Innovations from out of the demoscene

Written by guido

"Today the scene has somehow stopped developing". This sentence is a widespread opinion. As I have known the scene for only a bit more than a year, I don't have much to relate to, but nevertheless I'll try to write something sensible about this topic from my point of view.

OK. The scene has stopped developing. Well, not absolutely. Let's say the speed of development slowed down. (You can insert the amount of deceleration of your choice here.) To prove this, here's something about the evolution of the tracked music formats: The way from the old MODs to today's XMs and ITs had many stopovers. Many formats, like 669, MTM or S3M were developed, some of them became state of the art, only to be replaced by another one after a while. But today? XM and IT have been the standards for more than two and a half years. A pretty long time for scene circumstances, isn't it?

So how can the scene develop now? The classic elements like music, graphics and code have imho reached kind of a limit. What we need is to expand the scene in other directions, less technical, but to do something like "public relations". Adok wrote in the editorial of HUGI #16: It should be an aim to "reach other communities and 'scenes'", and finally to "establish the demoscene as an officially respected form of art". I absolutely agree to the first part of this quotation, but I think we should remember some things before fighting for the second one.

In my opinion - and I don't think I'm the only one claiming this - demos and the whole demoscene are underground. Only accessible for a community of a limited number of people. People with similar interests, with a similar scene feeling. I don't even know if non-sceners would "understand" a demo. Some of my real life friends said "Hey, that's bullshit. What does watching those five minutes of animation give me?" after watching a demo - although I must confess that I sometimes have problems in finding the art in real art things. Well, back to the main thing: I've come to the conclusion, that the scene should stay - ehm... - underground. That's not meant as "never change anything!". Getting in contact with other scenes would be good in my opinion. (Or to be more correct: getting more contact, as there are already/still connections to the cracking scene for example.) By learning about each other two scenes could learn from each other. That would be a possibility to get new innovations; new ways to develop.