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How Do I Play Demos In Quake?
i typed the exact same thing in google and got bugger all that could help me :(

all in can work out is this:

load quake
open console
type startdemo

do i put .dem at the end of the map name?

where do the demo files go once i have downloaded them/unzipped them?
do they go straight in the main quake folder?
do they go in the id1 folder?
playdemo nameofdemo

you put them in /id1/ (or whatever mod's folder you are using)

As an aside, in the future you should just ask questions like this in the General Abuse thread. We tend to prefer new threads to be discussion topics, rather than single questions like on other forums. 
no worries!

i'll be mindful next time :)

unfortunately this didn't work for me :(

i get:
host error: model maps/retrojam3dlc_skacky.bsp not found? 
you will need whatever map the demo was recorded in. 
i'm using quake injector
i have the retro jam installed
i have put the relevant ionous demo in the id1 folder

you say i need the map the demo was recorded in, so i tried to place the demo in the same folder the ionous bsp file was in.
that didn't work.

i have tried loading the vanilla quake start map and accessing the console
i have tried loading the actual ionous map and tried 
also, retrojam3dlc is technically a mod, so make sure to place the demo in the /retrojam3dlc/ directory and that you are playing the retrojam3dlc mod when playing the demo! 
still doesn't work.
i placed the ionous demo in the main retro3dlc directory
i loaded the ionous map from quake injector
i typed playdemo retrojam3dlc_ionous
i hit enter

i got this:

server: dark places [something, something..]
host error: server returned version 3504, not 15 or 666
unknown command "cl_serverextension_download"

i'm ready to give up, this is very difficult:( 
sounds like you need to play the demo back in darkplaces, it appears to be recorded that way. 
that worked, now i just need to sort the others out. 
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