Counterstatement to "Charts suck!"
A few minutes ago, I was reading your article 'charts suck'. Minutes have passed, and I've been trying to figure out your motivation to write this article. And since I feel that I have been part of the c64-scene for long enough now, I have a great desire to reply to your article.
Let's start at the very beginning. When I was just a 'puppy-scener' (mind you, that was 1988 :)), the very basic 'rules' of the scene became clear to me. It was a simple procedure: either you had what was required to become one of the 'big boys', or you did not have it. And if you didn't have it, you were never going to 'play' with those 'big boys'. Even though those 'big boys' seemed way too arrogant, my desire was to be just like them. I started wondering how I might earn some attention. Soon I discovered that all of those guys had some sort of special skill (or 2 or 3 :)). So, some sort of special skill was required for me to earn a bit of respect. If I was skilled in one way or another, and my skill was useful for the scene, I would be able to earn the much desired respect. (This was also an aproved way of keeping a lot of LAMERS out of the scene... well, most of them anyway;). Further more, I discovered that I had to WORK to earn respect. Just like in real life nowadays. After having tried some coding, some composing, I found out that I was quite handy when it came to graphics. I got my hands on several different paint-programs, and found out that the Centauri-editor suited my demands. I worked on LOTS of logos, DAY AND NIGHT, in order to get some attention. And it worked. Slowly people started to appreciate my efforts. I got offers from several small groups, and I joined one of the 'better' small groups. But I wanted more. I wanted to be part of a better group, and I wanted to be up there with the very BEST. That was my goal. That was what it was all about. Reading diskmags and keeping a good close look at the charts was essential. I was able to see which people had earned the respect of the masses, and their work was a source of inspiration to me. COMPETITION is the magic word. Competition kept the spirit alive. As long as there was competition, there was motivation. And then, when I first saw my handle in the charts of Corruption (a c-64 mag), I was amazed. I was only ranked 9th, but it didn't matter. A dream came true for me. I was actually amongst the ten BEST graphicians at that moment. I told all my friends about it, even though they were hardly interested (they were not aware of what 'the scene' was). But still, I was proud. It was the actual reward for my efforts. After all those years (took me 2 years!), I had finally made it. I had been 'up there with the big boys'. I joined one of the better c-64 groups in those days, and all of the sudden when I went to the famous Venlo meetings, a shitload of lamers were begging for some new logo-disks of mine. And I know that arrogance is not exactly a good quality, but it was the inevatible consequence of my 'success'. Though it never grew over my head. I was proud. You see, somehow charts belong to a scene. At least in my eyes.
The scene is like a feeling to me, always has been, and it always will be. Nowadays though, that feeling is missing. Both the SNES scene and the Amiga scene lacked that feeling, and I'm afraid the PC-scene is no exception either. However, the PC-scene is slightly different somehow. Sometimes, when talking to people like wotw/TRSI or Surfing/RJ on #thescene, I get this scene feeling again. But it is only momentary. And when I read your article 'charts suck', it became clear to me that the PC-scene will NEVER give me back this feeling. Because somehow, you were right. Not about charts in general, but about PC charts. The problem on the PC, IMHO, is that there are simply TOO many people on TOO many different computers. Sure, we all own a PC, but x uses an old 486 whilst y has just purchased a new PIII 500Mhz. Plus the fact that there's simply TOO many UNSKILLED LAMERS around on the PC. Which, to me, is the contrary of what the scene was initially all about: having to proof yourself by exploiting your skills. There's so many lamers on the PC who think they can open their big mouths and scream around, whilst the only REAL effort they ever made was an ugly logo in PhotoShop, which they used 32 different filters on. It's so easy on PC these days. A real pity.
Mind you: I do not want to criticise the PC-scene, because I know there's a lot of skilled and goodwilling sceners out there (and I do think that you are amongst them, Adok :)). But the mass of people on PC who have no knowledge of what the scene is all about what-so-ever, kind of spoil things for me.
(#1 Dutch demo group nowadays, and we're proud of it ;))