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Author Topic: What do you think of "webcore/cybercore"?  (Read 1083 times)
yuentp
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« on: September 29, 2023 @758.94 »

I'm pretty sure this topic has been discussed before but I really want to know what y'all think.

What's your opinion on the whole "old web/webcore/cybercore" aesthetic that's been trendy in the lasts years? I got rid of all my social media except for SpaceHey but I remember being on TikTok and seeing a lot of videos and slides of images from the old web tagged with "aesthetic/webcore etcetc" and the comments filled with kids that definitely did not experience the old web nor pretend to switch to the peripheral web. I don't want to sound like those guys who ask you to name 5 songs of the band you're wearing on your shirt, but I can't help but feel a little bit annoyed by it.

I guess that they are not hurting anyone, and probably slides like this and the whole "webcore" thing may bring younger people to know these corners of the web, but I still have mixed feelings about it.

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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2023 @781.70 »

i think it's a great way to get young folks into the idea of getting out of social media bubbles and exploring the internet more! i've encountered a lot of folks who end up using aesthetics as an entry-point into whatever subculture it's based on (e.g. cottagecore girlies then homesteading later). if webcore helps people see what the internet was like pre-social media to a generation that hasn't grown up without it, i'm all for it.

i'm 32, so i could say the same for anyone who didn't experience geocities first-hand and then created a Y2K/geocities-esque neocities page. the same could be said about kids and teens like me who were building "badly designed" websites in the late '90s and '00s by people who were working on web standards in the '90s or folks who thought telnet BBS in the '80s was the best form of web connectivity and interaction.

i don't have any negative feelings about it, because it's not really a flex to be around when certain things happened in my view. there will always be things that i have experienced that younger folks haven't that will eventually circle back around to being trendy—that's kind of the nature of getting older (the one thing we all have in common!).
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2023 @797.25 »

i don't mind it... i find the term "webcore" to be useful when i am looking for a specific kind of image or visual inspiration :dive:
i think it's interesting seeing how people reinterpret and label things over time, i would extend this to a lot of other "-core"s as well :-) sometimes it's silly and looks like a caricature of whatever it originally was, but i think that can be part of the charm.

i really like xandra's thoughts about it being a good introduction to exploring the internet, that is a sweet way of looking at it. i definitely wouldn't be into the same stuff i am now if i didn't have easy entry points like that
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yuentp
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2023 @800.22 »

i think it's a great way to get young folks into the idea of getting out of social media bubbles and exploring the internet more! i've encountered a lot of folks who end up using aesthetics as an entry-point into whatever subculture it's based on (e.g. cottagecore girlies then homesteading later). if webcore helps people see what the internet was like pre-social media to a generation that hasn't grown up without it, i'm all for it.

Yeah, I totally agree with this. That's why I feel kinda bad when those mixed feelings appear. I really hope young people get to know these corners of the net, and if the whole aesthetic "webcore" thing is helping them to it, I have no complains.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2023 @880.28 by yuentp » Logged

yuentp
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2023 @814.22 »

i don't mind it... i find the term "webcore" to be useful when i am looking for a specific kind of image or visual inspiration :dive:
i think it's interesting seeing how people reinterpret and label things over time, i would extend this to a lot of other "-core"s as well :-) sometimes it's silly and looks like a caricature of whatever it originally was, but i think that can be part of the charm.

i really like xandra's thoughts about it being a good introduction to exploring the internet, that is a sweet way of looking at it. i definitely wouldn't be into the same stuff i am now if i didn't have easy entry points like that

I share a lot of points that were made in this answer. Specially when you mention how useful the term is to look for material. It's also true that easy entry points like this can introduce young people to really cool stuff like the peripheral web.

« Last Edit: September 29, 2023 @880.34 by yuentp » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2023 @815.67 »

Im with xandra on this one! Its really none of our business what art forms or styles the kids make (and even if we think it is, theres nothing we can do about it) :tongue: If they wanna make an art style called webcore, it doesn't matter if its based on something we think we remember; its their art style, its something totally new for them, so whether it resembles the past or not is irrelevant.

As for do I personally like it? I don't mind, though I don't necessarily wanna describe my own work as webcore. Im happy to see people exploring art and design, and I think its very appropriate that young people would want to explore the interfaces that are all around them! Im sure they will come up with somethings we've never thought of and Im excited to see that - particularly since it is so similar to the styles that most of us here enjoy  :ha:
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2023 @834.35 »

I also don't mind it at all. I could see it getting more people interested in the web revival.
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yuentp
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2023 @879.97 »

Im with xandra on this one! Its really none of our business what art forms or styles the kids make (and even if we think it is, theres nothing we can do about it) :tongue: If they wanna make an art style called webcore, it doesn't matter if its based on something we think we remember; its their art style, its something totally new for them, so whether it resembles the past or not is irrelevant.

As for do I personally like it? I don't mind, though I don't necessarily wanna describe my own work as webcore. Im happy to see people exploring art and design, and I think its very appropriate that young people would want to explore the interfaces that are all around them! Im sure they will come up with somethings we've never thought of and Im excited to see that - particularly since it is so similar to the styles that most of us here enjoy  :ha:

I also don't mind it at all. I could see it getting more people interested in the web revival.

Yes!! I totally agree. I think I should change my perspective a little bit and try to understand how this is beneficial instead of trying to gatekeep it.
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2023 @924.48 »

Personally I like it since it fits my tastes really well in general! I  just think it's a nice aesthetic and I like exploring what people can make out of it, whether they are social media kids or adults who experienced old web :dive:
Very good points about it being a good entry way to the web revival too!
Let's not forget that the whole process of the change how the web looks and feels was very gradual. I was too old for geocities, but a lot of personal webpages were still around when I was young. Then personal blogs and forums were still popular well up into early 2010s. It's a bit bold to assume that kids on tiktok did not experience the old web, it's such a broad term.
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2023 @121.12 »

Hmmm, I'd say that I have no problems with the concept of webcore. I think it's one of the big ways people are introduced to parts of the web like Neocities & web revival. I'm not a kid, but I also wasn't around for the 90s web, even its end, so in that respect, I'd say I have no room to talk, you know? Overall, I'd say that it's pretty harmless. I will say though that I frequently hop around on different Neocities sites & feel like the "webcore" ones can sometimes begin to look the same & can focus more on visuals rather than content, but for the most part it's just people having fun, so I don't mind! It's just not for me personally.

Though really I don't subscribe to the idea of "aesthetics" & whatnot; I find them to be limiting & I don't think Vashti could ever fit into a certain aesthetic. That being said, I can see why kids gravitate towards them; They serve as these identity markers & can help them find others with mutual interests. I think that this idea of aesthetics is just a modern rendition of the idea of a subculture. I just think the problem is that aesthetics are often based on a certain look & can at times be shallow & materialistic. So I'd actually say that I think aesthetics are kind of this capitalistic blend of subculture & trend.

I guess I got a bit tangential there, whoops! Anyways would love to hear everyone else's thoughts~
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2023 @191.03 »

As a child of the 2000's, I'm a pretty big fan of it. I DO find a lot of "remember when" nostalgia bait crap pretty corny, but I can't deny that it gets to me occasionally. What's really emotionally resonant about webcore for me personally is how that era of the internet was the last time I ever felt truly content (both with the internet itself and my life). I associate the early internet with childhood, innocence, and seeing so much wonder in everything. My shitty teen years/adulthood feel like they're paralleled with the web becoming a gentrified capitalistic hellscape.
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2023 @316.19 »

i find the (blank)core genre of words both useful and destructive. useful in the sense that its a easy way to introduce a new visual concept to someone in a digestible way. "kid-core" led me to discovering Harajuku and decora fashion, "Webcore" led me to web revival spaces, and "fairycore" introduced me to mori-kei, etc


the problem is that these catch all phrases are more of a sampler of what all its made up of has to offer. This means that when i was seeing all this indivual movements and styles, it was in a bubble, completely de-attached from their contexts and meaning. at a certian point you reach a dead end, knowing there must be a word or idea more specific than the "core" definition that describes what exactly your looking for, but being unable to find it.

this is something we tend to do all the time, grouping ideas and movements into one encompasing phrase. that doesnt mean it doesnt cause problems though. Recently ive been super into kitsch memorbilia, but that too is a very vauge term. I was trying to look for rushton dolls from the 50s. but my searches had to evolve from "Kitsch dolls" to "rubberface dolls" to "Rushton Dolls" as i found out more information. Still, if not for that vague term, i wouldnt of been introduced to all the different kitschy items i love. ive found sometimes its not so easy to find the true source and definition of something though.
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2023 @788.10 »

i find the term "webcore" to be useful when i am looking for a specific kind of image or visual inspiration :dive:

This was gonna be my first answer. Now, I'm basing this whole thing on the actual results I get when I look for "webcore" things, and there DOES seem to be a distinction between it and "cybercore," in that webcore is more bright & bubblegum with a lot of dated UI elements & cultural artifacts, while cybercore reaches more into command lines, dystopian media, darker & more "post"/echoey colors of EDM music, and a more pessimistic but still slick & postmodern outlook on the future when compared to classic retrofuturism. I'll be focused more on webcore here, though, since that seems harder to identify (and more opinionated) in isolation.

There wasn't really a good word to fit together the things that "webcore" fits together. It's also not even necessarily the old Web; it seems to be a certain era of the Web that IS old by today's Internet standards but doesn't really fit the Web of the 90s & earlier too well. It includes a lot of aliased crunchy images & clipart, ascii art animations & kaomojis, the 2000s anime aesthetic, emo/scene patterns & looks, Blingees & colorful glitch art, Vocaloids & Sanrio, 3D models that are from video games, pixel art from Gameboy titles, Flash animations... largely just things that aren't representative of the Web until the 2000s era. I think @MrsMoe about hits the nail on the head for what it represents in practice: it points to that specific time in history. Albeit, it DOES like to mishmash a lot of it together and zoom it all past you at once.

It's just, people who are young enough can misidentify this look as "THE old Web" when it's really AN old Web. It's 2000s Web culture; it's Newgrounds Flashes, YTMND, the Windows 98 & XP operating systems that people used at the turn of the millennium. And if you look for "webcore" on YouTube, what you get back is music! You get bouncy 2000s EDM like Caramelldansen, you get silly viral songs like BrodyQuest, you get mainstream music of the time like Ke$ha's TiK ToK, and if you go to webcore Tiktok users like OkayHattie & ____zosiek, they're calling back to that very same time in visual & auditory Web culture!  :omg: 

For a lot of people, it's the very last set of clothes that the Internet had before it put on the business suit, so to speak. It's just, when it comes to the actual Web that it's referencing, not a lot of people really know where to look or how to create using the medium that started it all. You wind up with people scrounging up whatever they can find, so if they don't have the tools to really create, they can wind up using the exact same images of the exact same characters, the same music, the same patterns over and over. It DOES seem like a very limiting medium if your experience of the Internet is Tiktok, YouTube, and Snapchat. But for those who DO have the creative tools, like the "webcore" tagged sites on Neocities or the aforementioned Webcore Tiktok users, they don't seem particularly lacking in terms of creativity. There are even current music artists who now create that bouncy nightcorey EDM webcore sound:



It really does seem like something that can come from a place of passion, but webcore is just lacking creators in its space. The whole of "how to webcore" is sort of a set of templates for most people, and those templates are few enough to where, if you try to really get into it, you can actually just run out of content & start seeing the same things over again. It also doesn't help that it wants to be a sort of proto-cyberpunk fashion in a landscape where there's not really such a thing as cyberpunk fashion, at least not in any way where you could actually find the clothes for it. In other instances of today's "-core" subcultures, a person can dress the part, but if a person wants to dress webcore, what do they do? Cosplay as a vocaloid, wear a cybergoth respirator mask, put on black-and-rainbow-striped scenecore leggings/sleeves and a Reptar hat? That's not easy stuff to come across these days. The whole thing is mostly relegated to live & die in the same spot as a lot of people found it, because it's just that creatively/technically intensive to figure out what exactly to do with it.

I think it has a lot of potential, and that potential is probably going to either stay unexplored or it's going to move pretty slowly. For instance, there are accounts on the old Blingees site with comments from just this month, and the new Blingee creations can be webcore, but they're not really on any mainstream algorithm, so they're hard to discover. It's also difficult to discover recent musicians who hearken back to that specific era.

Despite the substance of it being limited, I do personally think that the whole thing is cool, if only for the ravey & airy directions I could imagine it going in. Really, adding to it is the best thing you can do for it!  :ozwomp:  Not that all of our own creations would really fit the label of "webcore." A lot of us have taken the tools and gone in our own directions. Melon's site itself doesn't feel very webcore, but his 3D worlds do, even though they may well have been created without knowledge of the term, which is sort of how most building blocks for webcore media were made. In fact, I think that's an important part of current webcore: most things that are webcore were not made to be webcore. If you were to give Ozwomp Online or Crow Island a genre, they'd be experimental, but the TYPE OF experimental lends to them being interpretable as webcore elements. Although the label doesn't capture the essence of their creation, it does communicate the slightly bit-crushed experimentalism that goes a long way toward defining the creative direction in these 3D worlds and in the things that have been labeled as webcore.

All in all, webcore is interesting, though limited, and it just seems to point to a subset of the old Web. It's at least aligned with Web revival movements in that it promotes creative Web culture, but it also doesn't provide many resources to actually CREATE with. I do think it has a lot of unrealized possibilities. I'm just not sure if it has a future that'll go anywhere any time soon.  :ohdear:  It does mean that any new creator in its space has a good amount of room to make something new, though! In that way, it can be thought of as a canvas that's still just ripe for new creation.  :dive: 
« Last Edit: October 01, 2023 @73.06 by Kallistero » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2023 @857.27 »

I definitely don't mind it at all; I think it's a great way to get "the kids" into old web stuff. However, I completely disagree with it being tied to the 2000s. The "cybercore" that I remember being a kid during the 2000s was definitely not that cool and not always so aesthetically pleasing. Yes, there were a lot of cool, oddball electronics and gadgets with cool product design, and there was definitely an influx in cyberpunk/dystopian sci-fi media.. but when I think of the Internet in the 2000s, I think of playing flash games on the beat up family computer in everyone's basement that was completely caked in junk food crumbs and slimy kids' drink residue.. far less glamorous than the slick, chrome, Matrix-style aesthetic that has come out of it, as cool as that might've been! Haha  :grin:

I will say, they did nail the obsession with the Sony Vaio/Windows 7 "Aero" UI. That design was EVERYWHERE.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2023 @858.99 by Salty » Logged

yuentp
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« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2023 @755.38 »

Thank you so much for your answers. I find it a really interestic topic and I loved to hear everyone's point of view. I hope that my approach didn't seem too agressive towards the people who use these terms, my main objective with this topic was telling people a personal view I had that I felt didn't let me see beyond my feelings.

Reading your answers has helped form a more objective opinion and understand other people's points of view, so again, thank you very much for the attention you brought to this topic!!
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