Go to frontpage

> frontpage
> what is zine?
> download latest issue
> latest articles
> previous issues
> next issue
> contact us
> credits
> bitfellas
Developing a community: The creation of BitFellas
by Alien of Plutonium Crackers and Antitrax

Remixing the Scene

The scene started out small, then grew massively, but sadly seems to have reverted to its original size over the last couple of years. The same scene that once spearheaded technological innovations, and often led the way for the games industry, is now generations behind. Now, even the best demos rarely outperform the visuals of games. Nevertheless the scene is packed with innovative minds which can achieve stunning results. BitFellas aims at preserving the spirit of the old scene culture. We see ourselves as a link, a social gathering between the various sub-scenes and platforms. By intelligently pooling resources and abilities, we can create an enormous synergistic effect to lead the way into new territory. We aim to make this hobby of ours more than the sum of its parts. The Demoscene has gone through many different eras since its creation and those who don't get with the times, pass into time.

Our Understanding of "Oldschool"

We see ourselves as an oldschool community, an older school of thought, with regard to our treatment of one another and in how we approach things. While the term "Oldschool" is often misused to justify bad quality, the recoding of 20-year-old effects on a Megaherz-monster PC is anything but oldschool. In the early scene years, those who could afford it bought the expensive Amiga as early as 1986, after the C64 scene was only 5 years old. Naturally, people preferred a 7.14Mhz machine to a 1MHz computer, but this didn't mean that nostalgia for the older machine would come to an end. It was oldschool to have 3 different video recorders, of different systems, and one of the first mobile phones that initially cost as much as a small car. "Oldschool" describes pushing the respective hardware to its limits, presenting effects never before made by anyone else. This is why we are focusing on how to best manage the coexistence of newschool and oldschool.

The Motivation for BitFellas

The organized scene, in the current sense, started in 1982, just quickly and in as revolutionary a manner as MTV did one year before when they showed "Video Killed The Radio Star" by one-hit-wonder The Buggles, directed by the Australian Russell Mulcahy (Highlander). The art form of the music video was born and the computer scene followed. It all began mainly on the Commodore 64 as a small cracking scene, copying and making copyable versions of computer games. The title screen manipulations of Apple II games, so-called Crackscreens, notwithstanding. In the very early 80s, nearly all sceners were still 12 to 14 years old, and naturally from all social ranks. We didn't call it a scene at the time, nor did we feel like it was. We were friends. The first cracks were marked by 1103 (JEDI), which motivated others to put their own graffiti tags in their cracked games. This led to the propagation of the tag "Kilroy was here", which US soldiers during the Second World War would humorously write in impossible and strange places.

Kilroy engraving on the WWII Memorial in Washington DC

Our aim is to take the scene back to this idea. Back to a community of friends motivating each other to go to strange and impossible places and leave their mark.

The Enthusiastic Idea

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Demos are usually a group effort and so is BitFellas. The idea grew many years ago, as the Internet became more popular and we, over beer, thought about making something of our own in the style of the old familiar BBS. As boards like the legendary Totally Kaos had seen a sharp decrease in posts, we created an unannounced forum as the cornerstone of what are now our "areas", and we put the whole thing in motion by being upbeat and having a positive attitude. It's not a community base that kills a forum, it's the lack of content. Also, a scene forum with 95% of posts unrelated to the scene would not deserve its name. The idea was therefore, from the beginning, to create areas for mutual support, and good discussions of scene-related things, like an ASCII forum with few users in order for the conversation to not become diluted. That doesn't mean that there isn't a place for non-scene-related things at BitFellas, only that we have clear priorities.

We can make you feel, but we can't make you think

I know that magical feeling demos gave me in the early eighties and, I'm happy to say, this feeling is still vitally alive. We are very happy with the way things have gone for us so far. The feedback thus far has been very encouraging and it has helped us fine-tune the development. We have yet to launch many areas and many partnerships are still in the pipeline, but the best way to ruin a movie is to spread the word about how it ends. We have put some thought into our current areas, and we're concentrating on development on these at the moment.

BitFellas sees itself simply as a microcosm of the scene, and our aim isn't to revolutionize demoscene as we know it. We may be clouded by old school romanticism, but we're not living with elven fairies and unicorns on some Shangri-La-esque plane of existence. We are always looking for "can-do" BitFellas who will be an asset to our organization helping to galvanize one of their scene living rooms. You won't become a smooth gloperator, but the dress code is relaxed.

Thanks to all for your continued help and support!


ALiEN of Plutonium Crackers and Antitrax


Go back to articlelist

Comments: (click here to comment the article)

Hosting provided by Mythic-Beasts. See the Hosting Information