aSCIIaRENA has been announced by Up Rough and Divine Stylerz. Now you can easily watch fresh Amiga ASCII online, the way it was supposed to look, and hang out with elite ASCII boyz and girls. The site has some of the usual “social media” features such as a wall, forums, private messaging, voting, up/downloads. But those features are derived from old BBS-culture and not the Internet per se.
BBSs were extensively used already in the 1980s, and formed the backbone that allowed the cracker- and demoscene to blossom as somewhat isolated phenomena. Since a BBS is text-based, designers had to work with the default text characters that were sent over the phone lines. ASCII-artists designed graphics and logotypes in a graffiti-like style, quite different from current naive ASCII art online, the net.art ASCII-style of the 1990s, or earlier attempts of text art in the 1920s or 1860s.
ASCII artists release collections of their work (ASCII collys) and it’s these collys that are indexed at aSCIIaRENA. I think that almost all of it looks great, but I have a very soft spot for Amiga ASCII. I ran a small and shitty BBS in the mid 1990s (google-one-hit-wonder, almost), and called local boards with my 2400 baud modem. If you want read more on text art, check this post.