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OCR culture?


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So, recently I've been assigned to write a paper detailing a specific group, and to prove that they constitute a subculture, rather than a mere collection of people, a proverbial morass of indistinguishable humanity.

And so, I've decided to take the high road and write about the OCRemix community. I've been lurking OCR for a good 6 years by now, but I'd really like to know everyone's opinions on some things. Having only lurked the boards, I've never entirely understood many people's motivations, whether they be active remixers and contributers to the site, or simply regulars to the forums.

Why have the OCR forums enjoyed such a large fan base over the years while other sites hit their peak and die off within a short period of time? Is there a difference in the type of people here over, say, some place like Gamefaqs, and what do you think makes the difference?

How many of you out there on the boards are musicians? I'd be interested to see how many of you play instruments, even if you're not very good. I'm interested to know what many people play, and what types of music they might specialize in.

I'd appreciate any additional information or theories as to why the site has become so popular. As a humble lurker, I have my opinions of the site community, but I'm curious as to what everyone thinks of the community as a whole.

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I dont speak for everyone, or anyone really but for my self. But I think the longevity of the site has to do with how diverse everything is. I mean just look at the types of music represented here... And for the most part there is some structure to the discussions. Which keep things running smooth...

Oh and the music is amazing., that could be another good reason its stayed around. Every couple of days we have another track amazing in its own right.

But thats just me..

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Compared to people at other places (GameFAQs), I think OCR benefits from having a mod staff that actually communicates with everyone. I could ask Larry a question and he'd get back to me within a couple days max (presumably even less now that he is at the bottom of the queue as far as judging goes :P) -- I couldn't even tell you who the GameFAQs moderators are.

I also feel like I know _something_ about some people here (don't get me wrong -- I realize that I know next to nothing about everyone's personal lives) in the sense that I'm not afraid I'm actually speaking to an angsty 12 year-old.

As a musician graduating this coming spring in composition, I also try to make an effort to support the other musicians here. I'm on most of the mailing lists for the artists here that have made a point of offering them, and will be buying their CD's as presents for people this Christmas. Similarly, I pirate most of my DS games, but will be buying Contra 4 because I want to support virt with his first commercial game release (he's actually the only reason I bought Press Start, and I absolutely loved it).

Oh, and the list of instruments I can play is in my profile, but that's a little more complete than it should be -- I'm primarily a vocalist, a capable pianist, and I play tenor recorder for the ISU orchestra whenever a part is called for. Anything else on there I've either taken enough lessons to play for myself / friends, but not to record on (except the songbird ocarina, on which I'm a complete badass).

Edit: Oh, completely forgot to mention the music! Not enough good stuff can be said about it, really -- hopefully someone with more words than me can articulate it.

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I think the reason this place is so long lived is because of the standard of high quality that is enforced via the judgment system. Without a doubt, I think that's what makes OCR different from other music/remix sites. I mean, think about it, we're all here because we like video game music and remixes of that music. But there are a ton of good communities that any of us could have chosen, but the fact is that we all chose this place because it's got "Terra in Black" and "Calamitous Judgment" on it. I don't know ANYONE who hasn't been blown away by that caliber of remix that is being produced here. I think for the musicians, too, it must be the quality of the music and the challenge of trying to reach that point and the triumph of finally making it.

There might be people who have other reasons, but I hope that helps. ^_^

Edit: BardicKnowledge, you have the coolest handle I've ever seen!

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The community of OCR is about as wide a mix as you can imagine in terms of humanity. Young kids, young adults, people in their twenties (and even their thirties) make up the populous. Furries, goth kids, mathematicians, bullies, cry babies, temper tantrum throwers, drama queens, kind hearted folk, helpful advice givers... they've all been here (or are currently here). OCR really has been a melting pot of personality types intermingling to different degrees. Couple that with a moderation staff that generally tries not to drive people away because of likes or dislikes (both on the part of the moderators, and the posters), and the site is pretty open for folks to come in and see what's what. Granted in the past, the community of OCR used to do its own "weeding out" process on the new folks (especially in the now defunct UnMod forum), but that's a whole different story.

As with any large site, OCR has its own groups as well. Just a few (both past and present) examples would be...

- Various games that bring people together for discussion or playing on-line in clans.

- Some folks like to discuss more serious or thought provoking events, and so they take part in the PPR forum a lot.

- Other people just like to shoot the shit, and don't care much about remixes or remixing, bringing them to post mostly in the Community and Off-Topic forums.

- Art threads where people drew/created original drawings and renders for people to see and critique.

- Smaller groups of posters that have tended to post together based off of shared interests outside of OCR, real world locales, and/or join dates (yes, join dates).

- Signature creators (and their customers) that both make the signatures, and critique them.

- And of course, those who come here for the remixes, and the remixers themselves. Between contests, site projects, the WIP forum, review threads, the musical help threads, and past events like Liontamer's VG Frequency show and the various podcasts, there's a lot going on for people to take part in to some degree remix-wise.

Obviously, OCR is primarily about remixing, and those who love to make, or listen to, remixes. The amount of time spent maintaining the site, its functionality, and judging its remixes gives the place a relatively professional appearance, and its primary subject matter gives the site a strong focal point that appeals to a lot of people. Not every site has such a focus or staff, and that makes it harder for them to keep people coming in and sticking around. But what also helps keep OCR around, is that it's not just a video game remix site. On top of the remixes, there's a variety of forums open for people to take part in. Games, movies, current news events, controversial subjects, politics, idle chit-chat about what you did that afternoon... all of it can be talked about on the various forums. This setup makes for a place that has a large base with which to continually bring people in, and a means of helping to keep people here when they look beyond that base. OCR's not simply a one trick pony, and that's helped its longevity.

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I think one thing that makes OCR so lasting as a community is the way it's grown beyond the original draw. I mean, yes, it's still largely about remixing, but I could remix just as well (in fact probably better) without spending hours a day browsing the forums and chatting in #ocremix, and without ever going to an OCR meetup (supercollabs born at meetups notwithstanding).

At this point, one of the biggest things drawing people to this community is the community itself. More than half the numbers saved in my cellphone are people I know from OCR. It may be because of the sheer size of the community, it may be because an artistically oriented site tends to draw the more dedicated and/or more intelligent gamers, or it may be something I haven't even thought of yet. But the fact is that being a part of the OCR community is something that a large number of people consider to be worth their time on a continuing basis.

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wut? someone misspell my name?

edit: ok i'll turn this into a REAL POST!!!!!!

the reason i have (and by association therefore everyone else) stuck around here for so long, is because

a) i like the people here.

in general. i've made lots of what i would consider 'frienz' here even though i haven't met anyone in real life (though that will change come january). i've even had the chance to talk to a number of dudes on the phone (sgtrama, mrdru, danny b, larry oji, and many more). there are a few bad apples around here, but they're rare, and most of them often only serve to make things more interesting anyways. (TROLL HARDER)

B) musicianism.

with few exceptions, nearly everything i have learned about music has been the result of my experience here. if you went back and listened to the first things i posted in the forums here circa 2002, and the things i've created this week... it's more than night and day. and it's probably the same for a lot of the remixers who started out here. it's like a support network for music nerds.

c) chats.

i spend a lot more time in #ocremix than i do in the forums. and i spend a lot of time in the forums. i'd say the #ocremix subcommunity is even more cohesive. it's also more emo or perverted sometimes, but hey, it comes with the territory.

d) i am tolerated.

not that i'm a bad person. but sometimes i just can't resist the urge to be a ridiculous troll. it's gotten me banned a few times, but they always have it within their hearts to let me back in. also i think after putting up with it for 5+ years a lot of the ops/mods tend to look the other way now. :)

now to actually answer the OP's questions:

Why have the OCR forums enjoyed such a large fan base over the years while other sites hit their peak and die off within a short period of time?

i suppose it takes a certain kind of person to be interested in video game music. sure a lot of people 'came for the remixes but stayed for the forums' and claim to be uninterested in the remixes or video game music any longer, but even if so they all still had a common reason for coming here in the first place.

Is there a difference in the type of people here over, say, some place like Gamefaqs, and what do you think makes the difference?

yes there is. i'd argue that one of the main differences is the age group. most twelve-year-olds aren't interested in koji kondo's works circa 1985 so they can't really relate to it. most of us are in our 20s. yeah there are a few younger kids here, but they're the exception, not the norm. that's just one difference though. it'd be hard to break it down further without doing some kind of sociological study.

How many of you out there on the boards are musicians? I'd be interested to see how many of you play instruments, even if you're not very good.

do not make the mistake of relating musicians with instrumentalists. while all instrumentalists are musicians, not all musicians are instrumentalists. you can still be a musician without playing an instrument. now regarding the number of musicians; there are actually quite a few. but you have to be careful. a lot of people here also claim to be musicians. but i'm not going to point fingers or hold it against them really, because i was the same at one point in time. as for me personally, i compose and arrange music, and i play guitar, piano/keyboards, bass, and drums.

I'd appreciate any additional information or theories as to why the site has become so popular.

because OCR has created its own niche. there is some number of people out there who truly love video game music. and for these people OCR is one of very few places for these people to go where they can share that love.


and if i had a cell phone, it'd probably be like 80% OCR people

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wut? someone misspell my name?

~really long, in depth post...~

Sorry, my spelling is really bad at times. Once again, I apologize...

Edit: I don't claim to be a musician. I can only play "the entertainer" on the piano, and I've killed three guitars. I am a music "appreciator". Yay, I sound important. I have my eardrums regularly violated by huge amounts of awesome. I Love OCR.

'Nuff siad.

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I'll speak from my own experience here... As you can clearly see, I'm a newbie around here, but the first thing that attracted me was the tournaments (namely, the KOF one from a while ago). Sadly, those have sort of hit the skids (I never knew an OCR forums where tournaments wasn't a subforum and then non-existant, so I never witnessed the supposed glory days, but hey, wtf it's the internet, amirite?) but for some reason I still hang around. Is it because I hope the tournaments make a glorious comeback? Well, yeah. But I also hang around in the community. I've been a bit slow to assimilate but I check out the goin's on now and then. I mean, every day I at least read the forums, if not contribute.

Of course, I originally came here for the music and was simply a listener for about a year before I even clicked on the little forum link over on the side there. And I still do check the new mixes whenever I can.

I play the piano (in a way >_>) but I wouldn't say I really know any instruments... but I do like music and definitely appreciate it.

I guess like has been said before, the major reason this community has survived is because of the community itself, and its leaders. Rarely do I see particularly ugly trolling and everything is well-moderated and civilized because the mods aren't high-and-mighty; Everyone knows who the mods are because they are active and make it apparent, they too are human. Besides that, the site is kept up-to-date with new things being posted all the time. There are plenty of sites that have been around for half as long that are never update and left neglected, to waste away. The community is strong because there's always something new and original.

That's about it from my noobie perspective.

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I wish Frylok\Mystico were here to sing the requiem for UnMod...:'( I'm much too new\addle-brained to properly describe it.

I'm glad I was here for at least the tail-end of that place. I had a lot of fun there.

I still have that free-form poem Kingpun wrote about it(Warning explicit content I guess just making sure!):

Being original is great

And free verse is awesome

Because you don't have to rhyme and shit ...

It's got no rhythm, they said, it's got no rhyme

You write in free verse all the time

You need no structure for your song

But then you go back and prove yourself wrong


Mumble mumble ramble on and on

and on and on and on and so on

Bla bla bla

What I'm saying is very important

It has great meaning

But you don't understand it

Because you are a



They named this forum that

Oh, how I long for a better name

Like Steve

I like Steve

I meant the name Steve, not that guy called Steve

No, you're the fag


The place you go when you're far too tired

To think

. . . . . . straight

I can think of better things to do with my time

But I'm far too lazy

You're not supposed to commit intellectual property crime

But the lines are hazy


Your white walls are in stark contrast

To the red of the blood here

And the carbon black of my retinas

But they go well with the semen

And there certainly is a lot of that

You know, they called some here elitists

Mixin' with the beatists

But hey, it's all really community

When they bomb with impunity

Let's go


Now available only in personal or goat form


The return of the faceless

Identity lost in the wash


Collage posters such as this are very educational


Quote has the power

Of stealing the pins under BBCode's tower

Of cards;

So fragile

But then you attack and don't cut it no slack while

Everybody gets down


Everybody get down

and break dance

Break the brakes for the dance

and everybody get



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