The Anti Quake Campaign
Ghandy of Darkage, Faith, Gods, Hugi
Reading Curt Cool's article on how bad it was at TP9 I thought that it's now time to try to turn the steering wheel in another and, in my opinion, a better direction. I've been at THE PARTY from 1993 to 1997 without missing one, but every year the number of let us call them non-Sceners attending grew more and more. I don't have anything against PC owners and also nothing against the PC Scene itself. On the contrary, I'm in touch with many PC guys and also have contributed to different PC mags with many works in the past. But why the heck do people gather at Scene-meetings that are only interested into Quake & Doom playing? Why are these guys affilated that are only going to leech tons of porn mpeg's & jpeg's from other people's hard disks, in order to burn the stuff onto CD's at once? Go and leech this shit somewhere else where you also could easily masturbate afterwards! Why do those cinema movie collectors disturb us while we Scenepeople try to booze, talk or simply have fun? To play computer games is okay, also those egoshooters like Quake, Forsaken or Golden Eye (N64) etc., but Sceners and Gamers shouldn't stay at the same party. They and their interests aren't compatible to each other. You'll later read why.
When I was at THE PARTY the last time in winter 1997, I asked myself what I was doing there. This issue of TP already didn't have much in common with the Scene; nearly nobody was tracking, writing or reading articles, only a handful were using graphics programs, assembler, or were watching at demos etc. I felt as if I was a soldier lost in a combat sector and not that I was at the gathering I loved to visit so much. Most visitors were only leeching, gambling or consuming. 4000 visitors and maybe 500 Sceners - is this the future of parties, maybe even the future of the Scene? If yes, then please do this shit without me!
A few days after Curt Cool had sent me his article about the TP-misery this subject developed a life of its own. Therefore I decided to write an email to ALL people that are listed in SCENET as partyorganizers.
This was what I wrote to about 40 receivers:
Hi Partyorganizers all around the globe!!!
Only a few days ago, at TP9 (THE PARTY) [in Denmark] the worst case happened!
Instead of a SceneMeeting which it was ment when they've created it in the early 90's it was a happening of QUAKE'n DOOM-gamblers, PORNO collectors and STUFF leechers in the network.. (not to speak about the cheating that happened there)
All in all it was full of people that didn't know *ANYTHING* about the Scene or even didn't care. I (Ghandy) am writing for diskmagazines for the Amiga (Showtime, Jurassic Pack & D.I.S.C) and PC (Hugi) and my question is:
WHAT WILL YOU DO *AGAINST* THE QUAKE & CO. GUYS WHEN THE NEXT EDITION OF YOUR PARTY IS COMING UP ???
I didn't want to kill the TP organizers, the quake phonomenom is a general movement that happens everywhere...
IF YOU WANT THAT ANY SCENERS COME TO YOUR PARTY SOMETHING SHOULD HAPPEN, SOMETHING MUST CHANGE!
what are your ideas?
I'll do an article out of the answers...
Cu soon at another Scene party where hopefully Sceners and not Gamblers gather...
Different Ideas for a better future
Solution A: Separate Gamers from Sceners!
Here's an extract from Fredrik Holmqvist's mail concering this idea. His handle is Mindflow of DCS graphics and he's the main person behind the Remedy party series in Sweden:
"I'm the main organiser of the Remedy parties. We have solved it by having two different parties. One for Gamers and one for Sceners... We tried to have both parties at the same time in '98, but the gamers are very demanding when it comes to network.. And the sceners couldn't care less.. So during 99 we arranged the a party for each category.. which was a huge success. (there was a 2 month gap between them). This year we arrange the two parties during a 2 week period.. the first week we have a four days Scene party... the week after we have the Gamer party during 4 days... (there is a 3 day rest period for the org's between the parties). We have so far had one complaint about this kind of arrangement.. but after explaining why he also realised that this was for the best... Sure it can be demanding to arrange 2 parties 2 weeks in a row.. But for us it is much better since we only have to but up all the tables/chairs one time (we have rented all of the tables/halls) for 2 weeks... that resulted in an overall cheaper arrangement (we got a good discount). It's also easier to get the sponsors to lend us the stuff for two weeks in a row instead of one week at a time two times.. And also we will use the Game party to sponsor the Scene party with price money.. The "combo" (scene and game at the same time) parties sucks... since the sceners want to party, bring big loudspeakers and so on... while the gamers want to have it quiet so that they can hear the game sfx through their headphones.."
Here are the words written down by Poti of Black Maiden. He's one of the Evoke organizers.
"Gamers and Pornleechers seem to be a problem of all major and large parties - except for Mekka/Symposium perhaps (they are organizing Planet Insomnia especially for these people). But even smaller parties seem to loose contact to the scene sometimes - problems seem to arise if people in the organizing (incl. security) never attended a scene-party before.
Due to the missing internet-connection Evoke (as the party we are organizing) was not very interesting for gamers, anyways. We will not supress these people nor throw them out - but we will not pay any attention on them. Our focus is on the scene.
Never the less I don't think that it would be a good idea to make smaller (200-300 people) scene-partys invite-only (as i was suggested to me for several times). This would lead to an even more critical situation concerning the problems of finding young people interested in the scene. Another serious barrier for them might be even worse than all the quakers and pornkings have been.
In the end it is over to us to still support partys where we are a minority or we are being looked at like aliens. Parties where most people are playing on while great compos are running - or watching the compo through realvideo while they just had to turn their head to the left (on the bigscreen), where <13year old girls are watching hardcore-porn, where you arenīt allowed to drink inside the hall and everything you ask an organizer just isnīt possible or not allowed. There are better parties out there. All the Mekkas, Takeovers, LTPs (as I heard) and so on. It is up to us."
Comment: An interesting fact he's mentioning. On the one side there's no alcohol allowed on all the major parties. If you're boozing inside the halls your alcohol will be confiscated and you yourself will be thrown out in the worst case. And drinking alcohol is in fact allowed in most European countries except in Finland etc. On the other side nobody really cares about hardcore porn, masses of cracked copyrighted stuff that is traded through the network, mp3's of commercial albums that are spread there etc. Something is forbidden which doesn't break with any laws and other things are allowed or tolerated that are strictly forbidden at all. Seems that it's hard for the organizers to keep the right feeling for equity. And even if they did care, how are you going to control what every single person is doing with their computer!? That's simply impossible!
The famous musician Bjorn A. Lynne aka Dr. Awesome of Crusaders has another point of view:
"Suggestion for REAL scene-party:
ONLY let in people who have a *scene-name* and belong to a *group*
ONLY let in people who have worked on a demo-scene project (demo, music-disk, slideshow, etc.), OR at least is a member of a group that has produced a demo-scene project.
(I was at TP, too). :-("
Comment: I totally agree with Poti and not with Dr. Awesome that it wouldn't be a solution to make parties for invited people only. In a few years you would ask yourself who's left to invite to that party. To install additional barriers to enter the Scene or to enter parties in general would kill the Scene a lot more than all these pornkings & quakers could do.
Appel, member of the Inscene organising team, wrote to me:
"Kill all quake 1,2 and 3 packets should get you a long way I guess.. also you must announce this.. and maybe you can use the NO POWER TO QUAKERS as the MS people showed last year .. it rocked :)"
Comment: On a big party it's surely impossible to force the people to delete the games on their harddisk but anyway it makes a lot more sense to
a) offer a seperate gathering for the people of the two different main interests and
b) to show definately at the scene part of your party that those QUAKERS aren't welcome.
Also, as you say it, to ban any gamerelated files inside the network wouldn't be a change for the good I say.
To finish SOLUTION A, Chaotic of Padua explains how they tried to solve this problem at Mekka&Symposium'99, better known as MS2k-1.
"Well, speaking as one of the main organizers of ms (mekka^symposium) (although someone else might have already answered you from our team), here's my reaction: Same as last year, we have clear statements on our homepage when it comes to playing games at our party - it's forbidden. The general mood & atmosphere found at ms would make it hard for gamers there, anyway. We have nearly "no" gamers or however you want to call these people on our event; scene-ism is very high on ms! Like last year, we will have packet-filters, and our general attitude towards other than scene-activity on our party - remember our opening ceremony with the "ms2k-1 Antiquake" Video last year ? :) People coming to ms should remember why we are doing this event and what the intention behind it represents. To peacely divide "sceners" from "gamers", we invented another Party in '98, called "Planet Insomnia", which was held for the 6nd time in the beginning of 2000. People & Groups going there enjoy this event, and generally have no intention to come to mekka^symposium, because they are well aware of what kind of activity happens there. We do not dislike gamers, we just feel that one has to divide the parts and parties. We enjoy doing both of these happenings, and have no intention to merge them at this point. We believe that what we are doing is for the better of both parts.
So, true sceners are invited to stop by ms2000 this year, and if you are into gaming, Planet Insomnia is the event for you."
Solution B: Offer parties without computers!
Random of the Chaos Constructions organizing team explains to us why at CC999 it isn't allowed to bring any computer with you.
"Hello Lars, I'm sorry, but there was a trend towards gaming. I've always looked at it as very poor and disturbing thing. I believe that there should be (and there're) dedicated events for gaming, so I don't understand how organizers allow this kind of activities. I don't know if that's where the today's scene is going towards, but surely it degrades the overall scene spirit. I respect some of the gaming communities, however I can't understand why this is happening.
The solution that we've used during the Chaos Constructions 999 is quite simple - don't allow non compers bring their own computers.
Another solution is to prohibit these activities mentioned by Lars, but I guess there's not much point bringing your computers to the party if that rule holds true.
I guess originally that was used to attract more people to the scene and the party, but that has more disadvantages than advantages. I hope will have a better more _demoscene_ oriented parties this and following years. well, my 2cents worth :)
Keep the scene alive!"
Comment: Why not? It is a good idea to organize non-computer parties for computer freaks such as the Cologne Conference, the Radwar/Rainbow party series or the Chaos Construction meetings. But it cannot be a final solution. You cannot replace those boozing gatherings in order to kill the big computer parties, as many people would miss bringing their equipment with them and to surf in the net while the party is running. It can be an addition, something for real hardcore Sceners but it never can be a total replacement. So, sad but true, it's no real way out of the disaster...
Defender of the crown!
Per "STIPE" Moeller & Thomas "RITZY" Markussen try to defend their crown as good as possible. THE PARTY series is undoubted the king of all parties with an impressive amount of visitors during all the years. Nobody can exhibit such a history as TP has existed the longest time of them all. Sadly they've lost much of their basement inside the Scene; they are not really connected anymore. In my opinion it was a big fault to drop any group names in order to present the party as an independent, but very commercial production.
"Hi, Stripe, founder, the (b)old one, here.
There ws no doubt that there was a majority of gamers at The Party 1999. I belive the reason should be found in 2 places:
1. The new millenium - gamers has nothing better to do, but most of the creative minds of the scene was occupied by the millenium experience or preferred to save their money this year and spend it on new years eve, it is after all a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
2. The scene is slowly fading away, sad but true. The number of entries and the general quality of demos etc. is going the wrong way. Why? well I belive that due to modern software, it has become too easy to create fairly nice results with little or no talent and make money of it. Also the fact that the IT business cannot get enough people hurts the scene. Everybody is busy working and making money, and most are wery well paid, so people tend to prioritize work over scene activities.
Hosting The Party has never been a profitable business, so we actually need the money we ask for, to cover all the expenses. If we choose to make The Party a sceners only event, we would have a problem. There simply aren't enough sceners to cover the cost of hosting The Party. Some may say that we could just downsize it, maybee use a free school. But that is not the spirit that The Party was based on back in '91. Our prime directive has always been that The Party should be held in a good conference center, everybody should have a good experience nomatter what their interrests are, and that everybody is welcome.
So what is the solution? I don't have an answer that would satisfy everybody, but I can tell you about some of the ideas we are brainstorming at the moment.
1. When people reserve tables their main interrest (demos/games/software) will decide which hall they will be located in, so that people with similar interrests will be located together.
2. Downsize the number of competitions, and raise the prizes. (more sponsors would be nice here)
3. Lowering the entrance fee, and getting professional companies to get the sponsors. We are not wery good at sponsors and much prefer to organize The Party that raising money/equipment for it.
4. Improve our connections to the people in the scene. In the beginning it was a good thing that we were not active demomaking sceners, so that we could dedicate our time to organizing The Party. Nowadays we really need to get in touch with more sceners, as we want input on how competitions should be organized and what they think could improve on The Party.
5. Moving to a conference center that is bigger, and located in a bigger city. This we give us the extra space we need and a bigger city would also offer more posibilities for the guests. However this is again a question of getting the sponsors to pay for it. Aars is the only place in Denmark we can afford without cash sponsors.
6. More activities for non-sceners. Should we or shouldn't we? and if, what should it be. I don't know.
7. Hosting of the file archive. Our current serverhosting sponsor has bandwidth problem when the file archive is online, and our 2 mirrorsites also have the same problem, so we need another site to host it... But where...
These are some of the issues we are working on at the moment, what the outcome will be, is too early to say.
Well hope you could use this for something. If you want to know more, feel free to mail me again.
// Per 'Stripe' Moeller / The Party"
Some comments: To put people with comparable interests in the same halls sounds in my ears much like SOLUTION A. And this idea isn't bad at all. It could be one party for all people but if gamers shared their room with gamers and Sceners have fun with other Sceners it could be really okay. Why not?
To get more sponsors would kill the "underground" Scene feeling drastically. If that feeling isn't already killed as the organizers reminded me more of employees of a company instead of young people that share a common hobby.
In my personal opinion it isn't so important to move into a bigger location. Look at the Mekka^Symposium. Their hall isn't so big and therefore their possibilities are a lot lower than yours. But the visitors are satisfied with it as it's filled with 95% Sceners and not with 99% gamers! It was really very crowded last year and it gets even worse every time the MS takes place. But people won't complain as long as this special MS-Scene feeling keeps on!
Downsizing the number of compos won't keep away the gamers or do you think so?
Why not inventing more fun compos like the "Seacompo" presented at MS or the "Gravenreuth-dart compo" from the Cologne Conference? Many people want to be amused and want more entertainment instead of sitting behind their computer all the time.
Why hosting the productions on your own server? Upload it at DC1 and Scene.org, if that isn't done already. The absolute majority of interested people will seek there for the latest party-warez.
Ritzy, also one of the important men behind the TP, continues:
"We realize, that to few Sceners visit The Party, but we don't really know what to do about it. We have some ideas, but the sceners havenīt really complained - just stayed away. What are we to do? We wonīt ask Gamers not to come, because we see them at the future for the scene, the newcommers (we all start at some level). I talked to some af the Mekka-Symposium organizers at The Party, and they agreed that the scene is getting smaller, and told me that they also get fewer contributions and fewer guests.
Here I would really like you to help us and The Scene. We have decided at The Party, that we want to do what ever we can to help the scene, and make The Party as Scene-friendly as possible.
What is it sceners want from The Party? We are open for ideas (as we have always been).
What is your experience at other parties? Is it the same trend all over with the scene getting smaller, fewer contributions for compos, or is it just a problem at The Party?
We, at The Party, would like to make some kind of "The Scene and The Party"- Forum, where we can discuss what to do. Would you help us making such a forum? Do you know other people/sceners, who would be suitable for such a forum?
Please write us. Party Greetings!
Tom Markussen / Ritzy. THE PARTY"
A few closing words: No, Quake, Porn, Burning & Co. is not only a typical TP problem. I see it as a general movement that occurs at all big parties. The Scene itself surely gets smaller and also the number and quality of competition entries gets worse and worse every year that passes. And that seems to be a problem of all computer platform and not only of the Amiga.
Suitable for this discussion forum that Ritzy offers us is everybody who's willing to write back to Ritzy, Stripe or anybody else of the other organizers. (Get the email addies out of the latest SCENET.) If you feel disturbed by this gaming movement, you should now get in action and write a mail to them. If not, don't complain about the bad situation. You cannot have both, a progress into the right direction and the comfort that everything happens without your support. I don't ask for too much if I urge you to start your mailer and to write a few words & ideas to the organizers. Or am I wrong?
It would surely make sense to start an own mailing list about this subject. Anybody out there that would provide it? Add me at first if you do so.
The warmest greetings to all of you! I have the best wishes and the feeling that the situation could improve in and for the future! But only if people start to act instead of consuming all the time.
Ghandy of Darkage, Faith, Gods, Hugi