by Fred/Calodox [issue 07/2002]
The scene is getting modern, getting forward, getting normal and suddenly uninteresting.
You may be shocked by those few words, or not. But that's what i'm feeling at that time. How can you explain that no production in the past months really smashed my ass on the floor to a point that i needed to watch it regularly to enjoy it again and again? I've been trying to answer to that question for months, and somehow always fail. Of course getting older is an answer, but in a way, all that scene game was or is way more than a simple game in our life. We somehow are or were part of something, where we experienced enough things to have endless stories to tell to our kids during the long winter evenings.
Is it passion that is disapearing? Maybe. We all started with that fire within, and slowly, the fire is losing its power to finally disappear into some meaningless ashes. But I doubt. I keep painting or coding or watching art exhibits... what in a way proves that i haven't closed the door of my youth discoveries. So what is it? Is it maturity? But that word means nothing, anyway. And quoting becoming mature is a way of dying in silence.
The scene is getting normal, actually. As if it's slowly reaching a standard. That's maybe a reason.
With nowadays modern technologies, everything moves faster and will keep moving faster. And as we are all also moving faster and faster in our daily activities, we slowly miss many things that are moving around. The time of the many months wait until we got our beloved diskmag to get the latest news is over. The time of the weekly newsmail is over. Everything is happening within days, hours, minutes and seconds. We lost control of our time. The world is moving and the scene with it. When you were a kid, a day was a unique adventure in itself, you were running everywhere, discovering everything. Nowadays, you still wonder how you managed to do so many things in one day when you were five.
Lack of time may be an easy excuse, and generally is the one used by everyone. It's that easy to simply say that we aren't anymore connected to the scene, because we have no more time for it. As if the time spent overthere was some part of your youth that you decide to forget because you suddenlly earn cash and have other responsibilities.
My father loves soccer. When he was 20, he was playing in some of the best teams around in the swiss city of Basel. And nowadays, he's still playing... in the senior team of the local club. So can you really decide that a passion can only be lived at a certain time of your life? Or isn't it the sake of a passion to be lived during a whole life? I really can't hide myself behind that louzy excuse.
On the other hand, technology is moving faster than me. And who am i to buy new hardware every six months to be able to watch the latest demos? I'm letting the scene move away from myself...But what should I do? Go back to Amiga? That sounds so weird.
Parties are certainly the nicest experience i still enjoy. Maybe even more than before, as with time you know more people, and are pleased to meet them from time to time. But even parties look normal. Where's that feeling of breaking the rules by spending hours in some dusted hall with your hardware enjoying the latest productions. Nowadays, the only thing outsiders don't realize, is that it's a demoparty. They don't see the difference between a LAN or a demoparty. In a way it's technically the same... a bunch of freaks meeting in some hall with their hardware. Do I finally make a difference between a car convention or a book convention? Not really.
Another revolution has been brought to us by the open reviewing sites. I can't really critizise them, as somehow, we inited a trend with CDE (Calodox Demolinks Exchange). And how many years have we been whining not getting any feedbacks on our productions? Honestly, tell me. We kept saying the scene sucks and is discouraging because nobody cared about your work. That's it. And now, everybody keep whinig because we suddenly realize that the feedbacks we got through mails were only the positive ones... indeed, who is wacko enough to send a mail to some group to tell them "your production sucks big time"?
Now, you can post it. And that's the aim of those sites. You leech, you watch, you say yes or no. Like in Rom when gladiators dramatically waited for the emperor's handfull decision.
Hmmm... do you realize like me what I just said? Is it the answer of my scene identity problem? hmmm... standard.. modern.. leech.. watch.. comment.. throw away.
Yes. That's it, maybe.
The scene isn't anymore a simple competition game, where freaks only planned to show their friends they ruled big time. Even if that "I've a bigger dick" era doesn't really please me. But No. That's over. Nowadays, you have a public. Yes. A public you ignored during years because you never really met him. Before, only sceners and freaks were watching the demoscene productions, but now it's over. And that's good. But pervert.
The scene is standardizing itself. People leech, watch and throw away what they don't like. It's a very human behaviour. Consuming (and no, don't flee now. I'm not ripping any group's concept as somehow it has been a fight of many of us, activly or passivly...). The scene is magic because you are doing things that are useless and worth no cash. How wicked it sounds in nowadays society? Eh? That philosophy is exactly the source of what makes the scene so attractive and somehow underground. Prizes in competitions are only symbolic and don't mean much. But if you consider the time spent by so many people working in their free time for only one thing, art and self edonism, it would be worth billions of $. It sounds so idealistic compared to our crual world.
But the world is now reaching us, again. We have now the same attitude as everywhere. You zap from one demo to another like you watch TV. You press escape as many times as you turn the newspaper pages, seeing nothing interesting. You check, make your opinion, and throw it away to forget it in some days. And how do you choose your demos in a party directory? According to the rankings or to the groupnames? Interesting question, isn't it? I'm certain that you'll leech a demo, whatever is its final ranking only because it's from a certain group. Why? Because in your mind that name should represent quality, and like you choose your shoes with that neat logo on them, you choose the demos you want to watch. And of course, you won't forgive that brand to make crappy things.
But yes, that happens... But the public doesn't want to understand it - "Jesus, how could THEY release such a crappy thing?", as if you suddenlly realize that your own sister can have sex with her boyfriend. People around are consuming demos, and at the same time, the scene. It is as simple as that. It is good to help people improving, I've nothing against that. But it's insane to start to claim for a right of getting quality. Quality is anyway subjective, and is in no way a right. And somehow people tend to define that word. That's the problem.
We suddenlly define quality to the mass, and everybody move their ass to reach it. And what is the result? A flat pseudo art scene.
Demoscene lost its fate. It's getting a simple business, where we tend to feed the mass with enjoyable productions. And slowly group design their productions for the public, like a producer would pay a moviemaker to make a standard-candy-comedy movie, because it'll have success.
People moving the scene are bringing it to the light of outsiders. What is good, it's getting recognized. But the outsiders won't adapt themselves to the scene rules, the scene will slowly move to follow their philosophy.
And how everything will end up? You may ask.
I've absolutely no idea. All I may say is that we are already working on our next productions, as it's a need and a pleasure. But I simply can't say if I'm doing it for the scene, or for ourselves. As if the support of our work was coming from the demoscene, demos and intros are our roots, but the finalized product was for... who knows?
Is individualism the only way to survive?