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Demoscene social issues

category: general [glöplog]
There are so many things in this thread that I've given up trying to quote anyone, so I'll just write down a few thoughts.

Almost every place where people meet and drink alcohol will always have "that person". The one who goes a bit over the top. Be it your annual work christmas party, your wedding, or.. a demoparty. Is the party smaller? Then the amount of overly intoxicated people is smaller. Is the party bigger? The amount of overly intoxicated people is bigger. The percentage however, stays the same.

I went to Sundown one year. Not that big - really nice, cozy atmosphere (very british), but there was that one guy (you know who you are). I went to Distance 98 in Norway, the party flopped a bit and had 20 visitors. Most memorable act: 2 people took LSD, thought they were shrinking and recorded their testament since they were obviously going to die (hilarious mp3s, those).

Point is: Someone will always drink too much (or get too intoxicated). It could be (has been) me, it could be (has been) a lot of you. It happens, it's a rule of society. It happens more for some people than others, but one can hope that those people eventually grow up (I tried).

At an event like Revision, since the attendance list is higher, it will seem like more.

Also, since the attendance list is higher and the party is bloody good, the atmosphere will be way more energetic than smaller parties where there just ain't enough people to keep the hype flowing - TRSAC and some editions of Kindergarden obviously excluded. At a bigger event, there's always someone awake, keeping the momentum going.

So in my opinion, there's not much you can do about this except:

Throw out heavily intoxicated people.
Move yourself away from the situation if you feel uncomfortable.
If someone misbehaves towards you, tell them to fuck off.
If you can't or won't do that, ask an organizer to help.
If you can't or won't do that, ask a really big, nasty looking demoscener with respect to help (it's amazing how often that has worked out).

As for remembering peoples names (in the original post): Revision is big. You meet and talk with a lot of people. Share some comments here, share some ideas there. It's easy to get lost in the crowd.

I don't remember the names or faces of half the people I met over the years. (They mostly remember me, comes with being a girl, so it creates a lot of awkward moments where I have to either pretend I remember people or say straight out that I don't.)

Don't let not being remembered as a first timer stop you from going to another party. Just make something memorable and release it in the compos ;)
added on the 2015-04-18 08:17:48 by leijaa leijaa
Word.
added on the 2015-04-18 08:31:40 by dixan dixan
tbh I give no fucks about this discussion, so I'm going to ignore 99% of this thread. Ok, everything but two posts by Gasman.

Quote:
The suggestion of applying a code of conduct to demoparties is mine, and not what that blog post was about, so please direct your scorn towards me instead.


Instead, Gasman, I will direct my kudos toward you, as nobody else is.

A good party organizer will listen to and negotiate with you if you really need and want to get something changed.

Example: I and others wanted a non-meat, non-dairy option at Revision.
(Now that I am spending a lot of time in Germany, I am realizing even more how precious and important something like that is here).
So me and another attendee and an organizer made vegan food and ate it together at 2013. 2014, Dfox and Madame were awesome and got a vegan caterer, and I sold vegan food to folks. This year, there was a vegan food stand at Revision, and as far as I know it was a hit. Lovely food.

The kudos do not go to me here. They go to Dfox.
I never said "Solve this problem for me." But my actions were proof of concept. Dfox, as a good orga, saw that there was a demand and people who gave a fuck, and stepped up and did something.

It is good to get the community aware of some issue you have.

But you can talk directly to organizers too.

In both cases you'll get farther by offering solutions rather than problems, and by asking the right questions rather than stating facts. Get people's brains ticking. Let them come to the conclusions you want them to come to on their own, and skip the argument, skip the bikeshedding and flame wars and ponies. And then, when they understand that there is a problem, offer a solution.

Focus on the why. Focus on the goal.

A good organizer will work with you toward your shared goal.
A good community will work with you toward a shared goal.

Now go outside and play.
added on the 2015-04-18 08:47:41 by metoikos metoikos
Sir: now that wasnt very social of you. ;)
added on the 2015-04-18 08:51:39 by magic magic
Reading all the recent posts a few questions arise.
Could it be, that there's too much expectations that are not met? Are the expectations of the visitors misaligned, or are wrong expectations fueled by e.g. the outreach activities, by building a somewhat beautified image of the demoscene, to make it presentable to the public?
Also, i do not understand how the "problems" people bump on can trip them so hard. Live is full of awkward situations to come over, when changing diapers i have touched more shit than ever got dumped besides the porcellain in demopartys. It appears to me, that people that bother already about such small problems like non sparkling water or a missing vegan food support are barely able to live without external help. Is it a generation problem? Was our childhood rougher? I can't tell.
Also, first of all orgas are orgas and humans, not the police and no law enforcers. Upon a problem with your neighbours, would you also as first step call the police or make an attempt to ask your neighbours to behave? So it seems, that also the offended side is as social incabale as the non behaving dick, if not being able to adress problems on spot.
And sceners and rude? i'd not say they are rude, but usually pretty blunt, what could be misinterpreted as being rude. Some think and talk pretty optimized and do not see any need for discussions and phrases where they have a pretty well founded opinion. Thus a short and blunt "fuck off" is just okay to stop an upcoming discussion and to underline that you disagree.
Quote:
If you don't like something, speak up, and if you actually have a point, something will probably happen. Because prophylactically cutting down on things that _might_ offend people is a slippery slope, and even if it _does_ offend someone, it still should be decided on a case by case basis. There's a lot of clear situations [..] but people being just drunk? or loud? at a _party_? You may not like it but who exactly are you again to interfere with other people's way of celebrating?


Fully agree with kb on this topic. And to mention it again: Tell the Organizers on place when sth. offend you. They most probably will have an open ear and will try to help you clear any situation on the spot, so that everybody can keep on having fun. :)
added on the 2015-04-18 10:57:15 by v3nom v3nom
Just a commentary:

I agree that the outreach sometimes can clash with the reality. A center-european demoparty is not a conference or a hackathon and probably is badly sold as one. (I say center-european because french demoparties had a very different feeling in my experience that was often more oriented towards coding)

My most embarassing, shameful moment in the scene was when a programmer from ATI's demo team was giving a talk on graphics/shader programming tool at breakpoint'04 and getting heckled the hell out with gross sexist remarks. It was dark as fuck.
added on the 2015-04-18 11:06:14 by _-_-__ _-_-__
Quote:
And sceners and rude? i'd not say they are rude, but usually pretty blunt, what could be misinterpreted as being rude. Some think and talk pretty optimized and do not see any need for discussions and phrases where they have a pretty well founded opinion. Thus a short and blunt "fuck off" is just okay to stop an upcoming discussion and to underline that you disagree.


You know, “fuck off” to stop a discussion just because you're convinced you are right is rude. If those are standards that you think are okay for interacting with people, and you think the discussion is about sparkling water, I can understand there are “misaligned expectations” indeed.
added on the 2015-04-18 11:09:16 by Sesse Sesse
Quote:
Could it be, that there's too much expectations that are not met? Are the expectations of the visitors misaligned, or are wrong expectations fueled by e.g. the outreach activities, by building a somewhat beautified image of the demoscene, to make it presentable to the public?

See now we're having a discussion!

And yes, that I think might very well be the part of it - generally when you explain the scene to someone who hasn't heard of it, you explain the demo part, that people sit down with computers and make cool stuff and then go to events where they meet. You obviously tend to put less emphasis in your explanation on what you perceive as the negative side, which is that there's drunk people yelling, even if it is the truth.

I don't think it makes the expectations unrealistic, but it can certainly be a surprise later on. I'll never forget the face of a friend of mine who I brought to SceneCON when he saw a near-dysfunctional Leon in absolute drunken shambles climb up on stage to receive first prize for a C64 picture - it just barely registered to him to have someone that drunk and obnoxious be at the same time be that talented.
Quote:
Also, i do not understand how the "problems" people bump on can trip them so hard. Live is full of awkward situations to come over, when changing diapers i have touched more shit than ever got dumped besides the porcellain in demopartys. It appears to me, that people that bother already about such small problems like non sparkling water or a missing vegan food support are barely able to live without external help. Is it a generation problem? Was our childhood rougher? I can't tell.

This is where stepping outside the echochamber would help - demoparties are by no means "normal" and they cannot be compared by "normal" terms - where else would someone show up with a seven-foot-tall stack of speakers and several giant kegs of beer for a single weekend? It would put an NFL tailgate party to absolute shame.

We pride ourselves on the looseness, that there's no huge security or overzealous volunteer organizers breaking the flow of an event, but that also comes with the downside that some things (most) people perceive as okay are not okay for some others, simply because it falls in that gray area which would be not okay anywhere else either. So with that precious looseness (which, of course, is in large part the appeal as everyone would agree) sometimes comes a little friction and confrontation, and we can only hope to resolve it amicably without permanent losses.
added on the 2015-04-18 11:15:53 by Gargaj Gargaj
Quote:
And yes, that I think might very well be the part of it - generally when you explain the scene to someone who hasn't heard of it, you explain the demo part, that people sit down with computers and make cool stuff and then go to events where they meet. You obviously tend to put less emphasis in your explanation on what you perceive as the negative side, which is that there's drunk people yelling, even if it is the truth.


I give a lot of talks about the demoscene at the local universities, companies, clubs and festivals and I can say that I've never hidden those aspects from the audience.

My summary about demoparties usually is:

* There are people who do amazing stuff with computers and we watch that stuff together
* It's social and friendly
* It's _always_ loud, basically around the clock
* People party and drink a lot - sometimes too much

Often also I use a quote from a security guard from Revision 2011 which was:
"I have never seen that many people drink that much without anything troublesome happening"

So I'm not sure how others approach demoscene outreach but I for myself can't say that I've hidden anything. Also not towards sponsors - because why would I? It would be dishonest. And I'd rather be frank upfront than to have to apologize in the end.
added on the 2015-04-18 11:58:24 by D.Fox D.Fox
Quote:

You know, “fuck off” to stop a discussion just because you're convinced you are right is rude. If those are standards that you think are okay for interacting with people, and you think the discussion is about sparkling water, I can understand there are “misaligned expectations” indeed.


I'm not in the scene or parties to reflect and discuss about my way of life, nor to be evangelized. So maybe the unsolicited entry to my personal life might be as rude beforehand. Others might discuss whatever they want, but i can't be forced to partake. As a kind gesture at parties however, i set people at my table into notice that it could get pretty loud and over the top at this table, that either ends up in people shifting off or stay with a happy smile in their face. Win-win. Noone bothered, all fine.
And the obvious disclaimer: No, it's not ok to be puked on or to be harassed. It's been said many times already - if you encounter something like that, talk to an organizers of that respective party and they will take care of it. It they don't - escalate.

If we have offenders that don't get the message - they will be talked to and removed if necessary. I'll also won't refrain to tell the "too easily offended" that this kind of event might not be for them if they have problems with some intoxicated people or the noise. And this obviously includes not only visitors but also organizers, guests and sponsors alike.
added on the 2015-04-18 12:05:01 by D.Fox D.Fox
What I liked the most about this thread is how people who openly admit they have never been to a demoparty form their opinions on people who *do* visit them and a demoscene in general. This a level of trolling I'd probably never reach. Teach me master.
added on the 2015-04-18 12:08:29 by argasek argasek
Quote:

So I'm not sure how others approach demoscene outreach but I for myself can't say that I've hidden anything. Also not towards sponsors - because why would I? It would be dishonest. And I'd rather be frank upfront than to have to apologize in the end.


That is good to hear, as i have the feeling people feel somehow ashamed of what happens there, something i can't understand. One has to accept that not everyone from outside finds the demoscene attractive and cool, so no need to "beautify" things, love it or leave it. I see, that some have problems telling their wifes/girlfriends/bosses about what is going on in the demoscene, but it is not the demoscene's fault if they can't talk about nudity or alcohol (abuse).
There's also various other hobbies available in this world. And as for computer realted stuff, there's even all kind of shades available, from local clubs and small meetings up to the big demoparties. So everyone should find a cozy home, no need to adopt things to a minimal compromise.
Quote:
And the obvious disclaimer: No, it's not ok to be puked on or to be harassed. It's been said many times already - if you encounter something like that, talk to an organizers of that respective party and they will take care of it. It they don't - escalate.

If we have offenders that don't get the message - they will be talked to and removed if necessary. I'll also won't refrain to tell the "too easily offended" that this kind of event might not be for them if they have problems with some intoxicated people or the noise. And this obviously includes not only visitors but also organizers, guests and sponsors alike.


Sums it up pretty nice. End of discussion :)
added on the 2015-04-18 12:20:00 by gopher gopher
Quote:
What I liked the most about this thread is how people who openly admit they have never been to a demoparty form their opinions on people who *do* visit them and a demoscene in general. This a level of trolling I'd probably never reach. Teach me master.

Or maybe those people would like to visit those events but are scared away based on (maybe wrong) assumptions?
added on the 2015-04-18 12:20:42 by JTZ JTZ
I must say I have only made positive experiences with demoparties. At one of the tUM parties I attended, I forgot my suitcase at the party place (yes, I am that stupid sometimes). When I returned to the party place everything was still in place, nobody had taken away anything from my stuff. This would be unlikely to happen at an "ordinary" festival this size. I feel sorry for Gargaj that somebody vomited on him while he was sleeping, fortunately I have never encountered anything like that.
added on the 2015-04-18 12:36:27 by Adok Adok
the demoscene is a much more civilized place nowadays than it was back a few years. that is because people grew up leaving childish manners behind... still, its a demoPARTY though and people drink alcohol and get drunk eventually so thinks can get out of control pretty easily.
added on the 2015-04-18 12:39:44 by Defiance Defiance
An interesting point to make: Do the attendants have to ask for help or should the organizers handle it beforehands (basically, what KB tried to talk about).

If the organizers are to handle it before it goes too far, how do they decide what is ok and what is not? After all, what is totally acceptable for some might be way over the top for others.

How drunk will you have to be before you get thrown out?

For example: Reading what Gargaj said about puke stains after the 64k compo: Should you get thrown out if you puke inside the hall?

Where do you draw the line?

Also, semi unrelated, what do you do to people after you throw them out? Is it your responsibility if they have nowhere to sleep?

I remember one year at Breakpoint DocD called me over and asked if I knew the person standing (or, swaying) next to him, and if I spoke his language. I did, so I got asked to tell him that he had been thrown out and could only enter the hall again when he was sober. So I did, and got back the reply "Yes, I know, I'm trying to pretend I don't understand english, so I can get back in and go to sleep".

In Germany at easter, not a big problem, pretty warm outside. At say, Kindergarden in November, bigger problem..
added on the 2015-04-18 13:19:56 by leijaa leijaa
I've done coke during compos but puking? Never. That's a no-go people.
added on the 2015-04-18 13:21:54 by superplek superplek
leijaa: I'm not saying that those are easy decisions. But I'm sure that we're a good enough community to even take care of the worst drinkers in a proper manner and not leave them outside in the rain or the freezing cold. There are always options.

As for "what's ok" and preventive measures of organizers - that sure is a tough call. Therefore outside input is often immensely helpful. And I'm also sure that there are many instances where visitors don't even see organizer intervention in case of problems.

In the puking example: was he puking because he overestimated his liquor-holding abilities or was he forced by other to drink? Did he get sick from the foodstands? Without enough data on that it's hard to formulate a general rule. It has to be decided case by case.
added on the 2015-04-18 13:32:43 by D.Fox D.Fox
I sort of feel like pulling in a bit of history into the equation. A lot of people have mentioned that pornography was a big thing at the early parties. If you think about it, this is no wonder. How would you copy any porn movie in the 80s or early 90s? You would have to meet people, say, at a demoparty, and copy it using VHS. The process would generally work in real time, so while copying a movie it could just as easily be screened. Needless to say, there were people who used this opportunity to copy, and watch, porn. Seeing that most sceners at the time were teens, or in their early twenties this shouldn't really come as a surprise. Nowadays porn isn't exactly a common sight at parties, although nudity absolutely is present. Then, as now, there was also this curiosity of weird - or even offensive - things, though. At least that's what I try to attribute to the, ahem, gentleman who was watching animal porn starring a hen (rip) at The Gathering 94. Goatse, two girls one cup, Mr. Hands, need I say more. The difference is that back then there was no internet, and any weird stuff would naturally surface at a demoparty if someone had it.

People getting older has changed the scene for a while too. Adults have a better economy - and, well, we're all becoming older and our bodies get stiffer. A good bed is nicer than a sleeping mattress under the table, although I do still feel under the table has it's charm occasionally. ;) Hotel rooms for sleeping comfortably weren't exactly common place when everybody went to school or studies. In the 80s I can't imagine they were much used, and in the 90s they were mostly used for satellite parties.

The end of the 90s was a difficult time in the Nordic scene. The Amiga scene was growing up, drinking increased, and at the same time, the internet had started drawing in a younger crowd. At The Gathering 96 there was a shift in demography of the participants. Lots of teenage girls started coming, mostly due to the internet and many thanks to mIRC. In 97 the demography had unmistakably changed. Younger people were more into games and dating, and many sceners started looking elsewhere for their party. A big part of the scene drifted away from the big Nordic parties at this time, The Party, The Gathering and Assembly, both to the smaller demoparties and to the German Easter party, Mekka & Symposium, et al, which stayed purely scene oriented and grew big at this time. At the pure demo parties there were still very few women, but since 2000 the amount has grown steadily. From being hardly any women, through consisting mostly of girlfriends, to today where there are plenty of women actively participating in the community. The scene has matured, and so has it's audience, yet there is always room for further improvement.

The drinking culture has been with the scene since people came of age. At the same time I take pride in explaining to people I bring into the scene that everyone are usually friendly, open and including. You can basically talk with anyone and will find that most sceners are nice and interesting people. Sceners come in all forms: The introverts, vegans, meat lovers and show-offs; the posh and the hobos; the educated, self-taught, interesting, intelligent, fascinating people; the gays, lesbians, transgenders and homophobics; the trolls and the easily offended; and the nerds, the geeks, the dweebs, the idiots, the drunks, the generic weirdos and nic0. Every now and then people get on each others nerves - maybe particularly at the biggest demoparty of them all. There are simply more people around. Unfortunately this friction can't really be avoided entirely. It's a general part of human society, but I do feel that we are good at taking care of each other in the scene. Much more so than you'll find in many other places. Sexism and racism are unfortunate sides of society, and while present in the demo scene as well, I don't think we're all that bad. We're one big family, but even families can have their issues from time to time.

These social problems are at their most visible when the crowd is big. Big, diverse crowds generate more friction. Smaller demoparties have their own crowd, with their own unique charm, and I think they can be easier for new people in many ways. It's easier to spot a newbie at a small party (we used to call them lamers, I'm happy that stopped) and it's easier for them to get to know people, since the group is smaller. I highly recommend checking some of them out. I should shamelessly recommend my own party now, of course. In Norway we tend to recruit new talents at The Gathering, lure them to Solskogen for an easy summer demo experience - and when they are ready, they come to Kindergarden. It's older, colder, and we have a gabber compo - and you are all welcome! The scene is a good mix of all sorts of people, and in my eyes this mix is part of the charm. I love each and every one of you, for the similarities we share, the diversity you bring, and the community that arises from it. Most of the time we even get along rather well.
added on the 2015-04-18 14:12:24 by arcane arcane
Basically, everything Arcane said.
added on the 2015-04-18 14:20:12 by leijaa leijaa
Arcane makes a lot of sense for a man we had to practically seclude using police tape 15 years ago :)
added on the 2015-04-18 14:30:23 by superplek superplek
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0wteKEPwZU

Yes, you've got rectal bleeding. All of you.
added on the 2015-04-18 14:59:38 by oerg866 oerg866

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