Similar to other subcultures, the birth of the demo scene was to a great extent determined
by technical conditions: to the objective, "ignorant" beholder, demos may seem to have a
merely artistical end in itself, without any further signification. Yet this culture was
created by software crackers as a way of documenting their work.
Initially, demos came up in the context of the so-called warez scene. The warez scene
consisted of programmers that on purpose removed the copy protection of commercial
software (=software cracking) and then distributed these pirate copies. The warez scene
experienced its first period of prosperity in the beginning of the 80īs, when home
computers like the Commodore C64 were brought to market and thus to the people.
Immediately, a group of mostly young people began to eagerly check out which way
the existent devices could be used. Software was exchanged and sealings and restrictions
attached by the producer were removed and dogded.
Soon a proper competition came up, aiming to find out who would be the first to crack
a new programm. In order to put on and document oneīs own achievements, people began to
add a short intro to the cracked programms. This kind of credits was initially composed
of simple textanimations and graphics - this is where the cracker had his own space to
illustrate and represent his own capabilties as well as greet other crackers. This sort
of freestyle exercise was very useful to gain respect and fame among the crackerīs scene.
With the time passing, these intros grew larger and larger until they finally unpinned from
the warez scene. This was when the name "demo" was first used for the intros.
Many people involved did spot the options of broadening and realise oneīs own skills
in a creative way. From these people, the so-called demo scene emerged, mainly in western
europe: a scene and a subculture of its own, independent from others. Apart from some
stylistic similarities, the demo scene and the warez scene donīt have that much in common.