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C64 Scene In Finland
by Agemixer/Skalaria

An article about the Finnish C sixtyfour scene today would belong to our series of the "world's shortest books".

The scene party life in Finland has somehow been slightly disappearing, so did the actual sceners. Something still happens in the backstages of the scener's own, which still upholds the amount of demos being "produced" today.

The only really active Finnish group today is Dekadence, which is still keeping up an equable amount of demo releases per year. For the other scene groups, too few active groups and too few serious releases to mention yet, but lately I have seen some few comebacks from the other scenes, like Spaceballs from Amiga, which made a C64 prod for ASM'2002 and surely keeping the tradition up since now. Nice stuff!

The only "serious" party seems to be Assembly, which will keep on supporting a long time period of C64 and other old machine compos. Secondly there is an Alternative party with a slightly different approach on the atmosphere and the compos. The scener's main happening, Assembly, has lately got the old beards back into their party, just deserved by their scener-friendly oldskool areas.

Assembly has combined their senior specimen of skill competitions lately into "oldskool" competitions, which have been yearly argued in their oldskool mailing lists, of what the compo contents should contain and which need some improvements. The most part of these "oldskool" attenders are mostly the compo winners from the previous Assembly parties, in contrast to the common idea of a real "oldskool scener" with smuggling a VIC-20 to the boozembly under his beard.

Sometimes Dekadence releases some 64 stuff at some other PC party intro competitions, here and there, even if it was not a C64 competition at all. Of course there are always some "hidden" action behind the stages of the oldskoolers, making a kind of "surprises" for the following Assembly party. Some rumours can be heard, that a group XXX is going to release a demo at the next Assembly.

The Finnish scene products have always been targetted for the compos only. If no compo, then no release. This way each demo was released, even if it was just a music disk, it is good to pass one in a music compo.

If the Assembly organizing wouldn't set up their "oldskool" quarters, every old C64 scener wouldn't want to visit indoors for a long time. After the Assembly was engaged with the "oldskool" thing, the sceners get along better in the oldskool areas and PC gamers in the same mainstream areas did not disturb anymore. Before this, the old farts only visited the main hall to see the new attenders, but did not get along there but just for a while. Earlier, in the 95's, I've seen a small amount of few VIP people at Assembly, but I am not sure again, if they were just either some voluntary organization crew, their friends, or some chosen elite sceners. Since 2002, the Assembly's "oldskool scene" has raised a big one, standard size demo party itself. Even in there, you would expect to see sceners playing 3d combat games, the most part of the oldskool side are 95% of PC sceners - the previous winners of the competitions. Oh, this is "oldskool". But this didn't seem to disturb, and you had better choice to meet your old scene fellows after, mm... 9 years or so.

Assembly has been dividing the scenes into two main categories: the mainstream (99% gamers only) and the oldskool scene (actually consists of all the demo sceners). The oldskoolers even got in with a half of a ticket price - actually creating some rancour in the mainstreamers'. The non-compowinners were harder to get into the oldskool side.

Nothing so bad that there weren't also something good for it. First time in public use, in the year 2003 announced: Assembly SAUNA!

Last year (2002) the biggest change was a public coffee maker for the oldskoolers, of which the Asmorg received a huge thank you.

Useless convenience? Then maybe, I am a hardcore scener...

The demo group Dekadence has attended few more parties in 2000-2002, releasing one demo for each Finnish party, even smaller PC parties. The most common problem in those Finnish parties are: the author has to always be present at the party to get the product into the big screen. Some foreign parties have expanded their politics for the demo releases for submitting the products by email or some other way since YEARS now, without a requirement of an author of a product being present. It is still not a common Finnish party rule. Strange, eh? Yeah, it is the old "tradition", or it is just some old-minded bureaucrat organizers...

In general, the Finnish scene consists today of more than 99,5% of PC users (there I mean Intel, AMD etc.). The rest 0,5% of them are mostly C64 users, and the Amiga users only with a 20% with their demos, but the amount of real Amiga hardware used is very hard to estimate to me. Probably because no Amigan would like to haul their (expensive) hardware to such a "kiddie party" anymore.

The C64 sceners who have visited the parties got to know each other very well, even the old farts who attended the Assembly oldskool areas at least. The oldskool areas are a place where evidently the most of the C64 sceners meet each other and share the fun. For some strange reason, the C64 oldskoolers biggest nuisance are the radio/tv/newspaper interviewers, who mainly target their mics into C64 sceners arse every time Assembly is held.

The C64 demo scene here has lately reached some coders and musicians from other platforms, which is not too usual. What happened to Byterapers, Beyond Force, Panic, Extend, Skalaria, Origo, and some other older Finnish C64 groups? We haven't heard much of them from a long time now. But they are not dead, actually it smells like something is still happening in the backstages... I hope we will have a better times in the C64 scene, which are yet to come.


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