I’ve been repeatedly asked what the demoscene is and why I’m endlessly fascinated by it.
The best description I’ve found is this:
Although the demoscene has many elements in common with the warez scene from which it emerged, it differentiated itself by emphasizing technically challenging aesthetics. Whereas software cracking was largely pragmatic and gaming was about entertainment, the demoscene was about creating computer art that was difficult to produce at the level of the code, but also visually and aurally pleasing to consume. It was, in short, a competitive form of digital art.
Whilst that describes the scene perfectly, to really understand it you have to see it for yourself.
The example below is called TEA STORM written by Mathieu Henri, along with the 256 bytes of code that creates it.
That really is the entirety of the code; there are no libraries, no images, no trickery.
(t = h = 75),