‘Preserving the Demoscene project’ funded by Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland

The “Preserving the Demoscene” project involves the digitization of the history and present of the demoscene, as well as the production of a documentary film about this phenomenon. A key component is the interviewing of demoscene enthusiasts. The project enhances the visibility of the demoscene and the availability and accessibility of cultural heritage materials. The “Preserving the Demoscene” project has received special funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland to support the accessibility and preservation of digital cultural heritage, services for public libraries, and the digitization of intangible cultural heritage.

In the “Preserving the Demoscene” project, materials related to the demoscene and especially its internal communication are collected and digitized. Both old and new members of the demoscene community are interviewed, forming an understanding of what the demoscene was like in the past and what it is now. The project aims to raise awareness of the demo hobby as intangible cultural heritage.

Based on the digitized materials and interviews, a documentary film will be produced, examining the hobby of demos from both historical and contemporary perspectives. The documentary aims to capture an authentic and honest portrayal of this unique culture and community, as well as the significance of the hobby to its members. The documentary will be filmed at Finnish demo events during the summer and autumn of 2024 and will serve as a culturally valuable record, making the demoscene visible to more than just its members.

The project is implemented by the Finnish Postal Museum and the Tampere Historical Museums as part of their joint national responsibility task, specializing in communications, gaming, postal services, and digital life. The Finnish Museum of Games is particularly involved. All the exhibitions of the project museums are located in the Vapriikki Museum Center. The “Preserving the Demoscene” project is carried out in collaboration with demo enthusiasts and will continue until the end of 2024.

For more information, contact Anne-Mari Musturi, project worker, Postal Museum, anne-mari [dot] musturi [at] postimuseo [dot] fi

Demoscene newly added to Swiss Inventory of Living Traditions

Today the Demoscene was accepted as Swiss national intangible cultural heritage. Here’s the publication of the Swiss Demoscene association which filed the application, Echtzeit – Digitale Kultur.

The Swiss Federal Office of Culture (FOC) declared in its 22nd August 2023 media release that the Demoscene has been added to the national Inventory of Living Traditions, as one of only four new national traditions, under the title “Demoscene – Digital Creativity”. After its first publication in 2012, this is only the inventory’s second update and the Demoscene is its first digital culture. Echtzeit – Digitale Kultur, our non-profit association which promotes and teaches Demo coding and other traditional practices and hosts Demoscene events like Demonights or the Demoparty MountainBytes, has filed the application. All Echtzeit members are extremely happy about the positive result! Recognition of the Demoscene as national, living tradition is an acknowledgement of our efforts around the Demoscene in Switzerland and at the same time a promise to the future of our projects, events, and initiatives.

Our sincere thanks go to all contributors of the application, everyone participating in the decision in the cantons, the Federal Office of Culture and the involved committees for their benevolence and recognition, that the Demoscene with its history, distinctiveness and vivid creativity has particular relevance as digital culture, nationally and internationally.

The Demoscene will now be portrayed as living tradition by a dedicated team in a dossier and activated in the online Inventory of Living Traditions. Dossier development will be supported by contributions of Echtzeit – Digitale Kultur and members of the Demoscene. We are looking highly forward to this collaboration.

The recognition of the Demoscene as intangible cultural heritage in Switzerland follows earlier listings in Finland, Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands. Our Swiss success means another leap forward for the international initiative Demoscene – The Art of Coding, which also sparked our application for the Inventory of Living Traditions.

Ungarian demo scene documentation project reached 100 %

Congratulations to the Moleman project, which just met the goal of their crowdfunding campaign even 5 days before it ends!

Stamps Back, the 5th episode of the Moleman documentary series, is a 144-minute film about the golden age of Hungarian video gaming and the formation of the Hungarian demoscene in the 80s and 90s, which you can watch for free on YouTube. More than 76 hours of interviews were conducted for the film, which is a true document of the Hungarian home computer life in the 80s and 90s.

While the movie shows the richness and creativity of the demoscene with many examples and personal experiences the success of the crowdfunding campaign is an other impressive sign of the livingness and attractiveness of the scene.

AND: Since 5 days are left don’t miss the chance to grab a collectors edition copy or support this great project in other attractive ways. Beyond being a documentation about the scene it’s a treasure trove for the history of east European creative computing in general, too.


Demoscene accepted as UNESCO cultural heritage in The Netherlands

Today the demoscene was accepted as Dutch national intangible cultural heritage.


We very happy about the success of the Dutch demoscene to be accepted as a living national cultural heritage!

The Dutch inscription is continuing the success story of the demoscene as first digital culture accepted by the UNESCO. Previously the demoscene became cultural heritage in Finland, Germany and Poland.

Check out the official entry at the inventory (https://www.immaterieelerfgoed.nl/en/democene) and the safeguarding plan, which was the core of the application (http://demoscene-the-art-of-coding.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Translated_Borgings_plan_Demoscene_EN_for_NL.pdf).

Our congrats go to the whole Dutch community and specifically to ‘RamonB5^dSr’ aka Ramon de Bruijn, ‘@zeno4ever’ aka Dave Borghuis and ‘havoc’ aka Peter van Rijn, who were mainly responsible for submitting the application.

The Dutch inscription will be a big push for other pending applications like in Switzerland. And also it’s making a joint international application more likely.

Stay tuned…

Unesco status helps aquiring budget for reach out

The Finnish Museum of Games promotes the continuity of the demoscene in Finland

The Finnish Heritage Agency has awarded the Finnish Museum of Games a grant to promote the continuity of the demoscene across generations. The New Faces of the Demoscene project, starting in 2023, will bring together demoscene activists and young people to create a cross-generational dialogue. Through the project, young people from the Pirkanmaa region will be guided to learn about the past and present of the demoscene, and to produce their own demos for the Graffathon event.

The Finnish Museum of Games promotes the continuity of the Finnish demoscene together with demoscene activists. The museum is also working with the international Art of Coding campaign to add the international demoscene to UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. The New Faces of the Demoscene project is implemented in cooperation with MuseoX, Graffathon and the City of Tampere youth services.


Regular meetups.

If you want to catch up with what the AOC community is doing these days:

  • join us on the Discord of the initiative: https://discord.gg/ntASGGN
  • chat with us every second Monday of the month, 20:00 CET (Berlin time) at our informal meetup

Where do we meet each other? In the Voice + Video Chat Channel on above Discord.

Thank you and see you soon!

Demoscene in Poland gets accepted as national immaterial cultural heritage

We are super-stoked about the success of the Polish demoscene to be accepted as a living national cultural heritage!
To inform you quickly let us quote from the success text of the committee of Polish demosceners (Komitet Społeczny Kronika Polskiej Demosceny / KSKPD) behind the application:

“Polish demoscene is officially Polish cultural heritage.”

We are proud to successfully participate in the international initiative Art of Coding, which aims to recognize demoscene creation as a craft and art, whose development is a part of modern human history. Poland joins the successes of Finland and Germany, and our experience opens doors for other countries, whose demoscene communities are also working on their proposals. The goal of this cooperation is to include the world demoscene on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity – and it will be the first-ever digital culture on this list.” Andzrej Lichnerowicz and others at kskpd.pl.

We are extremely happy that Poland, right after Finland and Germany, recognized the digital culture of the demoscene as an immaterial cultural heritage. It is a huge milestone, as it confirms on an institutional level that the demoscene is a major influence on digital culture east and west, north and south, crossing all borders and boundaries. We are super grateful for the success of the Polish scene and the community behind Kronika Polskiej Demosceny, which pushed the successful application with great passion and energy. Ogromne gratulacje!”
Tobias Kopka – Co-Founder Art of Coding”

Thank you to all supporters involved in making it happen, first and foremost Unjello from Aberration Creations and also Luisa from Poo-Brain for initial energy rushes, and please see the main article from the Polish Demosceners at kskpd.pl for full names-list and as well our Supporters-Section at Art of Coding.

For full details and context please check out: https://kskpd.pl/en/

Thank you again, we are super excited, what a happy end of the year!

Demoscene accepted as UNESCO cultural heritage in Germany

Big push for other national Demoscene applications and the acceptance for an understanding of digital cultures in general

Today on the suggestion of the national Unesco expert committee, the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs decided to accept the Demoscene as German intangible cultural heritage. The decision acknowledges the long and living tradition the Demoscene has in Germany, with Revision, Breakpoint, and Evoke among other demoparties shaping the landscape of major international gatherings of the demoscene for decades.

Tobias Kopka from the applicant Digitale Kultur e.V., also co-initiator of the Art of Coding Initiative, is excited: “The inscription as German cultural heritage is a big success, and writes cultural history in Germany. We will celebrate this big-time, as soon we can come together physically again! I want to thank all sceners who supported and helped to draft the application. This will also help to shed more light on the amazing history and achievements of the Demoscene, will help to preserve it, and also give a push to invigorate everybody in these harsh times of continuous lockdowns encouraging new members from all kinds of backgrounds to join the scene as creators and connoisseurs. We are happy and humbled for the support we gained within the international campaign platform Art of Coding; its purpose will continue to help other national applications by exchanging experiences and information.”

Foto: Darya Gulyamova, People celebrating at Evoke

The inscription in Germany was the second listing of the Demoscene already. Just last year, Finland accepted the Demoscene as a national intangible cultural heritage. Andreas Lange from EFGAMP e.V., responsible for the international coordination of applications in the initiative, is certain that the meaning of the decision in Germany is a milestone for an intended international application: “With Germany, a second country acknowledges the Demoscene as it’s cultural heritage. As the previous decision in Finland helped convince the experts in Germany, today’s decision is a huge tailwind for the ongoing applications in other countries like France, Switzerland, and Poland. And the more countries will have listed the Demoscene, the more likely an international joint application for the Demoscene to be recognized as humanity’s cultural heritage becomes. Since digital culture is transnational at its core, an international application as the final level of the campaign is more than reasonable.”

Via Art of Coding, the Demoscene became the first digital culture officially accepted as cultural heritage. In spite digital culture became formative for our lives and culture for decades, until now, only rather traditional, analog cultures are inscribed. The successful applications in Finland and Germany show impressively that the decentral and procedural nature of every digital culture complies with the UNESCO definition of intangible heritage very well. Thereby the Demoscene is on its way to becoming a door opener for the acceptance of other digital cultures in general.

Press release of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs: https://www.kmk.org/presse/pressearchiv/mitteilung/20-neueintraege-ins-bundesweite-verzeichnis-des-immateriellen-kulturerbes-gebaerdensprache-demoszene.html
Demoscene entry at German UNESCO site: https://www.unesco.de/kultur-und-natur/immaterielles-kulturerbe/immaterielles-kulturerbe-deutschland/demoszene

See also:
German article by Art of Coding: Demoszene schreibt Kulturgeschichte: http://demoscene-the-art-of-coding.net/2021/03/20/demoszene-schreibt-kulturgeschichte/

Press contact: Tobias Kopka – media [at] demoscene-the-art-of-coding [dot] net

Demoszene schreibt Kulturgeschichte

Erstmalig wird mit der Demoszene eine digitale Kulturform in das UNESCO Verzeichnis des Immateriellen Kulturerbes in Deutschland aufgenommen. 

Mit der Entscheidung der Kulturministerkonferenz vom 19.03.21 wird die Demozene in das Deutsche UNESCO Verzeichnis des immateriellen Kulturerbes aufgenommen. 

Historische Entscheidung in Deutschland

Diese Entscheidung ist bahnbrechend, ist es doch das erste Mal in der Geschichte der UNESCO in Deutschland, dass mit der Demoszene eine genuin digitale Kulturform aufgenommen wird. Bisher sind weder Games, noch Wikipedia oder YouTube in die Listen des immateriellen Kulturerbes eingegangen. Der Erfolg ist basierend auf der Initiative Art of Coding, unter deren Schirm derzeit auch in anderen Ländern ähnliche Anträge vorbereitet werden. Die Entscheidung in Deutschland stellt einen substantiellen Schritt bei der Anerkennung Digitaler Kultur als lebendige, veränderliche – aber auch historische Kultur – mit zu bewahrenden Wissen, Techniken und Artefakten dar. 

Dass sich sich die deutschen Jury-Experten der historischen Tragweite ihrer Entscheidung bewusst gewesen sind, legt die Begründung nahe: „Das Expertenkomitee würdigt, dass die bundesweit und international agierende Demoszene bereits seit den 1980er-Jahren spezifische kulturelle Praktiken und virtuelle Ausdrucksformen nutzt, um die lokalen und digitalen Kommunikationsformen miteinander zu verbinden. […] Insbesondere die praxisorientierte und dynamische Weitergabe des generationsübergreifenden Wissens im digitalen Raum betont den lebendigen und zugleich immateriellen Charakter dieser kulturellen Ausdrucksform.”

Foto: Darya Gulyamova

Digitales Kulturerbe

Tobias Kopka vom Kölner Antragsteller Digitale Kultur e.V., verantwortlich für den Antrag in Deutschland, sowie Co-Initiator der übergreifenden, internationalen Art of Coding Initiative, ist begeistert: „Die Demoszene setzt sich als technisch-kreative Kulturgemeinschaft seit Dekaden über jedwede Grenzen hinweg und versteht sich im besten Sinne als transnational. Die Anerkennung als immaterielles Deutsches UNESCO Kulturerbe treibt die Diskussion um einen zeitgemäßen Einbezug aller digitalen Kulturformen in den selbstverständlichen Kanon der Kulturbewahrung und -förderung voran. Es ist der richtige Zeitpunkt digitale Kultur ernst zu nehmen, mit all seinen Chancen, der vielfältigen Geschichte und auch den Herausforderungen, denen wir in der digitalen Kultur begegnen im Hinblick darauf was es noch weiterzuentwickeln gilt in digitalen Kulturen und Communities. Vielen Dank an alle, die uns und den Antrag aktiv und ideell unterstützt haben!”

Andreas Lange von EFGAMP e.V., der für die Koordination der internationalen Anträge bei Art of Coding verantwortlich ist, ergänzt: “Weil die Demoszene von Anfang an als digitale Kultur international war, ist jede nationale Anerkennung ein wichtiger Meilenstein, da so die Chancen steigen, die Demoszene auch international anerkennen zu lassen. Da sich die Demoszene wesentlich in Europa ausgeprägt hat, ist dies auch eine Gelegenheit, eine dezidiert Europäische Kulturpraxis zu benennen, die als digitale untrennbar mit den heutigen und zukünftigen kulturellen und gesellschaftlichen Gegebenheiten verknüpft ist. Dass nach Finnland nun auch Deutschland die Demoszene als Kulturerbe anerkannt hat, ist eine eindrückliche Bestätigung unserer These, dass speziell die UNESCO Kriterien für das immaterielle Kulturerbe passgenau der prozessualen Natur digitaler Kultur entsprechen.”

Gemeinschaftsgefühl und kollektive Anstrengung

Wie die Aufnahme in die Listen des immateriellen Welterbes deutlich gemacht hat, ist es an der Zeit, dass digitale Kultur dezentral, selbst-organisiert, anonym und wettbewerbsorientiert sein kann, und dennoch ein starkes Zusammengehörigkeitsgefühl und eine langlebige Community bilden kann.

Die Demoszene ist eine Kultur mit besonderem Wissen, Geschichten und Traditionen, die man als digitales Brauchtum bezeichnen kann, sich dennoch immer weiterentwickelt. Wie in anderen von der UNESCO anerkannten Brauchtümern geht es auch bei der Demoszene darum, mit der Anerkennung als Kultur, neue Zugänge zu einer Selbstverortung bekommen, was Kultur heute ausmacht. So treiben Wissenschaftler, Historiker*Innen, Journalist*Innen und Demoszener*Innen selbst den Diskurs darum voran, wie sich digitale Kultur, entstanden aus einer vorwiegend männlich dominierten Jugendkultur in den 80ern und 90ern sich entwickelt hat und weiterentwickeln wird. 

Nachdem in Deutschland alle Hürden genommen wurden – die Nominierung durch das NRW Kulturministerium , die Prüfung und Empfehlung durch eine unabhängige Expertenkommission auf Bundesebene  und die letztendliche Bestätigung durch die Kulturministerkonferenz der Bundesländer – und die Demoszene bereits letztes Jahr als Finnisches Kulturerbe anerkannt wurde, geht es jetzt daran, in weiteren Ländern Initiativen für Anträge zu unterstützen, die derzeit wie in Frankreich, Polen und Dänemark in Vorbereitung sind. Hat all das geklappt, steht die Königsklasse auf dem Plan: der Beginn eines transnationalen Antrages, dem sich alle Länder anschließen können, die die Demoszene in ihr nationales Kulturerbe aufgenommen haben, um die Demoszene als eigentlich transnationale Kultur, die wenig an nationalen Identitäten interessierte ist, adäquat ins internationale Kulturerbe aufzunehmen.

Die Initiatoren Kopka und Lange zeigen sich optimistisch: “Gerade in Zeiten der Pandemie hat sich bewiesen, wie wichtig die digitalen Spielorte unserer Kultur geworden sind, umso wichtiger ist es jetzt Ihnen auch die nötige Aufmerksamkeit und Unterstützung zu geben, damit digitale Kultur paritätisch, dezentral und partizipativ als selbstverständlicher Teil unserer Kulturlandschaft gelebt werden  und  ihre Entstehung sowohl historisch gewürdigt als auch langfristig bewahrt und weiterentwickelt werden kann“.

Tobias Kopka: „Mit dem Erfolg unseres Antrags in Deutschlands freuen wir uns auf viele neue Mitglieder in der Demoszene, die an der Art of Coding und Musik und Grafik Freude haben, um auch die nächsten 30 Jahre als Community des spielerischen Wettbewerbs in den Blick zu nehmen.“

Pressekontakt: Tobias Kopka, media [at] demoscene-the-art-of-coding [dot] net

für Social Media Bildcollage: Bild oben Links: Thomas Findeisen, Open Rechts: Zee Upitis, Unten rechts: Darya Gulyamova, BG: Tobias Kopka
Bild im Artikel: Darya Gulyamova

Zum Weiterlesen / Einhören:

Happy New 2021

“Happy New 2021” from all of us and thank you for supporting us in 2020! As challenging 2020 and full of losses may have been for all of us, for Art of Coding it was a good year, so we want to thank you for this!

Thank you to everybody who made the success of the Finnish Application possible, helped the German Application taking a major step to success, and who is supporting the groups in Poland, France, Hungary, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands and more places gearing up next applications!

Thank you for your support in 2020, happy new year 2021 to come! (Picture: Anna-Carolin Weber / Tobias Kopka)

In the second half of the year we turned a little more inward, as the pandemic took more time and mental space – and also impacted our work lives severely in some of our cases – like for probably many of you, too.

Though even with all the struggles 2020 had to bring we are super happy that on all ends initiatives were pushed forward, articles were published and talks were given by friends of the demoscene. And we know already there is more to come in 2021!
(See our Twitter, or check out our Press Area for updates in next weeks and more details)

So what’s coming up next in 2021?

In January join us for a Discord-gathering of supporters (edit: Date is Tuesday, the 19th 2020 at 8pm CET in the Discord), in February we aim to check in with all teams actively interested in pushing applications, and in March (*DRUMROLL*) we expect to hear back from UNESCO in Germany!

All of this will lead to Revision Online happening in April. Plans are to convene digitally at Revision, to replenish energy, gather ideas and bring together supporters for updating each other on the chances and challenges for the months to come.

Updates too scarce?

No problem, if you are feeling you would like to be more involved make sure you follow our Twitter and join our Discord (https://discord.gg/ntASGGN), as these are the two channels where we share updates aside of the main milestones which generate website news. And you can always poke us directly on Twitter or Discord in case you are curious or wondering how to move on with something.

It’s not about us, but the scene as a special place!

So thank you again, sceners, cultural folks, digital and nondigital people, without your support we wouldn’t have made it this far! Now onto the next year, for probably a few more to come! Thank you for your continued support!
Tobias and Andreas on behalf of the Art of Coding Team and Initiative