
When I was on IRC the other day, someone accused be of not knowing what the scene was all about because of the statement that dealing with a C64 today is a waste of time in an older article of mine. Well, I feel this accusition is not correct. There is a scene, a community of interest, on the C64 still today. People feel with eachother, and try to create art with the limited capabilities this machine offers. The results are often outstanding, no doubt. What I meant then was that to continue the development of computer technology, dealing with an almost twenty-year-old machine would not be what you can call purposeful. But it is a nice hobby, especially considering the certainly friendly scenish community around it, with all your scene friends and the special feeling to it.
However, when it comes to the topic 'scene', I often feel the PC demo scene cannot be compared with the demo scenes on other platforms, judging from what I read in various diskmags on those systems. While the core of the Amiga scene is rather small and everyone involved in it knows eachother, I feel that on the PC scene such a core does not even exist. I have rather the impression that the PC scene is split into many small sub-scenes, including local scenes, sub-scenes of special interests (art-scene, music, diskmags,...), and scenes based on level of knowledge. For example, I know of groups having a structure similar to demogroups but forming small scenes of their own because they only have contact among eachother, do not get many new productions from the rest of the scene, and the level of their own productions is (momentarily) lower than the international standards.
Sometimes the demo scene and other sub-scenes overlap, for example, the art-group Black Maiden is pretty involved in the German demo scene, too. Yes - German demo scene. They are not much known outside that country.
Groups and people known outside local scenes are pretty rare. If you check through party results files you will spot many unknown names, often in the language that is spoken in the country the party is held in. So they are local groups.
There are some people who are internationally known, though. Only they can be part of the real 'core' of the PC demo scene, if it exists at all. (Note: Now I only speak of the PC demo scene, not including art-scene, music-scene, BBS-scene, warez-scene and what else there may be.)
But who is the core of the PC demo scene? I think it consists of people and groups who made good places at international parties (most of all The Party, Assembly, furthermore The Gathering, Mekka & Symposium and others), are very active on #coders, #pixel, #thescene or CSIPD, actively read and write for international diskmags, have many contacts, are the authors of widely spread tutorials, etc.
Charts are also a good indication of who is known in the scene. But as today's charts either have too few voters or too much voters from certain countries the picture gets a bit vague. We definitely need a big chartsmag with many voters (250 or more), and, if at all possible, the individual countries should be represented according to the sizes of their local scenes. A temporary solution might be to forbid people to vote for sceners from their own countries or productions made by them. But that is difficult as usually all bigger groups are composed of people by various countries, and often you do not know where they are from at all. So the only solution is really to make many people vote for chartsmags.
Many sceners will not vote voluntarily, though. Why is that? Why do people not want to fill in a small form with a few names of groups, demos, and artists they like? It does not take much time, you will not be blamed for voting for certain people, and nobody apart from you and the charts' editors will learn whom you vote for. So what?
I think the only reason is laziness, and I think this is a pity because scene spirit should also include helping one's fellow sceners.
Okay, I know I am exaggerating here and the true situation is not as extreme as I described it. I just want to stress my point that friendship and helpfulness is an important point of a community of whatever kind, otherwise it is not a community but just a bunch of strangers sharing the same interests without caring for eachother.
When I read Amiga or Atari diskmags I am often astounded how personally they are written. In international PC diskmags, most scene articles are theoretical, just like this one. Only local sections contain articles about personal issues between the individual sceners. The reason is obvious: The global PC demo scene is too big for this kind of articles. But I think this is better than if it were too small because it has other advantages.
Moreover, that a scene is big does not automatically mean a core consisting of internationally known sceners that also know eachother must not exist. I mainly blame the lack of diskmags between late 1996 and early 1998 for it. Not longer having the big platforms for discussing scenish problems and being entertained did harm to the communication among sceners which could neither be remedied by IRC nor newsgroups. Now that diskmags are active and gaining popularity again, the scene atmosphere is improving.
"adok '...kritisiere mich hart...' (0190/166266) adok line :)"