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About News
by TCH/Brutal/Oxyron

Hello, Dear Reader!

Before I get started, let me tell you that it has been about 13 years ago since I last wrote something ment for publication. I did write some 1000's blocks of text back then and it was appreciated. Still, it has been a long time ago, so please bare with me and I hope it is not too rusty.

When reading "Attitude #8", there was an article by Taper/Triad called "Disk Magazines In The Scene Of Today". It was yet another text regarding the "News" in disk magazines. Over the months this topic has arrisen quite a few times. Many of the writings were about the "irrelevance" of news in today's "Internetted" scene.

It's obvious that the speed of IRC or websites spreads information quicker than any magazine could ever hope for. I am also aware that a great deal of today's sceners frequent IRC a lot. Thus it can seem that for the frequent Internetters, all the news is old and a waste of time reading it again later.

But for me personally, I get almost all the news from magazines. The problem is not with the hardware... I have an excellent Internet-connection and spend a lot of time behind my compy. Visiting c64.Sk and CSDb has been a daily routine for me for almost 2 years, but I have only been on IRC once at #lemon64. I had a nice chat with Ian CooG/Hokuto Force (greetinxx!) and I'll probably have some in the future with my new groupmates. But I am not somebody to just walk in the IRC-pub and start talking (or eavesdropping). This might be because I was born in Rotterdam/Holland and our motto is... "No words but deeds". ;) Anyway, I am busy enough with C64 business as it is and time is limited.

On the other hand (it surprised me, how stupid am I?), there still is a non-Internet part of the scene. A step-back-in-time scene where people still await mailings from contacts with the latest warez. Remembering those days and the thrill I had when opening the packages to find a note telling me that the new edition of a mag was on the disk! Demos were good to watch and cracks were nice to compare my own accomplishments with, but the mags made me feel that I was part of something larger. Opinions, articles, charts, but especially the news changed the way I looked at "the scene". Reading what had happened, turned a world of individuals into a world of energy. It revealed the "bigger picture" to me. Talented and active people became sources of "high energy" and you could see the scene evolving around those persons. When those people combined their efforts, you just knew it was gonna kick ass.

You probably already guessed what I am driving at. A NEWS-chapter should be part of a disk-magazine! It has been a tradition for many, many years and was part of the core. Ofcourse times have changed (for many), but not for the scene! "The News" has always been only a small part of a mags content, anyway. And the times when I spend 2 days to edit a news-chapter for "Brutal Recall" are surely gone. The scene is much smaller and most people stick to the groups they are in. Still, there is movement or other info. And no matter how much of that can be found on the Internet, it is easy to miss something. But I think that most sceners read the mags! So, that is where things ought to be published aswell. Doesn't really matter if the news is 1+ month old.

OK, everything above has probably been mentioned by somebody else before. But there is something else that seems to be forgotten here.

Many people live in the "now". Using the Internet is such a common thing to most, that being without it (for a long time) can be hard to imagine. Well, let me tell you something...

When I quit the scene in 1993 due to "first job/my own house", I lost touch with the scene totally. It was not untill 2003, when R.C.S. found me, that I learned it was still alive! That is a discrepancy of 10 years. I was surprised it was still there, but was ecstatic when I learned there were databases with releases throughout the years. And one of the first things I did, was downloading the magazines from the period when I quit and find out what had happened to my old contacts. Reading "Script", "Internal" and many others, everything came back to me, almost instantly. The news was filled with names I knew, the puzzle became a picture again! Let alone the articles, which are still "hot" today. ;) I had an excellent ride down memory-lane, much better than any photo-show ever did for me.

Most of you are probably hard-core sceners and don't think you'll have a "break" from the scene that will be this long. I hope you'll stick around and be here! But life has its tricks ready for you (like Hurricane Katrina or, less rigorously, your family/job) and you might (involuntary) miss a part of the scene-life. Won't you love to read the news from that missing period? I, for one, enjoyed seeing how some "small guys" joined big groups and grew in ability. But it was also quite the shock to see how many people left the scene in the same period I did. Well, whatever, I've used old mags to add quite some "formed in"-dates to groups in the CSDb. It really helps putting things in perspective. And that is why it is good to have (old) mags with news-chapters. People don't collect old newspapers for the advertisements, you know. ;)

I also think there are many people that keep in touch with our world with big interrupts. Other activities simply absorb all their time, still they are interested in what happens. Magazines provide the best sources for information. IRC and websites provide a lot of info, but try to recover news from 1 year ago. I wouldn't know where to look, apart from the mags. And one more thing. Anything Internet-based will very probably die eventually, whereas C64 releases seem to live on forever! So many people collect our beloved releases. How many people do you know, backup a website? I sincerily hope the "archives" will still be here in 2050, but what are the chances? Probably bigger than anyone believes. As long as we remember our past and honour the present, there is a good future to look forward to.

So, for the sake of our future's history, I plead to keep the NEWS a part of the mags. "Vandalism News" has a good chapter (thumbs up!), and some others aswell. But there are not many mags left, so all the news that can be saved is welcome. How else are the mailswappers gonna know what's going on?

I don't know about you, but whenever I load a magazine, a feeling of peace settles down on me. It is like grabbing a book, knowing you have all the time in the world and simply start reading. There is no rush, you are in control. You might say the same applies to the Internet, but it just doesn't feel the same. It is too easy to react instantly without reading it carefully again and before you know it, another flaming is happening. More important though, it seems my mind is more able to remember texts from a magazine opposed to Internet-info. But that might just be me...

One last thing pops into my mind just now. It is very unlikely that it will happen, but it might. Some time ago, a book has been released about the history of the C64 demoscene. Maybe someone would want to do something similar, but about the entire scene. There are probably already some years for which information will be scarce. The years before the first diskmag, for example. Any information must come from scrolltexts. Give this imaginary scene-historiographer a break. ;) And let's not make the mistake of belittling our present scene. New people are still beginning to learn coding, do graphics or make music. I remember the first time I got mentioned in a mags news-chapter, it felt good! Let's keep that option open for the newcomers aswell. It's part of the way to recognition.

OK, that's basically what I wanted to say about news. We should cherish the little things that happen in our world and report about it. I hope you'll feel the same.


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