Make the demoscene a better place!!!

By Optimus

There exist small things in life they say, that could make you happy enough, occuring in every tiny moment that passes unnoticed through your little time. I believe there are good reasons that made me the way I am today, let me engage in strange activities and find weird friends, but I tend to forget these. Instead, I fill my life with bad elements, when there are a lot of good ones to stare at. It's very sad when I remember the bad feelings I shared inside the demoscene, especially when I realize how great it could be otherwise. I should have normally been very happy for gaining the opportunity to spend my time with demomaking (at least when it works), it seems however that I killed that feeling..

Thoughts like the above emerged during another lonely walk. I was laughing at the suggestions of the elderly people about my travel in Germany. I should take that in my advantage they say. By this, meaning that I should get in touch with my professors, write and send them a curicullum vitae, get involved in scientific works, and of course read for my lessons a lot in order to recover the "lost" time of Erasmus. They were totally out and of course they didn't knew what I really want. They also forget the reason why most students make it to Erasmus. Their suggestions and especially the way they insisted upon them, would make every Erasmus student laugh out loud!

I was wondering also about the social settings these people have. My parents are always boasting about their PhDs. Friends from their close environment (the university) have worked upon numerous scientific papers, enough tens of them. They keep telling me how important it is for me to release papers even before taking my diploma. But I don't get that. No matter if it's good or bad, I don't get the reasons for that, perhaps I also don't feel like belonging in the academic community. These people have made a so called university career, I never asked for that!

2 months after my stay in Germany, three parts seem to be moving. The infamous "Project-Selfreboot", real life (Socialization. I surprisingly find out that I never had such an intensive real life before!) and computing (No big projects this time, mainly spending the remaining time with the things I love to do). One thing was absent though. I stopped attending my university classes! However, the most important on this, is the comparison. From the hated side, we have a purely obligatory thing that I don't like at all. From the beloved side, there are things concerning my self (P-SR, real life) and one having to do with computing. I realized that what I did in the computer was also belonging in the beloved ones of my life, in opposition to the boring university classes and unwanted career. I both have a real life (sometimes disappointing - read my article called "I hate real life" - but at least existing and strong), enjoy my little independency and play with my computer (writing, coding, watching demos or even playing games) these days.

That's where my thoughts arised. I wondered at that night what do I really enjoy in life. How would life be if I could choose it. Real life activities, a simple, free, crazy or funny life, doing stuff on my computer JFF were some of the INs. University or job career and other social settings were some of the OUTs. At that point, I wondered about the demoscene. It's like a job but it is also a hobby (That's a clasic contradiction spinning around my head since a long time). That sounded very bad to me at times, like that there must be some very wicked motivations to push us spending so much time, while not getting paid (I would like to discuss that too, but it's out of the current article). That sounded also good to me, because it appeared to be a free creative world in comparison to my university. Seeming like a job, studying or science, but with an impressively free spirit. You don't have to pass exams, nobody pushes you to work really, you engaged into it because you liked it, you can choose your own style of work, people who have the similar passion will give you some feedback. And it seems like science, something truly creative, intensive or very interesting to do instead of just hanging around. Perhaps it's really a perfect middle world between job/university and regular leisure activities. A world that I shouldn't have thrown away..

Demoscene is one of the rare things that you can't easily find in the real world. It has it's bad sides however. I have an idea about myself, but I was always wondering how are other sceners feeling during their activities. There exist unpleasant things of course, like the deadlines or people who throw shit on you (everybody has done it once). Think that the most common pretense why people retire from the scene is because someone got pissed of the community. I am also wondering about uberactive people, how do they find the energy, if they get tired or being oppressed by deadlines and work requests or wishing to climb up higher in the Top10 and remain there. What is the role of fame/recognition in all these? Have you ever wondered about the inner motivations that got you involved in the scene at first? Or about any of them that keeps you active during different periods? Sometimes it seems to me like a self-centered game. At least this is a motive that helped the scene to evolve. A strong variable that plays an important role in our societies too. Would our world be the same without that? Would you work hard for a kick ass demo without it? Before you answer yes in a rush, I would like you to wonder: Would you ever work hard to release something in a scene with very few or no people at all? I don't want to claim whether the scene motives are good or evil, since everybody engaged in it for different reasons and keeps being active for even more different reasons. I only wanted to prompt some interesting questions and point out some facts, rather than generalize. They look quite interesting under a second glance, don't you think?

Returning back to me, I was known in the scene as a very enthusiastic boy who has made great dreams of demoscene activity, but was always worrying about his unsuccess to bring them into reality. I have also become the mockery of the scene, namely Pouet. The reasons for that are kept for me to rethink, the point is that the hard feelings are nobody's fault, I don't really want to blame anyone at the end. A fact is that I have been feeling much better since I left Pouet. Time has not passed without good creative times though, but a lot of it was wasted on senseless conflicts in the net. I should remember the beautiful times when I was listening to scene music or watching demos and getting inspiration for ideas I always wanted to code. Times exactly like this, when I am writing something in order to share it with people reading a diskmag. Rare times when I am coding something on my computer without any worries at all (when was the last time?). And it works! Making me smile :). Good times while having some nice chat with scene friends or receiving letters with discs and covers inside. I can't even remember the first time and my feelings, when I accidentally discovered some old demos and the demoscene in a commercial CD, looking like I found a very hidden treasure of countless worth! The anamnesis has been erased from my brain. I might have been a joyful child back then. Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time and live the same moments again, no matter if I feel much wiser (but much more worried) today, than what I was back then. Why are the good properties of what I am and what I do, lost? Where are the pure demo essences that could make my life happier? Why did I turn paradise into hell?

Some believe that my world domination will come with a really really good demo. I also thought that at first. But I guess I have to tear my plans. For there are wicked motivations lurking behind them, thoughts that might kill my feelings once again. Why should I do a good demo or a demo at all? To satisfy my complex? To get my revenge? To proove that I am not a lamer? I could believe that these motives might be hiding behind some good releases in the scene, but if I base upon them then my mood will really throw down and nothing will be released. I don't need to anyway. I find out that I better have to avoid any negative feelings coming from the demoscene (even the scene itself for a big while) and only concentrate on the ones that really gave me the good reasons to be here. It's a bad mystery that I had everything and threw them away. The scene could be the place to be but it seems to be the place I hate. Perhaps it would be better for me to disappear..

My disappointment is magnified by the very good things I discover about it. Our demoscene (and computing as a hobby in general) is like university but without obligatory exercises, stressful exams and strong career settings. It is like a job but without predefined pathways, financial motivations and a boss. It's like science but without strict laws, serious background and a scientific lobby. It's a free creative world were you just sit there and do stuff for yourself!

It's not that parts of the real world doesn't exist in the demoscene (You still have deadlines, quarrels and self-centered motives), it's not that these parts are necessarily evil (They might be the reasons for some of the best releases and even the individuals might be feeling that it was worth the pressure at the end), but mostly that they prooved to act badly in my case. They might work fine for some people, they might have motivated me at times, but thoughts like these are killing me today. I need serenity and I also need to look at the pure ones that brought me in the demoscene community at first. Or I can just quit the scene, it doesn't work like this anymore. I can code on my computer only because I like the moments when I am solving a programming problem or create something visually beautiful. Or I can just forget my computer if I think that I was deceived into believing that it has to do with my dreams or my focus in life. There is no good or evil in reality, just a struggle to find these rare pieces of happiness inside life activities that I miss. And an understanding that what I should be doing really, is to avoid the bad ones.

It remains back to myself to reckon parts of my scene and real life and draw my conclusions. Depending on the value of each moment in my life, I can make decisions about the way I will walk in every future. My days in the demoscene have gone so bad, that I am tempted to quit soon. At least if I decide to clearly see my bad image inside it and follow what I said above. Perhaps I will disappear from the scene soon (and for a long time), perhaps I will continue coding when I feel so, but alone and disconnected from the community this time. I can watch demos and cry out of emotion, but interfering with sceners makes me cry sad. I also can't find any good motivations anymore (My brain still spins around that world domination project) and my energy is lost. I don't know if I will return back but disconnecting might be the best for me now. For I have killed what should not be and I can't recover it back..

Before leaving, I want to leave a message to all sceners out there. Instead of messing up with things that share bad feelings, remember the good ones that you might miss. Make the demoscene a better place, for you and the people around! What you are holding in your hands is a hidden treasure at it's pure state. To put it otherwise, demomaking is a luxury for the real world. The last resort for people like you and me. Don't let the good feelings die. Don't let the bad feelings come up. Judge which feelings did the last quarrel brought up to you and to the other people, grab from the good sides that are fading away. Afteralls, few thousand people in this world own the opportunity and skills to do what you do! Will you kill the beauty of this creative world like I did?

Now, I want to shut up and take some rest..

Optimus / Dirty Minds