SVT is the Swedish national public television. They recently announced their new series Det svenska spelundret, which translated to “The Swedish game wonder” or something. It is a five episode documentary series about the history behind and the creation of the flourishing Swedish computer game industry. In Swedish and the only subtitles available are also in Swedish.
In episode two, there’s a look into the home computer demo scene of the late 80s and early 90s that more or less kick-started some of the early game studios.
You know who were very present in the Swedish demo scene in the late 1980s? Me. I even dabbled a little into games and I wrote a few, at least beginnings of games on the Commodore 64, but I didn’t have the persistence and discipline to finish those projects so they never actually ended up anywhere further than playable prototypes.
I grabbed a frame from the show. At 5:06 there’s this photo, taken at some copy party in the late 80s (in the show they say early 90s but many photos were older).
This specific picture was from the copy party in Eskilstuna Sweden 12 – 15 May 1989 that I helped organize. A few hundred teenage nerds in a school over the weekend. I was eighteen years old at the time.
We, in the form of the demo group Horizon, won the demo competition there with our demo Dolly Party (in which I contributed code using my nick name Bagder). Here’s a YouTube recording of it.
Of course a lot of friends and acquaintances from those days also flickered past on the many old golden photos that were shown. Most of them very shown very quickly. A little disappointing was that Kjell Ericson who shot several of those photos didn’t get any credit at all in the show. Thanks Kjell!
The TV show says we called those events “demo parties” when they were in fact called “copy parties” to all of us (probably due to how they once started as a chance to meet up and exchange copies of games and other software) far into the 90s when I believe they rather became LAN parties.
Demos and pictures from my C64 days as member of the demo group Horizon have been collected by Kjell Ericson.
The demo days laid the solid foundation of my computer life and entire career. Slightly more about that can be found on my about me page.