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CSDb, Pouet & Co.
by RRR/Oxyron

MIRROS OF TODAY'S SCENE?

In the early 90s the Internet has been explored by the scene and within a couple of years the scene started to take advantage from the offered options, especially regarding faster and direct communication as well as file and information exchange. To coordinate scene related productions has never been that easy before if all participating people were not located in the same area. In other words this medium has the potential to be the best scene related tool ever.

The Commodore Scene Database was intended to preserve the history of the CBM 64 scene, collecting as much scene related material as possible and to represent the scene. Unfortunately it sounds good only. The actual situation regarding this project looks in my very own opinion definately not that promising. Pouet's basic idea is to present any kind of legal scene productions for all more or less scene related platforms to a brighter audience instead just to a small, perhaps even closed user group. Sounds good? Let's see and wait.

What can be found on CSDB? A lot of information and files, that is given for sure. The main disadvantages of the system are methods like e.g. strategic (down-) voting, the option to lock and delete information even with almost no connection to the entries, dumb and rather uninteresting personal conflicts presented as public discussions and the option to comment everything with more or less senseless or even false statements. Hurray! Freedom of speech is very important in my opinion, but in case it is abused to slag people down, to offend people or just to cause disruption and disorder one has to think about those questionable methods to make sure that the original spirit and intention does not get lost. Of course it is no secret that a full moderation is not possible and the system lives from all contributions, but even the well known Wikipedia project clearly shows there is the urgent need to have a strong and visible administrating staff taking care.

What's the sense of a voting system if partly 75% of all votes were made by group members, buddies or contributing persons to make sure that there's a good score? Not to speak about fake identities created to manipulate the votes, too. Why do some self-proclaimed judges think they have to vote certain productions down to make sure their own entry is raising this way? The problem of this system is that the votes stay online forever, or atleast on CSDB until the voter decides to delete it what normally never happens. I think there's an urgent need for an option to switch off the voting system for own skills and entries. A clear yes, please vote or another clear please don't vote with the option to control this feature would be a fair compromise. Why? Because people often mix up popularity and skill votes. Skills should be judged indepedently, but most of the voters are humans only and personal feelings spoil their impressions. Perhaps it's a good idea to reset the votes if someone did not log in for 6 months? Another option to reset votes after a year, too. It's more comfortable to have no votes instead of pleasing a bunch of frustrated people who think it's cool to bring everything down.

What do I expect when I visit CSDB? I love to discover all kind of new and old productions, in first case demos and intros. It's quite pleasant to see releases of groups which were known as local heroes but which were totally unknown out of the city. With a smile in the face I recognize that those productions finally made it to the net. Fortunately they are no longer lost and more and more ancient material is getting recovered thanks to a lot of persons converting their or other people's collections into PC readable formats just as .d64 or .t64 as most popular examples.

But then again you find a lot of pointless and senseless discussions of people who don't like each other. People create anti demos, which can be quite entertaining depending on the skill level and the efforts used to produce them. It's definately no big surprise that the target is upset and starts complaining. Later on somebody complains because his e-mail account has been hacked and three files have been deleted. Today, with DSL as standard, CBM 64 releases are uploaded and restored again in 5, perhaps 10 seconds? Wow, what an irrepairable damage has been caused. People exchange several hundred uninteresting messages about this case. I call it plain and simple spam.

In the late 80s and early 90s exchanging arguments this way might have been funny but today all of us should have grown up and are atleast 18 years older. You wouldn't recognize this fact if you follow those "discusssions". Your dick is longer than mine. No, mine is bigger. Yours is bigger. No, yours is bigger! Ah? Hmh! Mine is bigger! No, mine... Beavis and Butthead provide intellectual and smart entertainment compared to it. I think you have to be involved if you want to understand what is going there. If you aren't participating it's simply boring and annyoing. Some people might have celebrated their victory in that kind of competition but there's atleast one big loser in my opinion - CSDB and the scene. Why? Because those smart discussions provide a false impression of the entire community. People like Perff and all who regulary contribute have spend a lot of time to create, complete and fill the database with system upgrades, information and downloads. That's a true and important tribute to the scene. Countless hours of work to provide something special. But what will be remembered? Dumb rag "wars". Thank you very much.

On Pouet I have read a remarkable sentence that if a general voting average is positive this person is not critical enough to rate demos in a competent way. So voting down and slag people down is the assurance for competent and correct judgements? Sounds fair to me, doesn't it?

That is of course an interesting theory to piss off all active contributors to the demoscene. I can't motivate people by constantly bashing them down. From the developer's point of view it's impossible to please every single person on the planet. Plain and simple. Some people love what others hate and vice versa. Who's right and who's wrong? Usually I am, but that is another story. ;) How does it feel to get slaughtered with comments from people who aren't even smart enough to configure emulators? How does it feel if people with no coding knowledge judge the coding? But of course it's more important to be cool and to impress or support some friends with that opinion. Another remarkable phenomenon was a standard piggie comment for all non-Windows based productions. What the heck is a piggie comment? On Pouet you have three options to comment files. Thumb up and thumb down should be and the third option is the piggie, which can be interpreted as not good but not bad, as average or as I don't care. If you figure out such a comment in one production it might be funny, in the fifth production from the same person it's getting boring, in the tenth one it's annoying and in the twentieth in a row you start wondering about moderators and why they accept this kind of behaviour. Another hit beyond the belt line is the fact that this kind of behaviour is rewarded with so-called glops. You can receive these glops by adding releases, screenshots or commenting releases. Well, if a system rewards such a behaviour then it deserves such a behaviour but the authors of the productions definately do not deserve it. That's the spirit we actually need... not!

There exist the so-called feedback burger has been developed to present all negative aspects between positive remarks. Use it, support people. We need all active and contributing sceners these days to keep the scene alive. I don't need to love every single production released these days, I don't need to be grateful but it would be quite fair to respect the work people spend to compile their productions. Of course there will always be different quality levels, but without weaker productions you could not enjoy the better ones. Without the weaker productions atleast on older platforms such as the CBM 64 there would be almost no productions. Instead of slagging down people try to support them with valueable feedback or tips how to improve their work in future productions. That's the smarter way to raise the quality level instead of pissing off people. Support them, don't chase them away, then the scene might be the winner with active sceners and some decent productions. A dead scene with no fresh blood won't provide that.

Best regards,
RRR/Oxyron.

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