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Remembering the past
by s7ing of Alcatraz

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Remembering the past, and learning from it, could be very interesting. Even though I wrote quite a number of articles in recent years, some of them were never released. So I took one of them, and looked at what has changed since. You wouldn't believe how much has indeed changed.

Do you remember the time without the Internet, without Pouët or any other place where you could spread your productions? A time when mail swapping was the most important thing? A time where swappers were the experts of the scene?

"I just want to show which people have, in my opinion, the biggest knowledge in the scene. And those are the swappers," I wrote a long time ago.

And it continues:

When you talk to musicians, coders, or graphicians they mostly don't have the knowledge that a swapper has built over the years. A swapper gets all the news from his contacts. Furthermore, he gets the newest stuff like diskmags, packs, demos, etc. And in there he finds all the scene news and articles first. So a swapper gets much more information than other scene members, and so I think they are kind of experts when it comes to scene topics. Two swappers can talk about all the news of what's happened. They can discuss if a group is getting better or worse, if the scene gets new talents, if there are too many little groups, and so on.

"Swappers are the experts of the scene."

And you can be sure that the other guy understands you exactly, because he has the same knowledge. Furthermore, they can talk about new demos and compare them with older ones. It is a simple fact, because a good swapper gets nearly all the releases, even if he won't copy them for his collection; but he watches them anyway. Other scene members who don't swap with so many people, only get the best demos, if they get any. But they don't know the other things that get released. So you can't say that swappers are useless or unimportant.

Why are there still articles about swappers saying that they're useless or unimportant? You can't imagine how much work it is to be a swapper. They spread the vote-sheets. They are the people who vote for the charts more than any other scene members. They are the people who support the diskmags with news, articles, and other stuff. And as I said, they are the people who know what is going on in the scene.

It is really a joke that groups kick swappers first when they want to decrease the number of members? Is a graphican who can only draw one or two logos a month much more important for a group than a swapper? I can't believe this. Swappers are always working for their group. They spread their group's name and they make this name known in the scene.

In my opinion, swappers are the experts of the scene. They are the people who keep the scene alive. OK, all other people who are productive in the scene are also very important. But in my opinion, swappers have the most knowledge, simply due to the fact that they get news from different groups, worldwide, every day.

They are in close contact to many of their swapping partners. So it really is more fun to talk to a swapper about some scene problems or things which happened. When you hear that there is a party approaching in your country, you just have to ask some of your contacts and in 2-3 days you have detailed information. And with this, you can give your other members more information about this party. You, as a swapper, get all the information first. And that's is cool, I think.

Hmm... That is what I had written sometime in the mid '90s. In 2008 there are no swappers anymore. I don't know a single one. The Internet is the main place to exchange news, info, and productions. In many cases, it is good, the way the Demoscene has developed. But as I wrote in the article above, swappers also did spread vote sheets, they supported diskmags and voted for nearly every chart.

"Is the loss of swappers a loss for the Demoscene?"

Nowadays, support for diskmags is lacking and votes for charts are pretty much inexistent. Think about it. Could it be that some sceners are too tired to move their butt because the Internet makes it all so easy? Input overflow. Cannot compute.

Is the loss of swappers a loss for the Demoscene today? Discuss.

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Comments: (click here to comment the article)

001 BarZoule
now that explains why the scene is dead!
however there are ppl taking the role of the swappers nowadays, we don't call them swappers cuz they don't swap, but it's good for a group to have some kind of mascot or PR guy who spend 80% of the time on forums or irc or posting news about new site or prod update etc. We still need ppl to do that even if we call them slackers and/or plain inactive
Posted 19/2 2009 - 17:15

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