Is The Scene Getting Germanized?
While the Scandinavian countries used to be the geographic center of the scene in the past, where most of the top groups came from and all the big parties were held, a shift has occured in the past years - apparently without being really noticed. Central Europe, and most of all the German-speaking countries, have gained much importance recently. Just to mention a few signs for this:
The two top demo groups of these days, Haujobb and Farbrausch, both have most of their members in Germany.
The largest scene-only party of the past few years, Mekka & Symposium and its successor Breakpoint, is held in Northern Germany.
The main editors of both active international diskmags, Hugi and Pain, are living in German-speaking countries (Austria and Switzerland respectively).
The main server of the demo scene, Scene.org, is hosted by the University of Rotterdam, Netherlands. The Netherlands are also located in Central Europe, and their official language is very similar to German.
The top news posters to Ojuice.net come from German-speaking countries.
scene.country.germany is by far the most proliferative country-based newsgroup among the ones that are hosted by Scene.org.
It isn't much of a surprise that the scene has developed this way, since the German-speaking countries constitute the most populated region in Europe, with about 100 million citizens. Scandinavia, by contrast, is a small region with only little more than 20 million inhabitants. The reason why the scene was most active there in the past may be that modern technology was more widespread among young people in the Scandinavian countries, and especially Finland, than in any other industrialized countries. Now that nearly every family with children in the western world owns a computer, the distribution has become more equal, even though the dense of scene activity still varies from country to country.
In my opinion, one important factor for the growth of the scene in the German countries is outreach. I've listed some examples of how the scene has presented itself to the German public in another article in this issue. The most important of the media which conveyed the existence of a demo scene to the public were probably the Computer Flohmarkt and PC-Heimwerker magazines. Many now active sceners originally learned about the scene from these magazines.