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Party life: what you are supposed to know about a demoparty by Dixan of Spinning Kids and MFX

Although many Italian sceners know everything about demo coding, scene attitude and IRC scene channels, few of them have been to a "real" demoparty in their lifetime, also because of the average lack of parties and scene meetings in their home country.

The aim of this article is not to explain what a demo party is (since if you are reading this you are supposed to know it), but to give a couple of hints and tricks to those among them who wish to visit a big scene event and donít know anything about what they will find there.

Letís start describing how party places usually look like: imagine a pretty large and empty place, like a sport centre, a school gymnasium, a squat or an art gallery, then fill it with tables and put a large video projector in the centre of the room. Now you are looking at a party place before everything starts up.

Then fill the tables with PC cases, monitors and stereo speakers, add some coke bottles, some energy drinks, a bunch of (mostly illegal) ashtrays, lava lamps, spotlights, coloured and psychedelic flashes, different kind of foods and, of course, people. And let them play music loud. Here you have the first day of demoparty.

Ok, now itís up to you. Letís have a look at your equipment: hopefully, you are a demo scener and you are going to take part to some competition.

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My first suggestion is to finish your entry at home, and now I go giving some reasons:

  1. Parties are noisy. If you are a musician you wonít definitely be able to hear anything about your tune, even if you have very good headphones. On the other hand, if you are a coder you need concentration, and noise brings only errors.

  2. Parties are messy. Usually you canít find any confortable place for your mouse or for your Wacom tool, so your graphic is very likely to suck hard. Moreover, if you arrive at the party place late there are nice chances for you not to find any place for your tower PC (in case you have no laptop). And if you have a laptop, be sure that your entry WONíT work there, or that you have forget some important tool at home (like TASM, for instance).
  3. Parties are fun. If you pass all your time coding, tracking or whatever, you wonít be able to get any free beer from the other visitors, you wonít meet any scene legend and, after all, you wonít benefit from the party atmosphere.
  4. Party coding means hurry. And that wonít be any good for your entry. Most likely, you will only create more bugs.

On these basis, there is no apparent reason to bring your PC with you. If you really want to slightly modify your entry, just go to some local lamer, say that you are Jogeir Liljedahl or Galvados/Jamm (©UncleX/MFX), promise them a juicy greeting in your production and they will bend over to your power. If you bring your code on a Cdrom you might be even able to enter the fast compos.

Some nerds might like to bring their PCs with them to connect to the party LAN, leech porn and MP3 and talk on the IRC with their table neighbours. I wonít waste more words on these freaks.

So letís say you donít have any multimedia. Of course you need some place for yourself and for your rucksack, so hurry up and settle on some free table (donít even try to get closer to the big screen, since those places are usually booked).

Put your stuff OVER the table, since everything can happen below.

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While preparing your party luggage you must not forget to bring:

  1. Toothbrush and toothpaste, but your mother will help you on this. Remember that party food is mostly made out of hamburgers, fries, coke, energy drinks and unhealthy stuff, so try keeping you mouth fresh at least, or youíll have no chance to make any new friend.
  2. Bathrobe and things for showers. If you are afraid to wash in public showers, just remember a nice deo-vapo (usually nicknamed "Puzzersthofen" ©Pan/sK). Parties ARE dirty places.
  3. A light torch. Searching stuff under the table during the night is really a big trouble, expecially because many power supply cables and net wires are hiding down there.
  4. A sleeping bag. No matter if itís ice proof or patented for Antarctic journeys, since you wonít definitely feel cold, and you wonít wear any pyjama. You just need a clean place to sleep in. If you sleep on your luggage you can do without a pillow and will keep your things safe from occasional thieves.
  5. Cheap food from local supermarkets. Food ainít any cheap at parties.
  6. Coffee machines, moka or Nescafe. And some electric device to make water boil. Coffee ainít any cheap at parties, and you will need it during the last compo night (see later).
  7. Ear plugs if you are not used to noisy areas. Or if you really dislike techno.
  8. Cool T-shirts.

  9. Aspirin.

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Now that you have settled out and that you are wearing your brand new Prodigy T-shirt (or one with a Java coffee cup if you are a nerd coder) just take a deep breath and start partying!

What to do ("minne menna?" ©Stadion Hostel) at parties:

  1. Watch every competition you are interested in. Nobody will ever force you to follow T994A ASCII art compo, but if you miss the demo competition you are wasting a party, at least in the common scene opinion. One important thing that you must know is that in many parties the most important compos are held during the last night of party, so you will beware not to fall asleep (thatís what coffee is for). If you have any loud speaker or any flashing light just turn them off during the compos. This is a polite act and will prevent the party crew to demolish your equipment in order to punish you ("Turn off the FUCKING yellow light!" ©ASM crew).
  2. Play videogames. Remember that if you turn your monitorís contrast and brilliance to the maximum youíll get unlimited lives. (©Synteesi/MFX).

  3. Talk on the IRC. Meet somebody. Tell him "raise your arm". Raise your arm as well. See the lamer. Go on talking on the mighty relay chat.
  4. Booze.

    If you like alcohol and noise, be sure there is a booze party going on somewhere. Just ask the right people and try to be cool. Probably weíll publish another article about how to be cool at booze parties, but try to remember that being drunk is quite illegal in many foreign countries and that some weird booze freaks may have fun with you if you pass out (this is not a joke). You should also remember that drunk people is usually thrown out of party places, so stay away unless you can speak fluently or stand on a single foot for at least 10 seconds.

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  6. Go around. There are plenty of people there and surely you will find something interesting to argue about. There are heaps of things to learn from foreign people and a lot of scene knowledge you might need to acquire. Forget about finding any girlfriend in the party place unless you are at Abort in Slovenia.

  7. Watch demos. Many parties provide demos on the big screen, and many sceners watch demos on their PCs. Just walk around for a while. If you wonít find any demo youíll certainly build up a strong porn knowledge at the end of your journey through the tables.

  8. Trade warez. This is illegal and I canít suggest you to do so, but you know youíll find plenty of people burning CDs.
  9. Use drugs. I donít do so and I canít suggest this as well, but finding some light drugs around will not be that hard. Try to be informed about local laws about drug abuse, but if you visit Takeover (in the Netherlands) that will not be a major pain.
  10. Vote for competition entries. Real sceners usually never vote, but you might want to use some of your spare time and, after all, if you donít vote for yourself and your friends you have smaller chances to get on the stage to receive your prizes.

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  11. Go outside. Unless you are G-loc/S1, you are free to exit the place and take a tour in the host town. If you are at Mekka Symposium in Fallingbostel or at The Party at Aars (no wonder it sounds like "arse" ©Torus/Cubic) donít even think about doing so, but many other places might be worth visiting in the free time between the compos or during the lame compo events.
  12. Enjoy the provided party entertainment where there is one. Usually large parties feature rave parties, live music events, role playing sessions, laser disc movies and alike.
  13. Eat. There is no lunch or dinner time at parties and there is always a nice queue in front of local fast foods, so eat when you feel you need it. There might be an important competition next time you will be hungry, and you might not want to miss it.
  14. Buy scene CDs and T-shirts if the event is cool. Take some photos. You might miss the party feeling once at home. If you are at Assembly donít even consider buying any T-shirt, since most of the quake lamers do so.

  15. Try learning some sentences in foreign languages, which can prove to be useful in future parties. Remember that speaking Finnish IS as sign of eliteness.

Now you now all the basic rules to be prepared to a scene event. Of course if you are a lame nerd or a quake dude you have really few chances to enjoy your party times, but weird things are known to have happened. A last thing you have to remember is to choose the right mates for your journey, or everything is really likely to turn to crap in few hours.

This is why I want to thank all the cool dudes I have been wandering with through european parties, expecially: Nabo ("dix,dormi?), Rio and Calca (the faithful ASM mates), Pan, Wally, Aragorn, Surfing ("soítroppo elit, vojo Ďa picchiaÖ"), Not ("Öer generatore casuale deímmagini porno"), Blade ("Ti grosto"), Wizard, Crusher, FBY, the Japotek crew ("Japoteeeek Rulz!"), G-loc ("Luca Morelli la la la la la laaaaa"), Zek and Gino ("I negrettiiii!"), Dr.Brain, Dr.Kappa ("5-0!") and all the scene dudes who still enjoy sleeping on the floor.

See you at some scene party!


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