Demoscene and the general public

category: general [glöplog]
I saw an article somewhere saying that people wouldn't want the demo scene to receive public exposure and that the public wouldn't have any interest in the demo scene.

To be honest I'm not a scener myself, never have been I just like digital art.

demo's arn't alien to the public. Ever go to a nightclub and seen those video walls?, I work in the club industry and its a big trend at the moment to have computer generated visuals. Ok so there not demos, but they look like demos I guess the only difference is demos dont respond to line in sound and demos have a scene.

My mates are the people you would least expect to be interested in demos but yet 5 out of the 15 of them nag me to show them demos (or screen savers as they call them) when they come round my house, they actually know nothing about computers.

When holding my own nightclub events I've used demos and computer generated graphics myself to enhance the night.

Of course if scene people wanted demos to be noticed by the public all they have to do is code them so that they can be added as a windows screen saver, of course with the option of responding to sound. You'd be amazed at how many "normal people" appreciate computer generated graphics.

If coders did this, demos would be as popular as downloading wallpaper or desktop themes.

Wether this is a good thing or not depends on the you, however personally I would much rather make my work available for everyone to appreciate rather than just the "demo scene"

added on the 2004-02-26 02:28:04 by leerees leerees
I don't think that the spirit of demoscene and the main idea is to see your demo presented in a club, as for myself and "my" group Reversed Engineers we are doing it because we like it a lote even though we are newbies as a group but many years as spectators.
The word demo means demonstration between groups..well that's what i think.
If you go back in history and the days of the cractros you will get my point(of view).
If we do as you say so then maybe we will see one day M$ DemoParty...(As elvis said in a song: One For the Money 2 for the show...).
I don't want to see that.
added on the 2004-02-26 02:51:48 by sybeX sybeX
funny, all the sceners I know are or have been involved in VJing for parties or semi pro VJ software and have spread the word with parties beaming tunnels and particles all night long for big companies and artists even ...

I guess a lot of people interested in the demo scene are coming from a druggy and boozy clubbing angle and I think that's quite compatible in some ways :)


i for myself dont like huge communities as seen in the gaming scene. for some reason they often suck cos they are "polluted" in some way ;) ...
added on the 2004-02-26 03:18:28 by ttl ttl
statix (a well known coder in the demoscene) for example is doing visuals for clubs and stuff today.

its nothing new about this actually. theres been elecronic art shows around for the public too.
television from assembly...
more?... yes..

the demoscene roots are the heart of the underground scene spirit. but its lost..

you have to go back in time to find the first demos and how they evolve from year to year and how the demoscene has changed to get the idea..

today internet has destroyed the scene, the real scene, it will never be like it was before..

to be frankly... i dont mind it to be noticed by the public like the world is today, im sure im not the only one who do mind.

it was another time back then.. maybe its time to turn back time and start a new underground again?
internet has changed it all... wanna fight the internet?
can we? ... but we can.

the roots are important. they must be.
and somehow i fear that the demoscene would expand the same way other big communities did.
added on the 2004-02-26 03:25:51 by ttl ttl
the internet has won... the demoscene has lost.. im talking bullshit right now and i need some sleep. the internet is my addiction.. arghh.. why didnt i went to bed for like four hours ago... this addictive thing is making me crazy... to much crap has been said. adios.. Zzxzz.z..zz..
IMHO, one important part of the demoscene is that the demomakers know what they are doing ( and respect the efforts involved ) and know at least a little of the demoscene history. Calling a demo a "screensaver" sounds a little like an heresy and shows that the "normal people" do not appreciate/understand our work at its real value.

I can see the parallel between a VJ session and a demo but the lack of interactivity of the demos serves a purpose : that is to show a coherent piece of art as it's been designed. Nonetheless a certain type of demos are clearly in the same vein as the VJ mixes, cf some prods by Satori or the wilds by Alex EVANS.

If the demomakers wanted to show their skills to the general public the way you said, they would do some WinAmp plugins but we'd loose an important part of what makes them some demo productions.

just my 0.02€
added on the 2004-02-26 03:29:24 by p01 p01
In my rant about WinAmp plugins, I meant that it's impossibe to make some effects/visuals that'll fit with every possible music the end user will listen. Imagine a 'Shad'-like plugin with a track of BobMarley ... ô__0
added on the 2004-02-26 03:38:15 by p01 p01
some of the creativity in the vj scene is stunning, and demosceners should definately take note. likewise the vjing community could learn alot from the demoscene. like lee says, the two communites have quite alot in common. imho milkdrop is still responsible for some of the most amazing realtime visuals i've ever seen on a pc.
added on the 2004-02-26 04:31:03 by Bagpuss Bagpuss
hmmm, I'd say people like Alexander Rutherford and Chris Cunningham and a lot of musicians are strongly influenced by demos and "scene" music and people that have met them know they have been using trackers for music and sceney 3d products to make their stuff ...

I heard a weird rumour that Richard D. James AKA Aphex Twin did a couple of album tracks in FastTracker and I wouldn't be surprised if he got away with that. :)
Well, I only discovered the demoscene recently, so I do not really know this "original demoscene", but I think leerees has a very good argument when he sais "I would much rather make my work avaiable for everyone to appreciate rather than just the 'demo scene'". I made a music visualization demonstration in my school once, with about 200 people watching. I guess noone really had a clue of all the Arcsinuses, transformations and whatelses I used, but so what? They liked it a lot and it had a great impact on the audience, because to most of them this kind of computer generated graphic was new.

Maybe many people cannot appreciate the hard work behind 64k intros, but if they still like them... isn't that good enough? To prevent people who, for example, never coded, from seeing demos would make as much sense as preventing people who never spent time to draw a picture from seeing art by Picasso or another great painter.

Possibly a few hardcore sceners will fear seeing more "superficial" (or whatever you want to call it) demos, that do not show the original art which only they understood. Coding for the PC instead for the C-64 may be an example for that. I have never actually seen a C-64, and only know that it was one of first computers, so reading about a demo that can display a rotozoomer on a C-64... Of course I do not know enough C-64 assembly to really appreciate that, but those people who can fully understand this kind of coding skill, can still appreciate it, I do not prevent them from enjoying their C-64 demos!

So I do not think you need to fear that opening up the scene may somehow destroy it.

So you are probably not really fearing that more people are going to watch your demos, but that this may somehow change demomaking in the future so it will be less interesting for coders. Maybe you were thinking of a commercial thing like MTV and are afraid that demos may one day look like this, since MTV is so popular, and people may aim for writing popular demos... I think that is quite unlikely. Demos are made by coders who usually have rather different interests and I do not see why they should ever create their demos for another reason than fun. What I mean is that it is unlikely that those people who write demos for the scene will create demos they themselves do not like!

I can only emphasize that I would be very happy to create something that is simply so good, that even people, who only get a part of what is so great about it, like it a lot. And how do you actually know for sure that noone outside the demoscene can fully appreciate a good demo?
If you never let people see it, you do not have a good chance of ever finding someone who does.
added on the 2004-02-26 05:38:11 by Mz Mz
The thing that makes the demoscene special in my mind is that we are all here to make things. Almost every true scener makes some contribution to the scene, whether it is art, music, coding, party organizing, or whatever. If we open the scene to the public, the scene will suddenly see a whole mass of people who only consume demos without producing any of thier own. If that happens, I believe that the scene will lose much of its creative integrity.

As things are now, all sceners recognize the true creative value of productions since we have all been involved in making our own productions at one point or another. We understand the work that goes into making demos, and we judge them accordingly. The general public, on the other hand, has no idea what demomaking involves. The ouside world could never appreciate prods such as .the .product or heaven7 because they would never understand what technical masterpieces they are. The public would chose a high-end Flash animation over a 4K intro any day simply because the Flash looks nicer.

Because of this, I believe that demos will evolve into vapid eye candy if we open the scene to the public. Groups will release products to please the masses, and all sense of technical mastery will be lost. I do not want that to happen.
added on the 2004-02-26 05:47:42 by s_tec s_tec
Woah, Mz just refuted my argument even before I posted it! I personally do not have a problem with non-sceners watching demos. As Mz says, they are welcome to enjoy them as much as they can. My concern is about allowing the general public to vote or otherhow influence the way we make our prods. As long as the scene continues to push the limit and strive for technical mastery, the outside world can watch us and enjoy.
added on the 2004-02-26 05:54:13 by s_tec s_tec
Batman got it right imo.

The Scene today is a shadow of it's former self, and this sadens me greatly. It just isn't the same, it's just filled with pc owning retards who attend parties and play FPS #213781263883 *cough* dreamhack *cough* They don't even come close to early The Party/M&S/TG or even slightly further back like Amega.
Luckily there are those that still try and keep the spirit alive, but are swamped by gimps from every side and angle.
New names with old faces, farb-rausch fex comprised of the likes of Chaos/Sanity etc etc. Thankfully.

And you'd be surprised at just how many musicians used trackers. Chemical Brothers for example used SoundTracker. You only need to look back through Amiga Format issues to find out :) And i still have issue 2 -> the very last :)

/sarcasm on
And i'm really really sowee if i offended you fps playing peecee users
/sarcasm off
added on the 2004-02-26 06:10:47 by Intrinsic Intrinsic
Well, s_tec, actually there is even an argument in my first post fitting to your second post :)

The question is, how non-sceners could negatively influence the demoscene. By voting for the codewise not really so astonishing but instead good-looking products without much content? My point was that since it is still coders that create these products, I doubt they would go very far in sacrificing what they really want in their demo, just to make it as popular as possible. Afterall, they do not get any money out of it, and also do it to earn respect in the scene and meet other people with similar interests, at least as far as I understand the motivations of the people here.

Still, if the scene really opened up, there would probably be more demos oriented to appeal to a large mass of people (actually fr-025 is a good example). But those new demos do not have to be less good than the already existing ones. Even though I have never been to a demo-party, I suppose that if there really are too many people who do not like the way the existing parties evolve, they will simply make their own parties. As far as I know there even are oldschool-parties. And I do not see in what way the public could "destroy" those parties.

And about simply complaining that the scene is not the same anymore: Well, computers themselves are quite a new thing, so changes are natural. And as I said, if you still prefer older technology, the newer technology will not stop you.
added on the 2004-02-26 07:14:20 by Mz Mz
Hey, I've shown demos to all my friends (quite a few who are female) and they've been impressed. Except for the jokeprods or textmode stuff, or CandyTron.
added on the 2004-02-26 07:17:36 by crusader crusader
Intrinsic, maybe you should just lay off the nostalgia bong, and visit a scene party?

As for joke prods mm yeah, don't show them to anybody with non geek genes. There isn't ONE funny demo ever.
added on the 2004-02-26 08:37:16 by _-_-__ _-_-__
dunno about other demoparties but VJing was nicely present in SOTA ones :)
added on the 2004-02-26 09:30:18 by Zest Zest
i wrote like twenty lines of text for my next post and i pressed submit. the message said i wasnt logged in or something. wtf? you cant write a message if you're not logged in for christs sake.. that was like 10-15 minuttes waste of time and the text is gone now.. :(
by the way.. the demoscene really dont want to be bothered by the general public. its roots are from the underground and the creativity among the members that forms it. the essence of the demoscene is lost if we go public. we dont want this to be a freakin demofactory where everyone can buy demos either.

it has to be unknown, and it has to be underground..

you sitt down and code, hack or whatever because its educational and fun. you explore since you are an explorer..

it want to be invisible.. it want the public to know that its there, but it doesnt want to be shown.

just a few people know that it is there. it wants you to know that its there, but when the public knows everything it wants to hide.. in its own form.
leerees: Well, the public attention-aspect on the scene is just tiny bit of the whole picture. Anyone can download and spread a demo. The people in the scene do demos for fun, and not for public exposure or money, and we have a quite nice, international community where one can make demos without worrying about commerceal aspects etc. I guess what I'm trying to say is that atleast I find it cool when "normal" people enjoy demos, however, I strongly doubt one can have the same passion for demos as I have without being a wierdo. Agan, this proabebly applies to all subcultures, exposed to the public or not. Early-in-the-morning-rant-from-kusma(tm)
added on the 2004-02-26 10:14:51 by kusma kusma
endelig kan jeg se sola skinne igjen. nord-norge har fått sola tilbake! whoooy!
Crusader: Most females even appreciate depictions of naked women, as long as it's far away from porn, I don't think showing them candytron would disturb them too much :)
added on the 2004-02-26 12:22:58 by kb_ kb_
kb, ...unless they are American of course. ;) </yetanotherprejudicecemented>
added on the 2004-02-26 13:03:52 by tomaes tomaes