Piracy & Social Change| Crack Intros: Piracy, Creativity and Communication
This article deals with “crack intros,” short animated audiovisual presentations that reside at the crossroads of software piracy, creativity and communication. Since the beginning of the home computer era in the late 1970s, users have copied and shared software with each other. Informal swapping between friends quickly evolved into organized piracy, known as “the warez scene,” which operated across borders. Starting from the early 1980s, pirated games were often accompanied by screens where groups boasted their accomplishments and sent messages to others. The screens soon turned into flashy intros that contained animated logos, moving text, and music. In this article, we take a look at crack intros from three different perspectives: first, through their history; second, by treating them as creative artifacts; and finally, by considering them as a communication medium. The three perspectives offer a novel peek into the practices of early software piracy and its little-known creative aspects.