The C64 Is Not Dead!
Written by Bam
"C64 Democompo was not held (no entries)"
(from The Gathering'99 results file)
Well, I've just returned from a four-day weekend experience known as Mekka and Symposium 2k-1 (the only *real* alternative to TG99, btw) and I was smashed when I read this sentence in the TG results file. What's going on here in Germany? I've never seen so many Amigas and C64s in one hall since... well, never.
But let me first tell you who I am. As you might already know, my name is Bam. I am a coder in the international PC demo group Evolve and a former C64 freak. I got my first C64 when I was four (in 1984) and I used it until I was 17. Since then I have never touched it any more and see no reason to change this, although the Mekka and Symposium party is definitely an excuse for any kind of nostalgia...
In the C64 music competitions there was a total of 20 entries. 27 pictures entered the C64 pixel compo, 17 C64 demos were shown on the bigscreen (though the quality of most of them was a bit disappointing. I've seen better demos on C64). 18 C64 4k-intros had to compete with each other.
What about the people? In nearly every row you could find at least one C64, even though there was a place in the hall near the bigscreen where the main C64 crowd was gathered! There were more people around playing C64 games than Quake lamers. Creb, who was sitting next to me, was watching C64 demos throughout the party (rank #1 for most nostalgic scener at this year's Mekka and Symposium). Some guys were listening to remixes of famous C64 game tunes that were spread around as MP3s on the various FTP servers at the party (hi Deekay!).
I am also glad I have met my old friend and swapping contact Gunhed Battalion again whose snail-mail and e-mail addresses as well as Fax number I lost nearly two years ago. He placed second in the C64 4k-intro compo.
During the opening ceremony, a chiptune competition was held. Some guys were *singing* well-known C64 musics and three idiots had to guess which chiptunes they were singing. The first price was a C64 with power supply. The second and third price were not given because the competitors were too lame. One "topic" in the fast intro competition was 6510 code.
Nuance was selling books about the history of the scene including the old days of the crack scene on C64. The Amiga scene was also very present at this really cool oldskoolers meeting...
Well, don't even dare to think the C64 is an antiquity of the eighties and stop wining about how dead the C64 scene is in your country, just come to Mekka and Symposium 2k next Easter! And don't forget to bring some powerful speakers with you! I just love hearing my favourite sid tunes all around me at a party...!
(Some dull ignorant people prefer spoiling the party place with their dumb boom-boom techno "music" all the time. This is really sad, but it's also hard to convert someone who has never played Turrican or Gianna Sisters or The Last Ninja on C64, someone who has never written 6510 code with a hex-editor, someone who has not made his first "coding" experience in C64 Basic, someone...)
That's all. Ceeya all at Mekka & Symposium 2k. Definitely!
- Bam/Evolve/eXtensive. April 8, 1999