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Who Killed the American Demoscene?

category: parties [glöplog]
Long article I just glanced at, but I'll read more carefully one more time for sure.

Nevertheless without its lecture some of the points above are interesting hooks for academic discussion.

There is a lot of truth coming from observation and direct-touch experience that there is cultural difference across the pond.

US is more focused on commercial competition than social. There is social competition component and elitism built into American core but I have a feeling not equally understood as it's inherited in Europe. Europe doesn't understand (maybe beside UK) American way until truly adopted. Same way Americans may just look at European way (if there is one) mostly as curiosity, until truly met. At the end we create different communities, also related to the hobby business.

But this is generalization that can match and miss any mainstream and niche hobby subject and approach toward it across continents (Dungeons and Dragons, Comics, Movies, Music you name it). It's first of all very subjective and may be hurting individually.

Another truth is that by definition we represent a total niche today even in Europe and the growing environment for it was only at the first two decades of computing as it was new and it was easy to create hidden societies that were attractive in this particular subject cluster.

Purely digital retrospection. With the growth of the maturity in our ecosystem, demoscene has gotten just just too many competitors to attract new generations in the same numbers and quality as it used to be. It's still strong by the results mostly thanks to small subset of individuals, most of the rest are just socializing around the concept. It's been always that way.

To give back the credit to America, I perceive it a a pioneer in the hacking culture. There was more attractive factors to prove yourself there both on the bright as well as well as in the dark side of it.

Demoscene as we know it, grew when generations of young people mostly tried to learn their skills onto the game-dev or other multimedia business when there was less options to meet the right people and skills other way.

In the US, IGDA and other gamedev, dev, tech-artictic community chapters had existed strong since I can remember the beginning of the Internet (reading it from Europe)

Me personally living in Poland as teenager who was lucky to be connected early, envied it very much and hoped that some day the same diversity, quality and quantity of various events existed in my own country.

Now, we have 2019 and there is 10-20 game dev coding jams a year. Countless numbers of hackathons about almost everything hosting from 10 to hundreds to people every month. You have local tech events hosting 3000 to 5000 attendees in my own small country and we have only one demoscene party left, hosting 50-100 old retards who just love the sentimental..

It's not Americans who killed the scene in America.. it's just the Demoscene across various environments that's not sexy enough to compete with other communities that have grown since. Once, we were special. Today we're just one niche community among plethora of other digitized communities.

That's what demoscene I believe has always been in the US, just one of the options, niche among niches. But I don't see it as a problem. If there was a need for growth it would have happened already.
added on the 2019-05-20 20:52:04 by hollowone hollowone
wise words and I tend to agree
added on the 2019-05-21 00:58:51 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
Quote:
To give back the credit to America, I perceive it a a pioneer in the hacking culture. There was more attractive factors to prove yourself there both on the bright as well as well as in the dark side of it.


I assume that in the 1960s and the 1970s there were simply more computers in the US universities which may have been a crucial factor (the hacker culture is around 25 years older than the demoscene).

Quote:
Demoscene as we know it, grew when generations of young people mostly tried to learn their skills onto the game-dev or other multimedia business when there was less options to meet the right people and skills other way.


My picture is that those who were primarily interested in the game business, went straight into making games also in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There was a huge freeware gaming scene as well. Those made demos who preferred the idea of making demos.

Quote:
US is more focused on commercial competition than social. There is social competition component and elitism built into American core but I have a feeling not equally understood as it's inherited in Europe


My picture is that in the US for instance school events are more commonly turned into competitions, so I cannot agree.
do you seriously think anyone wants to read your opinions on stuff you don't actually know about?
added on the 2019-05-21 12:02:51 by havoc havoc
havoc, you're new in this "internet" thing, aren't you
added on the 2019-05-21 12:48:18 by kb_ kb_
seems so yeah :)
added on the 2019-05-21 12:59:07 by havoc havoc
My picture is a cat with a sombrero, riding a rainbow-colored John Deere tractor and chasing a herd of daffodils with legs
added on the 2019-05-21 13:45:22 by Maali Maali
Maali: That's so awesome! It was about time for another René Forger release indeed :)
added on the 2019-05-21 13:54:45 by havoc havoc
tbf, i know a bunch of people that went from the demoscene straight into gamedev in the mid ninetees and never looked back.
added on the 2019-05-21 14:50:45 by okkie okkie
okkie: that diametrically opposes what the guy is claiming...
added on the 2019-05-21 15:18:36 by havoc havoc
oh yeah, now i see lol. yeah, that's hogwash, most of the game industry in that time was super duper demoscene heavy. Heck, i still meet people in the industry that used to be in trsi and whatnot.
added on the 2019-05-21 17:30:30 by okkie okkie
Quote:
okkieokkie: that diametrically opposes what the guy is claiming...


I certainly did not question the fact that significant portion of game developers were demosceners but expressed my doubt towards the idea that the willingness to learn skills for and to promote oneself to the commercial sector plays such a large role in explaining why the scene was so big back then.
Quote:
... - Consoles sold better and were more popular than microcomputers.


/thread
added on the 2019-05-21 19:55:13 by nagz nagz
la_mettrie: sorry to be blunt but you're just stacking layers of misassumptions now. it was in fact very common to see requests to be hired by gamecompanies in demos and intros back in the day. and there certainly wasn't as clear a divide between demoscene, homebrew games and professional gamedev as you seem to assume. i should know, i wrote such messages in the demo and game prods we produced to get noticed, got hired, fired, hired again, etc etc, rinse repeat- and i'm definitely not an exception to the rule. you are correct in your last statement, the wish to promote oneself was not the major reason why the scene was bigger back in the day, but that's for the by far largest part true only because there was such a large contingent of low and no skill sceners who were associated with the scene but in fact just there for the easy access to illegal software. as for the actually creative/productive sceners, i'd say at the very least in 50% of all cases the hope to ultimately land a gamedev job was an important motivating factor.
added on the 2019-05-21 20:33:24 by havoc havoc
Isn't it clear if you look at many 90s demos that people are advertising their skills for making games? :) 3D animation engines, story demos, cinematic tunes.
added on the 2019-05-21 20:58:11 by yzi yzi
All I wrote is just an opinion, not neccesary the fact. By definition subjectively shaped by own observation. Part of the discussion, optional to read ;-)

But I never claimed above that promoting yourself onto professional gaming business is the major factor or motivator.. more a common set of skills shared among those who developed themselves in both subjects.

I'm sorry for typos in the original post. 2019 and there is still no edit option on pouet ;>
added on the 2019-05-21 22:26:31 by hollowone hollowone
>who killed american demoscene

IT WAS ME


DIO
added on the 2019-05-22 03:37:55 by Parzival Parzival
Two more about the US part of the equation, albeit in the past:

1) For some reason it sounds like in the 90s school computer clubs were not a source for demoscene material in the way they were in Europe. The US people whose "how-I-got-into-the-demoscene" stories I have heard generally found out about it through BBSes. This seems to be a big issue, because lots of folks didn't have access to BBSes or had very limited access, due to the cost.

2) IBM, Microsoft, and other early behemoths with (at the time) large US work forces seem to have sucked up a lot of coders, and as far as I can tell university programs mostly focused on developing the kinds of coders these kinds of organizations wanted.

The demoscene in North America has really benefited from the modern internet and from hacker and maker culture, as well as coworking spaces. Blockparty at Notacon, various demoscene activity at Magfest, Level One at a hackerspace in California if I recall correctly, Recursion which moved from a coworking to a hackerspace to another coworking, @party which was at a unique university and is now at a makerspace, Demosplash which remains at a unique university, Synchrony which emits from a unique university and has taken place in art/maker spaces as well as public space . . . this is not a coincidence.

MIT and Carnegie Mellon both see the link between the arts and the sciences in ways that other universities do not, and this may also have something to do with how well-regarded their computer science and affiliated computing technology programs are. It is no coincidence that they are the reason modern demoparties have survived and thrived.

That link between the arts and sciences is stronger in Europe for cultural reasons and related funding reasons, I think. And the strength of that link supports the demoscene.

And I did not already say this in a Czech art magazine almost seven years ago, or any of the other times I was interviewed. I think.

Not sure how much I have to say on this now being peripheral to the Panamerican Scene, but there is my deux centimes.
added on the 2019-05-22 23:21:01 by metoikos metoikos
Also, Panamerican, darnit.
Brazil and Argentina have demoparties, don't forget it.
And Montreal may not have demoparties anymore, but it still has some demosceners, along with other parts of Quebec and Saskatchewan. (;
added on the 2019-05-22 23:22:37 by metoikos metoikos
Quote:


2) IBM, Microsoft, and other early behemoths with (at the time) large US work forces seem to have sucked up a lot of coders, and as far as I can tell university programs mostly focused on developing the kinds of coders these kinds of organizations wanted.


It's true that American corporations back Hackerthons which I find tend to emphasize commercialization of ideas or corporate "social-good" (ie utility) of projects. Those who want to win will have to please their corporate sponsors. At the same, these Hackerthons endorse high-stress rapid working environments which can be seen as attempts to normalize this kind of culture in the workplace or as attempts to maximize utility from coders.

Not European so not sure how/if the Computer Science / Programming culture may be different.
added on the 2019-05-23 00:12:25 by Czery Czery
time for some "Make The American Demoscene Great Again!"-caps and twittering billionaire retard.
added on the 2019-05-23 00:14:03 by Maali Maali
Quote:
time for some "Make The American Demoscene Great Again!"-caps and twittering billionaire retard.


i volunteer as the billionaire retard!
donations are welcome
added on the 2019-05-23 15:28:14 by nagz nagz
Who killed the American Demoscene
BB Image

WHO??
added on the 2019-05-23 15:44:13 by d0DgE d0DgE
Colonel Mustard
in the conservatory
with a candlestick.
added on the 2019-05-23 15:58:25 by phoenix phoenix
Quote:
Who Killed the American Demoscene?

Deine Mudda.
added on the 2019-05-23 18:08:38 by Sir Sir

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