August 10, 2011

Displayhack – what is it?

Hello there, and welcome to! So, what’s this site then? Well, there are two ways to describe it – one short, and one long. This is the short version:

Displayhack is a site for everyone participating in or enjoying real-time graphics, visual arts, motion graphics and the demoscene. Often adduced as the reason or motivation for expending effort toward a seemingly useless goal, the point being that the accomplished goal is a hack. As Louis Armstrong once said when asked to explain jazz: “Man, if you gotta ask you’ll never know.”

..and here is the long one:


Niche-sites are cool. They are good at what they do, they cater to their audience, and they specialize. They’re niches after all. There are many such sites and while all good and focused, almost all of them either focus too narrow or too wide.

We wanted to create a site where all those interested in the demoscene, web-based graphics, motion graphics, visual arts and other visual fringe technologies could meet, discuss and inspire each other.

Past, present, future

As long-time demosceners, we know very well that the history of the scene is exactly that: history. If we want to play a part in the next generation of visual artistry, we need to do two things: 1) recruit, and 2) embrace. We need more people to enter the scene, actively, and we need to look outside the traditions of packaged executables downloaded to your computer. The next generation of the demoscene is already here, and it’s on the web, in movies and all around us.

Enter Displayhack. It is a site for everyone participating in or enjoying real-time graphics, graphics programming, visual arts, motion graphics and the demoscene, and aims to be a friendly and informative meeting place for beginners, seasoned professionals and everyone in between.

The name

So, where does the name come from? Well, as all truths, it stems from Wikipedia:

A display hack is a computer program with similar purpose to a kaleidoscope: to make pretty pictures (symmetrical or otherwise).

“The hack value of a display hack is proportional to the esthetic value of the images times the cleverness of the algorithm divided by the size of the code.”

Crack intros, display hacks programmed by software crackers for the home computers of the 1980s, evolved into what was to be known as demos and demo effects. The creation of demos later became a subculture of its own, now known as the demoscene.


We’re in the middle of adding a lot of content to the site, but what we really want to achieve is a constant flow of new content, driven by our users. If you’d like to be become a contributor, please contact us – we’d love to hear from you! To become a user, simply use your existing OpenID or SceneID — oh, and read the user FAQ too.

Welcome to Displayhack.

Read more from Frontpage, Site info
About the author, Bent Stamnes

Bent is a technologist, demoscener, musician and a real-time graphics evangelist. He has spoken at several high-profile events and companies such as FMX, FITC, Assembly, the Bay Area Visual Effects Society, Pixar, ILM, Adobe and NVIDIA. He arranges the Solskogen demoscene event in Norway and lives just outside of Oslo with his wife and daughter. Sometimes, when the cold Norwegian winter rages on, he wishes he lived in California.

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. avatar
    May 29 2011

    hey, it works!

  2. avatar
    Aug 22 2011

    \o/ \o/

  3. avatar
    Aug 23 2011

    yeah, it works! \o/

    the login wasn’t working for me some days ago, hopefully you fixed it before the grand-opening :)

    well done gloom, the site looks great :)

  4. avatar
    Egbert Teeselink
    Aug 23 2011

    I liked it better when it said “Niché”. Like a niche-cliché.

  5. avatar
    Aug 23 2011

    wow! i am impressed. awesome, gloom. congratualtions!

  6. avatar
    Aug 24 2011

    Working good, confirmed

  7. avatar
    Aug 25 2011

    Looking forward to the site..glad to see something else out there to contribute to visualist news…CDM is amazing, but more can’t hurt, haha

  8. avatar
    Aug 26 2011

    @laserpilot: Thanks for your comment. We don’t aim to compete with CDM seeing as they are pretty general in terms of visualization and graphics news. We’re adding a feature like that to this site as well, but it’s not coming right now. For now, the aim is to keep general news in the Twitter-feed, and have self-produced content featured on the site.. as well as a thriving forum of course. Please head over there and have a look around, start some conversations — some very smart people are lurking there already :)

  9. avatar
    Aug 26 2011

    Nice work Bent!

  10. avatar
    Aug 27 2011

    @Albert: thanks, but we’re a small team of people who have worked on this – full credits of staff and author-lists are coming!

  11. avatar
    Aug 31 2011

    nice site and really amazing videos!!
    guys keep up the good work!!

  12. avatar
    Aug 31 2011

    This site is awesome! I’m still looking for tuts and additional information as a demoscene newbie. It’s quite hard to find some demosceners in Czech Republic.. Thanks a lot! Looking forward for new stuff.

  13. avatar
    Sep 12 2011

    This looks awesome!

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