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The ZX Spectrum demo scene was slow to start, but it started to rise in the late 1980s, most noticeably in Eastern Europe.The demoscene is mainly a European phenomenon, and is predominantly male.At the same time demos from others, such as Antony Crowther (Ratt), had started circulating on Compunet in the United Kingdom.On the ZX Spectrum, Castor Cracking Group released their first demo called Castor Intro in 1986.The demoscene's roots are in the home computer revolution of the late 1970s, and the subsequent advent of software cracking.
On a modern computer the executable size may be limited to 64 k B or 4 k B.
It is a competition-oriented subculture, with groups and individual artists competing against each other in technical and artistic excellence.
Those who achieve excellence are dubbed "elite", while those who do not follow the demoscene's implicit rules are called "lamers"; such rules emphasize creativity over "ripping" (or else licensing) the works of others, having good contacts within the scene, and showing effort rather than asking for help.
In the early days, competition came in the form of setting records, like the number of "bobs" (blitter objects) on the screen per frame, or the number of DYCP (Different Y Character Position) scrollers on a C64.
These days, there are organized competitions, or compos, held at demoparties, although there have been some online competitions as well.