Diskmag Studies

In 2007 Markku Reunanen and Antti Silvast presented a paper called ‘Demoscene Platforms: A Case Study on the Adoption of Home Computers’ (pdf) at History of Nordic Computing 2. It was only recently made available online, through their excellent demoscene bibliography.

The title clearly states the purpose of the paper. The method is to study diskmags, described as “interactive electronic magazines” as the authors call them. This obscure form of media is still around in the demoscene, although most demoscene “journalism” today occurs online. Despite the multimedia possibilities of the Internet, it is noteworthy that diskmags are such an obscure practice. Maybe online diskmags will become more popular in the future though?

I will not go into the details, but I recommend you to read this paper. It is a thorough and well-executed study and it is interesting to go back to all those platform wars of the demoscene. Amiga rulez! Intel Outside! AGA is lame! The conclusion of the paper is that in the demoscene, “[p]eople will reject a new platform at first if it does not fit the current community practices, no matter how technically advanced it is”. The demoscene has therefore shown a degree of autonomy towards new technology, but also ultimately followed the roads as suggested by capitalism.

7 Responses to “Diskmag Studies”

  1. d0us Says:

    Thank you for this! I’m putting the finishing touches to my dissertation on issues in the long term preservation of the electronics alternative press with specific reference to disk magazines.

    Coming from a Library science angle I’m concerned with curatorship issues when it comes to preserving and exploiting digital culture on legacy media. Although not demoscene related this paper provided me with agood starting point http://www.ijdc.net/index.php/ijdc/article/view/85

  2. chipflip Says:

    The authors told me a while ago that they’re working on a paper concerning the ‘amateur archiving’ of the demoscene. I think it’s quite interesting how these reasonably open archiving things opens up for trolling history. Although it sort of fucks up the purpose of it I suppose. Anyway, it might be worth getting in touch with them if you’re interested. Or, join http://groups.google.com/group/demoresearch if you want. It’s a bit inactive, so help out :)

    Thanks for pointing to the article. Had a quick browse through it, seems to raise some valid points. I guess you’ve already come across this? http://www.keep-project.eu

  3. Marq Says:

    Here’s another paper I co-authored with a friend, especially about conservation efforts:
    Unfortunately I don’t have a local copy it to distribute yet. kinda nasty that I should need to pay for it myself…

  4. d0us Says:

    Oh yeh when I firs went on pouet.net to ask about special formats for my diss. someone sent me toe that group.

    Oh yeh I saw that link. I need to get into my uni account to acesss it!


  5. d0us Says:

    hehe..my diss..sure..when after I hand it in in Sept.

    I’m still trying to find diskmags with special formats with hidden articles in you can only access with a hex editor

  6. Marq Says:

    The other paper, too, is now available for free:

    Click to access heinonenreunanen-hinc2.pdf

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