Report: Cologne Conference '98
Written by Ghandy
For years, Exon and me have had the idea to organize a scenish party on our own. That's why the two of us founded the "Los Endos meeting" series, which is a relatively small meeting of callers of the Los Endos BBS and of course of local sceners. The scene here around Dsseldorf is quite ineffective, i.e. there are some sceners, but they don't communicate with each other. The Los Endos meeting was meant as a possibility to come together, to drink some beer, have a nice chat during the night and discuss about this and that.
This and that... Our plan since the beginning has also been to ask the meeting's visitors if they would or could help us make our party-dream come true. Around June 1998 we gathered for the fourth time and talked about our plans with Chavez of Faith and Evrimsson of Nuance. Evrim was fascinated because he had also had the same crazy idea a long, long time ago, but he didn't continue to work on it as he only wanted to realise it with a bunch of serious and reliable persons. Chavez was interested in supporting us, but only as a helping hand and not as a main organiser. Some days later when Dire of Eremation and Merlin M of Nuance heard that we had started working on a party they also promised to become a part of the organizing team. And they did!
A few weeks later... Evrimsson gave us the adress of a possible partyplace and left for St. Louis in the USA. He wanted to spend his holidays there but maybe also look around for a job or catch a green card and live in the United States forever. The weeks before he left he hadn't been reachable very well and had spent only a few hours in front of his computer. The reason? He was in love and hoped to come together with the girl that he wanted to meet during his holidays in the USA. It was very understandable that he didn't care about looking around for a partyplace, but for the rest of us it was a hard and depressing time. We had already started spreading rumours, and people asked if the party would really be held... mhh... but what can you say?
At this time everything was unsure. Dire couldn't help us as he was much too busy with his studies and his own student's papermag called "CCC = Cologne, Computer & Campus", which he founded at that time. The rest was living away too far to look around for free space. And last but not least you can't make any further plans if you can't call a location your own. Time was getting short, seven weeks later after Evrim's retur from the USA it was pure luck that we found a decent partly place. Maybe you know that starting with the 11th of November, the inhabitants of Cologne get crazy because their beloved traditional "carnival" starts. In that period of time it's even harder to find a cheap & free location...
The Cologne Conference was and is still meant as an entirely scenish meeting. We don't care about different computer platforms. Most of the organizers work with Amiga computers, but that's not so important for us. That means also sceners from other platforms such as C64, Macintosh, video game consoles and PC are welcome. But only sceners; we didn't want to organise a meeting for Doom or Quake gamblers who don't have a clue of what more their computers are capable of.
However, you cannot only open a hall, offer beer and food and hope that your visitors will be happy there. We were sure our visitors would soon get bored if we did't offer any more. Merlin M and Evrimsson are close friends and one day they thought of creating games for the CC98. They were planned to be not serious but funny - and believe me, they WERE funny! One highlight of the party was the moment when we initiated the "Gravenreuth-dart-game". Probably you remember that excellent fullscreen picture from Peachy of Haujobb showing Dr. Gravenreuth with fat pimples on a hyperfat nose, bad looking ears (Batman could fly with them), etc. All in all this face is so ugly that it could be only a question of honour and pleasure to throw dartarrows at it. Funny but true, at the moment we began with the "Gravy-dart-game", Dr. Gravenreuth himself came down the stairs. I said "hello" to him and told him what we were actually doing. He entered the party and shouted through the whole hall "Hey... I want to compete in that compo!" Evrim ran towards him, returned the entrance fee to him and told him that he wasn't welcome. He was really looking unlucky and told me "Hey, I would like to compete but they don't want me here." Seconds later he was away again. Extremly funny!
The CC98 proved to be a success, and we plan to make it a lot bigger next year. A much better hall will be needed, we'll offer demo competitions for the leading computer systems, and this time it will take place for two days... so nobody will have to search for a hotel again. You ask why we didn't make it that way last year? The reason is simple, we first wanted to wait and see how many people would come. Doing a party in Germany isn't so easy, the German scene has got quite small during the past years, and there's no successful party series in Germany, except Mekka & Symposium, of course. Maybe it will be risky to arrange a demo competition only a few weeks before THE PARTY in Denmark, but regarding the CC, the groups can be sure that their productions will be shown at a real scene happening! Not to forget that it's quite hard to get a good rank there because of the big competition between so many entries from all around Europe.
Big kisses and hellos go out to our sponsors: Amiga International Inc. for their support and fine Amiga-posters (the posters gave our happening the right feeling), Micronik, who sponsered an Infinity Tower II for our lottery, Village Tronic for their "Ariadne" network card for the lottery, Schatztruhe Software, Titan Software, Amiga Special, amigaOS (a new German papermag), Amiga Magazin (inside PC-Go!), Magic Bytes and Darkage Software for all their prizes for the lionfeed & our lottery... all in all we had prices for 2000 German Marks! This alone should be reason enough to enter our party again next year, isn't it?
Also thanks to Red Bull for about 300 bottles, which were given away to the visitors for free. A big smack also to Academicus (office for students' jobs & more) for the webspace they gave us and all the free copies! I would also like to mention Unreal of CNCD for the great logos & design, Modem of Darkage for the small invitation intro, Steeler/Phantasm for the great & professional entertainment he gave us, Andy of Nuance for the Dynablaster competition (hey Andy, why the heck do you compete in any Dynablasta-compo yourself? That doesn't make it easier to win. Also thanks to Raven/Nuance & Chavez/Faith for helping us, The Elevatorman & Skyfly for the pics, Bettina, Iris, etc., etc. Can't mention them all!
When November 1999 and the Computer '99 fair are coming nearer and nearer, don't miss our party! Keep yourself informed by browsing through our homepage from time to time at: http://www.academicus.de/cc98
P.S.: It was good that there weren't any computers at the CC this year because if there's nothing to hide behind, you have to speak with your neighbour. Even though CC'98 was more like a meeting than a party, our visitors were forced to get in personal touch with each other. And you should know how complicated this is for the majority of computer freaks...
- Ghandy of Darkage, Faith, Gods & Chemical Reaction