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What is tThe scene?

Collectively referred to as 'the scene'. It is a subculture of different computer activities where participants actively share ideas and creations.

Historically the scene consisted of communities of computer users who were engaged in very specific activities but were often loosely grouped together.

Art
The creation of computer-based artwork using digital media and different techniques. The most common forms of this medium are pixel, raytracing, ASCII and ANSI art.

Cracking
The art of modifying software for a particular purpose. It can vary widely from the simple act of creating cheats for video games (trainers) to the removal of sophisticated software copy protection. The sharing of software with its copy-protection removed is termed warez. In the past, the removal of copy protection by cracking software was not illegal. But this has changed due to heavy corporate political lobbying.

Demos
Participants combine art, music and programming trickery to create a visually appealing, non-interactive computer program.

Emulation
The creation of software that simulates hardware to enable you to run platform specific software on other machines. For example, a Sony PlayStation emulator that enables PlayStation games to play on a Microsoft Windows computer.

Hacking
The unorthodox manipulation or exploration of anything computer related but should not be confused with software cracking.

Music
The creation of computer generated music using tracker modules. Its most well-known genres are chiptunes and modules.

Phreaking
The now redundant and illegal art of telephone network exploitation to obtain free calls. It was used in the BBS era to avoid the prohibitively expensive costs involved in calling long distance.

Warez
The illegal act of sharing for free, commercial software and media.

This loose grouping of activities comes from the era when the Internet was inaccessible to most of the general public. Bulletin Board Systems were the principal means for savvy computer users to communicate and exchange data.

To encourage more people to use their services boards often hosted a wide variety of computer specific activities and subjects. It led to on-line communities that were engaged in some intertwined topics which evolved, were grouped together and became the scene.

The legal scene today

Pou√ęt is where the artists of the demoscene hang out online. The 'oldskool pouet.net bbs' is the most active forum of the scene. With the majority of new demo and intro productions posted online in their 'Prods' section for peer review and criticism.

Demozoo is the world's largest database of scene produced productions covering all fields including art, demo, music, people and groups.

BitFellas News. A primary aggregation of demo and art related news. Using syndication feeds, Bitfellas powered with articles from major scene websites. It is the best way to keep up with the happenings of the legal scenes.

t3xtm0.de is an online gallery that takes classical text art and looks at how it relates to a modern context.

Sixteen Colors and TEXTMOD.ES are online galleries for ASCII, ANSI and other forms of text-based art. Probably the most active corner on the Internet for ASCII art and its artists.

Scene.org. Most likely the largest repository of scene art on the Internet. Its primary purpose is the hosting of files, so there is no fluff such as user ratings or reviews. It's a great resource if you know what you are looking for but a little daunting for everyone else.

Further reading

Jimmy Maher published author of The Future Was Here: The Commodore Amiga and The Digital Antiquarian has written two excellent articles on early pirating and the pirate scenes on both the Apple II and Commodore 64 computers.

Jason Scott and RaD Man: 100 Years of the Computer Art Scene. Jason Scott is the producer of the excellent and well received BBS Documentary., whereas Rad Man is the founder of the famous art scene group ACiD. In April of 2004, they teamed up at the Cleveland Notacon Conference and gave a 50-minute presentation on the topic 100 Years of the Computer Art Scene. The presentation can be downloaded and listened to in MP3 format plus there is a text transcript available. The site also has some excellent examples of early computer artwork from old mainframe printouts to massive modern ANSI.

Flashtros. A fantastic resource that collects the program source code and art assets of Crack-Intros then recompiles them into a web browser friendly format such as Flash, Java or HTML5.

Freax Volume 1. An out of print hardback with an in-depth look at both the historic Commodore 64 and Amiga scenes. With their history, dominance and influence in the greater online community. The book contains a lot of text as well as many photos and is an excellent primer for anyone interested in the subject. TThe Commodore 64 was the pioneering format that introduced many of the concepts taken for granted today, while the Amiga scene evolved those notions and produced an even more professional and competitive outlet.

ASCII Art Academy. A great tutorial and summary on ASCII art scene by the famed Roy of SAC. An artist over the years commissioned by numerous respected groups including Razor 1911, Drink or Die, RISC, TRSi, Deviance, Origin and The Humble Guys. The site also has a large number of links to more detailed web pages that cover the subject of ASCII and ANSI art.

Artpacks.acid.org - Intro. Ever since the days of the IBM PC 8088 and C64, personal computers have been used for much more than word processing and data entry. Artists around the world have found computer art to be less expensive and much less restrictive than traditional paint and canvas. These artists have pioneered many different electronic art mediums over the years, the most popular of course being High-Resolution images and Three-Dimensional Renderings. Primitive mediums such as ASCII and ANSI text, and RIPscrip are still popular, but have moved far away from the mainstream and into this little niche we call the digital 'ArtScene'..

External links