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Demoscene Ethics

category: general [glöplog]
Note to self: don't write on pouet using a phone. The autocorrect will do it's unwanted corrections. :D
added on the 2021-01-03 13:58:40 by rimina rimina
@ProphetOfTruth: Just a small thought ... you write a lot about the problems men encounter in areas dominated by women. How do you want people to deal with it in the future? To fight for better equal rights for men in this areas OR to say to them “That’s just life, don’t complain about it!”
added on the 2021-01-03 14:32:34 by gaspode gaspode
Good god, we've come a long way, haven't we...

End of the eighties, people sat in front of their C64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Atari XL or whatever trying to get the most out of their machines and break their limits.
Now, 30 years later, i am supposed to read a website (!) that teaches me to become a better (!!) demoscener by suggesting me how to properly talk to people (!!!).

Am i the one who's missing the point here?

Your website? TL;DR.

If you want to get a message through: Go make a demo about it.
added on the 2021-01-03 15:09:28 by Paranoid Paranoid
revision is U.S. only event that follows U.S. laws
only people who "allowed by U.S. laws" are there
people like me never ever be able to be part of U.S. event

Okay fine, I'll do it: Revision is in Germany, not in the US. (Unless you mean "U.S." as in "United Scene." or something.)
added on the 2021-01-03 15:13:17 by Gargaj Gargaj
Revision is in Germany

yes sorry I messed up with another event

that shader-event that was this summer was U.S. only
added on the 2021-01-03 15:21:12 by Danilw Danilw
Now, 30 years later

This is quite a long time, by the way. It's enough time for a culture to change significantly, some might say it's a generational timespan, and in all that time whole new ways of making demos have been invented and the definition of a demo has changed mutiple times. Even some prominent demosceners have been born, raised, learned to code, made demos, and then retired during that time.

So if you're surprised that things have changed in 30 years then that's your fault.
added on the 2021-01-03 15:22:22 by fizzer fizzer
who would have known that learning to communicate respectfully wouldn't end at puberty. the drama. the tragedy. the horror. not keep learning to communicate better, nooooo please, anything but that!!
added on the 2021-01-03 15:30:48 by psenough psenough
Probably gonna write a bot more about the general topic later but as for the question why there have been so few women (or queer people) in the demoscene of old:


The "home computer revolution" fell right in the middle of a period of conservative resurgence in the Western world (just talking about central Europe and the US here). We got Reagan, Thatcher and Kohl, and society as a whole made quite a step backward as the freedoms gained in the late 60s and 70s were too much for a lot of people's world views. Gender norms were made more rigid again, advertising followed that trend (bc capitalism doesn't give a fuck) and our collective parents fell for it and thought "those computer things seem to be just for boys". That's where the scene is coming from, among other things of course.
added on the 2021-01-03 15:36:09 by kb_ kb_
I think it is important to discuss that. Also you can read the "there will be future versions" as your feedback will be taken into account and hopefully the future version is better on that half. However, it would be also great if the feedback wasn't only given here but also through participating to the project it self. If you think the message is good but the language is bad and you have ideas on improving it, why not to do that?

Thing is, I think my input in such a project would be very limited. Actually the current manifesto suits me quite well already, I'd probably sign it if those language examples would be removed or worded as situational examples and not as necessarily "magic" or "painful" phrases.

Also, it's totally OK if some folks elect to discuss this topic in private, but I think it's definitely valuable to have an as much as possible public argument about such issues. The manifesto itself calls for well-known sceners to step up and defy elitism, so why not say it out loud? That's not to say that everyone has to participate in such a public discussion, but for those who prefer it that way, why not, hell it may even help spread consensus a bit further ;)
added on the 2021-01-03 16:02:39 by havoc havoc
danilw: imho you're not allowed to complain about silly US laws unless the US has a special law in place to invade your home country despite it being an ally for centuries and providing the blueprint for the US constitution. the term to google if you're bored is "American Service-Members' Protection Act". but you're also welcome to participate in any of our live shader coding events :)
added on the 2021-01-03 16:12:42 by havoc havoc
@havoc: I always thought Elitism these days was so utterly tongue and cheek it's almost laughable.
added on the 2021-01-03 16:25:16 by rc55 rc55
rc55: it is indeed but that fact may not be as obvious to people looking from the outside in as it is for you and me as "well-known sceners" ;)
added on the 2021-01-03 16:41:54 by havoc havoc
@havoc: good point :)
added on the 2021-01-03 16:48:27 by rc55 rc55
I do find that link about the 60-70s computer science and the sudden change interesting (and I'd like to see more research on that shift) but I am still quite skeptic with the idea that somehow men (or society) pushed women so far away from the field. I don't think there was such a big social pressure that managed to win over a big desire to get involved with technology and neither with the demoscene. I don't buy the idea that communities are so horrendously "toxic" that are pushing women away.

My reasoning is that geeking in the 70-80s or even the 90s and early 2000s was seen in a derogatory way even for males. Most males would dream of being a superstar, playing in a band or at sports, and attracting the females. It was unpopular even for the guys to want to be a coder or even a gamer. But most of us just had this passion or extreme interest that we went for it regardless. The passion was stronger than any cultural pressure. And it might be observation or personal bias, but I see (and admire) the male nerd element in every aspect, in every space and hobby, there are those who go beyond in the amount of work and effort, their dedication to their special interest (so much as to gain the stereotype "that guy must be a virgin neckbeard" which to be honest is more offensive than "where is your partner?"), and it's always way more common with men than women. If women had the same dedication to the hobby than their male counterparts, I don't think the culture alone (which in the contrary tries to be more inclusive today, even pushes for it too hard) would scare them away.

As for the website, I avoided commenting before (or others said things already and I have not much to add). I don't mind if someone expresses the opinions on their site, I am surprised how well they tried to not infuse it with (sorry to use this word) "woke" slang yet of course it failed in that, because cultural wars in other spaces are on and any such attempt reminds us of that. At the end, demoscene is not an organization, everyone who makes demos is part of it, so I find it pointless as changes of attitudes can't be forced. And there are too many people from different countries for it to not have diverse opinions that will not clash with each other. At least we are doing pretty well compared to other nerd spaces that are in divide.
added on the 2021-01-03 17:17:13 by Optimus Optimus
If you want to get a message through: Go make a demo about it.

Actually, that's bad way.
When you feel angry and upset about "failing", examine your feelings. Talk to someone you trust about these feelings.

A backstory: i'm a man with extremely low self-esteem and without any notable demoscene release (these things aren't related in any way). I was a bit sad when my graphics posts were in last place, or at one of the last, however, now i understood they were bad because i'm very bad artist (for real! you can tell "this guy... ehh... 100bit, i think? is really bad artist" to my face and i'll say "yes, you're damn right!" back). I want to release a proper demo someday, but i'm afraid to do something by some reasons. Firstly, i'm afraid to be misunderstood, because the release i personally can like will be rejected by the public. And, secondly, lately i was involved in some local dramas concerning demoscene community, so i'm afraid to face so named 'namevoting', if it still exists.

Everyone was a newcomer. Including you. (If not, then you're either lying or was a man who created a demoscene as a culture). So, if you want to criticize what people do, i have some... well, wishes but not instructions, how to do it better:
- Don't be an idiot. (If you can't, it's better to refrain from initially non-absurd talks.)
- Make your words more specific when criticize. Mark what you like and what you dislike. When the author needs to be criticized, words like "your work is meh" or "your work is great" gives nothing (especially in the first case).
- Be more subjective. Don't use "this prod is bad", use "i personally don't like it" or something like that. This allows to assume that your words are your own opinion, not the objective thing, and the prod is bad just for you, not for everyone.

In fact, i want to support this project, because it allows every scener, especially newcomers, to feel at ease.
added on the 2021-01-03 17:34:00 by 100bit 100bit
Be more subjective. Don't use "this prod is bad", use "i personally don't like it"

Sorry, wont work.
Neither on pouet, nor at partyplaces.
And it is absolutely okay.

But what we (the scene) do since decades is, that we pump selfesteem into sceners and support everyone whos willing to ask for help to push im/herself over their boundaries.

Which works reallly fine.
added on the 2021-01-03 17:46:06 by _docd^hjb _docd^hjb
Don't use "this prod is bad", use "i personally don't like it"

There is a big difference between those two. Something can be objectively good work, but i still might not like it at all. Or something could be just bad - and i might even like it nevertheless.

I totally agree with "Make your words more specific when criticize. Mark what you like and what you dislike." though - and it's also (still) a problem in this thread. Saying "it is bad" does not help to improve anything. Saying what is bad does, the more specific, the better.
added on the 2021-01-03 18:27:00 by groepaz groepaz
Please don't label 'elitism' as toxic behaviour, it isn't the same thing by definition.

I’ve seen the fun and competitive side of it throughout the history of the demoscene, and it payed off in innovation, even today. It's usually a bit of teasing among friends. Something we should cherish. 
When used, or sometimes perceived, in a negative way - it’s caused by different issues than 'elitism'.
added on the 2021-01-03 18:45:01 by Sander Sander
kb_: It's perhaps good to note that the hacker culture of the 1960s and 1970s was totally male dominated (ref. Steven Levy's "Hackers" book). It's possible that the trends of the 1980s were mostly just continuation of this earlier trend. This might explain also the changing gender ratio of CS students (computer hobby arrives to homes and it's boys' hobby -> more boys get interested in CS while the attitude of girls may stay intact or decrease).

(Of course some hobbies have been strongly male and others female dominated regardless of the 1980s conservatism. The earliest hacker club grew out of model train club...)
If you want to get a message through: Go make a demo about it.

Actually, that's bad way.

This must have been the first time i've been told by a demo-scener that making a demo about something is a bad idea.
What was this scene about?
added on the 2021-01-03 19:29:31 by Paranoid Paranoid


Also, it's totally OK if some folks elect to discuss this topic in private, but I think it's definitely valuable to have an as much as possible public argument about such issues.

Developing a document like this is harder than it seems. There's a lot of in depth conversation that goes into it, and we needed one realtime video meeting to get started.

Starting out with a specific group of folks who have made a commitment to the project and will keep being there makes forward motion possible. It also means that the project keeps gaining strength as folks who have made this commitment learn and gain context to make it better, as a team.

This is why it is more helpful to have folks join and commit to the project than just discuss on a forum out on the interner. (also, forum conversations are more likely to go off topic or succumb to flamewars).

It is like running a party . . . ultimately you need a group of organizers.
Also, I'll clarify: this project isn't inspired so much by the demographics of the scene as by the experiences sceners have shared with one another and said "Let's do something".

Working as a team of folks from somewhat varied backgrounds, the group came up with something general enough to be applicable to multiple relevant situations, and specific enough that the folks who read it will be able to concretely take action.
Don't use "this prod is bad", use "i personally don't like it" or something like that.

Bullshit, the one and only correct terminology is "THIS PROD SUXXX!"

Remember, there are only 3 types of people:

* sceners
* non-sceners but somehow interested in the scene
* stinking lamers, GTFO
added on the 2021-01-03 20:47:17 by T$ T$
the hacker culture of the 1960s and 1970s

la_mettrie: im not good in sarcasm...but this is such init? ^^
added on the 2021-01-03 21:13:20 by _docd^hjb _docd^hjb
Bullshit, the one and only correct terminology is "THIS PROD SUXXX!"

...and kewlers
added on the 2021-01-03 21:14:55 by _docd^hjb _docd^hjb


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