Demoscene wins UNESCO cultural heritage recognition in Netherlands

Originally published at: Demoscene wins UNESCO cultural heritage recognition in Netherlands | Boing Boing


I remember the pirate Amiga market. In our case, literally Kirkgate Market in Leeds.

I was definitely part of the wave that shifted to consumers. The code segment of IT half-a-GCSE was satisfied by recording a macro in Excel, just logging the mouse and keystrokes. VBASIC circa 2004 wasn’t even that hard.

Now we have the tech again with RasPi locally, but we have a generation of teachers who don’t know what to do with it.


with the exception of the Archimedes, none of 16-bit machines came with BASIC built in so the first step in a programming career was effectively removed from many people.

I suspect the UK game industry’s rapid consolidation in the second half of the 1980s meant the end of the one and two person coding groups that had thrived in the 8-bit era. Certainly when I was working there in the early 1990s it was becoming near impossible to get programs in front of publishing companies without already being a published author of a successful game.

And even then, it was clear the Amiga was a dying platform - piracy was killing it even if Commodore hadn’t been spending all of its effort in going broke rather than developing a true next gen machine; the future was going to be consoles (with massive entry requirements) or PCs (with endless complexity).

1 Like

Huzzah! Now, when I point out that the gif shown is from “State of the art” and not “Jesus on E’s” I am demonstrating my sophisticated cultural knowledge!
(Rather than being an old, pedantic geek who misspent their teenage years raving on his amiga, when he should of been raving in a field)


I read all the fascinating and in-depth retrospectives of the late-80s/early-90s game publishing scene in the UK and while they never seem to broach the subject it often strikes me that what’s being described sounds a lot like right wing yuppie types. I know I’m just speculating, but something about “learned to code on BBC/Spectrum/Acorn then kicked away the ladder to feed their scene to Sony” just appeals to my sense of how cynical and materialistic British gen X guys are. By 1992 or whenever it was I was Amigaing, the street was dry of energy for anything but consumption/aquisition of pirated games.

1 Like

By the time I arrived on the scene, it was impossible to talk to a publisher without getting an agent involved. They were unfailingly awful - no interest in games, shiny suits, flash cars and the sort of personality who made you long to deal with an estate agent.

It was just a foretaste of what the industry has become - in those days people still believed Electronic Arts was a force for good in the industry who actually cared about authors.

1 Like

I got to attend Blockparty during the years it ran. It pulled me back towards technology as a hobby and art, which I had been drifting away from for a few years. It led to some of the most fun I’ve had in years. I wish the demoscene had flowered more in the US.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.