Demoscene social issues

category: general [glöplog]
arcane: are you sober or something? :)
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.

The first reaction I'd have to someone puking would be to make the guy take responsibility and clean up his own mess. If he understands he went overboard and cleans up after himself, I don't see any reason for further retaliation.

In Revision '14, there was one very drunk scener near where I was sitting. He practically fell asleep while standing and dropped his beer, spewing it on the floor. Me, mantratronic and the guy from Fulcrum (Seven I believe), boxed him between chairs so he wouldn't fall to the floor and cleaned the mess. It wasn't a big thing to do, yes, it was inconvenient, but just taking it easy got a long way there. I talked to the guy next evening when we was (more) sober, and he was a pretty cool guy afterall.

tl;dr: Sometimes people do annoying things, but I don't want the kind of atmosphere where people are waiting for anything you do that is stupid and inconvenient to attack you with holy fire and rage. Can we leave that to the SJWs? Peace?
added on the 2015-04-18 15:19:58 by Trilkk Trilkk
Maali: Contrary to what you might think I do have a normal life in between demoparties. ;)
added on the 2015-04-18 15:24:30 by arcane arcane
When I finished my 64k on Evoke 11 I went upstairs to test it on the compo PCs. When I was back a bottle of beer was lying on my notebook with the beer soaked in completely. It was my failure to place the bottle of beer beside my computer but was upset the person responsible did not admin that. I wished a little bit more honesty but who knows - maybe he didn't even notice that?
added on the 2015-04-18 15:39:42 by neoman neoman
OK so I am involved in some local associations who organize events for children.
These associations have a Code of Conduct because Dutch law dictates that any association that works directly with children has to have one.
So I decided to have a little chat with the legal adviser who helped us set up those Codes of Conduct.
There's a few problems with the idea to implement a Code of Conduct at the demoparty I organize (Outline).
The biggest problem is the legal base- To declare a Code of Conduct you first of all need to have some sort of legally recognized association or business to which the Code of Conduct applies.
Outline has nothing like that which raises the question to who or what exactly any Code of Conduct would apply if I declare it today- most likely it's just myself.
As an individual you can declare house rules for your visitors, you can even legally call them a Code of Conduct, but in effect they'll be considered house rules.
To set up a real Code of Conduct, we'd need to set up an association, make all visitors members of this association, and have them sign and return declarations that they will follow the rules in the Code of Conduct as well as legal ID and perhaps a written declaration from their parents if they're under 18.
That's just waaaaayyyy too much overhead and it opens up a nasty can of worms in terms of ownership of the party- the visitors could decide to call a members' vote and throw me out of my own party... theoretically.
So Outline won't adopt a Code of Conduct for it's visitors in the foreseeable future.
We might be setting up a legal body to represent the party to the outside world, but members of this body would for practical reasons consist of organizers only- in that situation we could arrange an effective Code of Conduct system but it would apply to organizers only.
If someone decides not to visit Outline because we don't have a Code of Conduct for visitors then that's pretty sad for them but not a reason for us to deviate from the path that has brought us to where we are today (embracing the echo chamber, yep).
added on the 2015-04-18 15:47:48 by havoc havoc
I cant see the benefit of a CoC anyway... i mean what do you want to do with it, sue your visitors for drinking more than they can handle? Its surely a good way to kill off a party but not one to make people behave more responsibly.
Also what leijaa said: the bigger the party the highter the total amount of people who might do or act in a way others might find offfensive. Thats is by no means special for the scene, its some sort of human law that applies to every gathering/party/event ever. The community-feeling at demoparties is really special, even if I dont talk to everybody (which is impossible at revision scale anyway) I feel a lot more connected to them than, lets say, the people who dance around me at a club night in town (even if those have more girls!). Lets not try to make it look otherwise because its just not true.
For example: it might be a more or less common thing at the easter parties that someone has to be thrown out for $whatever reason, but i would be really shocked if we had to do that at our own ~100 people party.
Use common sense - if someone acts ill (because of assiness, drunkness or a mix of both) talk to that person or let an organizer do it for you. im sure in 95% of all cases that will be enough to keep the peace.

However, what is interesting here is that there seems to be a demand for a more technical/conference approach to demo meetings. Of course they wont manage to turn any existing party into one (yes, they are called 'party' for a reason) but it would be a nice experiment to organize something like that and see how many people who are reluctant to go to traditional demoparties show interest.
added on the 2015-04-18 16:19:29 by wysiwtf wysiwtf
and even with more strictly organized parties, e.g. assembly, i find the loud *UUUUUURGH*-growl and security dudes with flashlights hunting down gamers who didnt shut their monitor off prior to a compo more offensive and lack of respect than a few shitdrunk Polish dudes yelling KURWA-messages through their own releases. ;)
So many wise words - some statements from another organizer here. I would not mind, as an organizer, to state up front that we too would prefer to keep the level of idiocy to a bare minimum. We could call that a code of conduct if you will. But I am going to draw a new distinction here: you can be, as D.Fox hints at, drunk as a skunk and still be a fantastic human being who, while maybe a little loud, is still a fantastic contribution to mankind. Thats the thing about alcohol - we all react differently and if you turn into a dick I definitely would prefer you to get another apfelschorrle and an onion. I myself get more energetic and happy.

So you see, any kind of code of conduct would, in my opinion, be either very general (act responsibly!) or imply some kind of situational thing. Is shouting loudly into each other's faces okay in general? Fucked if I know. Is shouting into someones face at 6 am while he is trying to sleep? definitely not. Is shouting into my face while I dance in my Starfish Costume at TRSAC okay? For the love of god, lets get shouty!

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So you see - things are always dependent on context, and that is why I in general would be against very precisely defined rules.

At TRSAC we have a code of conduct that states that if you are inside and acting like a dick we will gut you like a fish and serve you as a sashimi-supplement to our DELICIOUS saturday dinner (which incidentally nets you 2x breakfast as well for just 15 euros total). That should not be taken literally (apart from the fact that our saturday dinner is delicious and that + 2x breakfast is a really good offer in Denmark at that price) - it just means we state the obvious. If you act a dick, we will stop it. If you act as all our visitors so far, we will love you until the end of the world.
added on the 2015-04-18 16:42:11 by nic0 nic0
our code of conduct: party hard, pants off, and don't be a fucktard.
added on the 2015-04-18 19:34:44 by farfar farfar
you forgot schnapps!
added on the 2015-04-18 20:00:39 by leijaa leijaa
besides, what happened to the mr freshness compo lately? :)
regarding the "ati-schnitte" from breakpoint 2004:

Holding a talk on the main stage about shader (newschool! PC! boo!) coding (boring for any non-coder, and also for most oldskool coders) using a tool running on windows (boo!) and telling how advanced it is to render a fire effect with "just 2 polys" (SRSLY? we´ve been doing fire fx with 0 polys for over a decade already!) was just hillarious. Is it any wonder the audience turned awkward?

It´s not the fault of the speaker (as far as i know she was responsible for rendermonkey - which definitely is one of the tools which helped to create a lot of demos and intros so far), but a stupid organisatoric decision.
Not sure if it was the ignorant idea of the sponsor, though - but it would have been a definitely better experience for both the interested minority as well as the speaker if the presentation would have happened in a separate area without bothering the majority of other visitors.

And a good advice for anyone not that experienced with demoparties:

If you want to be productive in a calm environment, enjoy the seminars or have a productive chat come early (the b00ze ppl are sleeping or trying to recover in the morning anyway) and hurry to leave the place right after the competitions. Hotelsceneing or sofa surfing is silent, clean and comfortable, and you won´t bother anyone by complaining they´re too loud or drunk or whatever.

(just try not to piss of everyone else, organizers prefer partying instead of throwing you out, too)
added on the 2015-04-18 22:54:10 by T$ T$
but it would have been a definitely better experience for both the interested minority as well as the speaker if the presentation would have happened in a separate area without bothering the majority of other visitors.

I'm sure about that. I'm also sure it would've been nice to HAVE such a place since - remember - it was in a military hangar.
added on the 2015-04-18 23:17:14 by Gargaj Gargaj
@Gargaj: Some other speech was held in the tent outside the hall. And there were also several other buildings on the location. Definitely not great alternatives, but the result would not have been that worse either.
added on the 2015-04-18 23:46:03 by T$ T$
does this new award thing have a "someones itching blown up into epic proportions"-award yet? if not, it really should have.
added on the 2015-04-18 23:49:06 by groepaz groepaz
I'm glad this issue from 2004 is finally being given the attention it merits.
added on the 2015-04-18 23:50:34 by farfar farfar
added on the 2015-04-19 00:16:02 by T$ T$
Not the `sexism`argument again.. haha :D I love how it's always the men who bring it up and never the women.. because guess what, people? There is none! Get over it!

OK. So as a guy whose perspective on sexism in the scene is formed entirely from second-hand information, here's what I see.

Quoting Jenni:
And yeah, when you're woman in a demoscene, you just have to accept that certain not-so-nice things might happen at demoparties when people are not with their best judgement. You will see (half)naked females in productions, people might make derogatory comments of your looks, they might grab your body parts without asking and all that. Either you make a huge scene out of it or then you just deal with it with those people directly who offended you and not trying to pull the whole demoscene into it, like I think happened with this case. Yeah, it would be great to wear a low-cut shirt on a party without being worried that someone tries to grope you when they're utterly intoxicated, but I don't see that sort of behaviour disappearing anytime soon.

Quoting Sole:
Walking down the halls, I got those looks I hadn’t got in a few years—more specifically, since I stopped attending heavily sexist demoscene parties: “Oh, a woman!”.

The conclusion I reach from this is: sexism is not a problem on the demoscene, because the people who found it a problem have already left.

If the women who have remained on the scene are prepared to shrug off this behaviour, then more power to you. But the fact that you're expected to do so is pretty goddamn shameful, and I really think we can do better.

Go ahead, accuse me of cherry-picking accounts and jumping to conclusions. Believe me, I would love to be proved wrong on this and persuaded that it isn't actually a big deal. From what Leia says, the situation isn't as bad as it used to be, and the experiences Sole refers to are from several years back (presumably pre-Revision), so the picture I'm painting could be flawed for all sorts of reasons.

I have to say, though, I'm going to treat claims of "everything is totally fine" with a certain amount of scepticism - any poll of voices on Pouet is bound to be skewed towards people who are happy with the way things are. There's simply no way to get a representative sample of voices from people who had a bad experience at a party and never came back... but you're kidding yourself if you think that's not happening, in large numbers. That's why I think it's everyone's duty to step out of the echo chamber once in a while, and keep an eye out for the indicators and warning signs that do come our way - whether that's feedback from first-time visitors, remarks from ex-sceners about why they left the scene, stories of being puked on, or whatever.

And, for those wondering, that's why I'm bringing up the subject now, and in the same breath as the 'booze and loud music' debate... because I'm super-sensitive to the attitude of "if you're not prepared to put up with it, then maybe demoparties aren't for you", and determined to question it at every opportunity. I accept that in some cases, that *is* a valid stance: if we're talking about putting up with drunk people and loud music, then yes, I get the message - those are not going away. But as a blanket policy used to excuse any old antisocial behaviour, it's dangerous. It's a get-out clause designed to shut down discussion of how we can make our community better WITHOUT killing what makes it special. And, I believe, it disproportionately affects women. I'm not saying that women can't enjoy booze and music - just that if they're required to tolerate the usual dosage of annoyances *and* an extra layer of low-level sexist bullshit (mostly of the "not worth reporting to an orga" variety, no doubt), it's not hard to see that tipping the balance into: "you're right, this isn't for me".
added on the 2015-04-19 00:45:30 by gasman gasman
Gasman: just wondering... could the "oh a woman" look not also be a surprised look from people who just didn't expect it without being stamped as sexist?

Sexism is bad, yes. Though I'd also argue that you see more women portrayed in sexist situations on everyday TV than on a demo party. Leave alone that some of the portrayal of women in demoscene production are also sometimes made by female sceners.

Just a thought
added on the 2015-04-19 01:03:22 by D.Fox D.Fox
how many people that visit revision have been uttering such stupid comments and touched female bodyparts without being asked to anyway? 3? 5? 10? and what does that tell about the demoscene and its parties?
added on the 2015-04-19 01:26:04 by groepaz groepaz
Gasman: I was onto similar topic (about girls), but from a completely different angle - I hope it's clear for everyone that is was a different angle. Please read the previous post first, but to make it short for you: kbi (not kb_) and argasek was bringing up and interesting point that there are excessive parties with booze where male/female ratio is 50/50, for example Woodstock festival in PL. My personal theory is that it heavily depends on a case - for some women excess and booze is totally fine, for some don't, pretty much like for men - so what could be the real problem? How about statistics? In general, there are less women in IT (it's still a big issue, but of course OT), even less are developers/coders, but the trend is changing, more and more young girls wants to "dream in code", plus many recognize real-time art as an interesting new field - so they will be newcomers and will have possibly different ideas what a demo is. Personally I hope for a female-only group doing 64k intro in few years from now, but that's another story.

The point is - we should be totally open to this possibilities, and as a guy, I have actually no clue what to do to make them feel highly welcomed, but as a general rule - not being a total jerk, maintaining a better hygiene and respecting everyone should help. If we need CoC - I doubt. I would start with just changing our mindset - we are not so big group afterall, and I believe you can even count all trouble-makers (of international fame) using a single hand (or maybe two hands).
added on the 2015-04-19 01:27:06 by tomkh tomkh
Holding a talk on the main stage about shader (newschool! PC! boo!) coding (boring for any non-coder, and also for most oldskool coders) using a tool running on windows (boo!) and telling how advanced it is to render a fire effect with "just 2 polys" (SRSLY? we´ve been doing fire fx with 0 polys for over a decade already!) was just hillarious. Is it any wonder the audience turned awkward?

Holy crap. I was not going to post more in this thread, but this is some sort of a record. So if someone comes and does a talk that doesn't align well with your own interests (OMG a GPU company comes and holds a talk about GPUs instead of C64s, BOO), people starting to shout “show us your tits!” and similar is only to be expected? (If they sent a man, would disinterested people go “show us your dick” or would they go outside to drink their beloved alcohol instead?) Talk about victim blaming.
added on the 2015-04-19 01:44:12 by Sesse Sesse
thats not victim blaming, its just bad timing combined with what was a bad idea to begin with. (i dont remember "show your tits" either.... just lots of "AMIGAAAAA". went outside after 2 minutes though, admitted)
added on the 2015-04-19 01:58:50 by groepaz groepaz
Next time send a PETA speaker to a fur hunter association. I´m sure it will be a great success!
added on the 2015-04-19 02:05:56 by T$ T$
Next time send a PETA speaker to a fur hunter association. I´m sure it will be a great success!

I wasn't aware that the scene was supposed to be against demo coding.
added on the 2015-04-19 02:17:08 by Gargaj Gargaj