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Newgrounds (site domain: newgrounds.com) is an entertainment portal site where its community members can share Flash-based animation, games and music. The site’s featured content consists of in-house creations by staff as well as user submissions. Founded in 1995, Newgrounds has been cited as the web’s oldest Flash animation portal user-generated community.
New Ground Remix / Atomix
Pennsylvania teenager Tom Fulp started “New Ground” as a fanzine about the Japanese console Neo Geo, of which approximately 100 copies were distributed. The first web version of the site was built in 1995, but it was scarcely updated until the summer of 1996, when Fulp created the Flash-based games titled Club a Seal and Assassin. The former title drew attention for its depiction of animal cruelty, causing Fulp to create a page featuring the hate mail he received in response to the game.
During his college studies at Drexel University, Fulp published second editions of these games on a new version of the site titled “New Ground Atomix.” On this site, he began producing more interactive games, including Cat Dynamics. He concurrently ran the two sites, Remix and Atomix, until 1998 when Fulp combined them into a portal community.
In 1998, Fulp began building pages with Macromedia Flash (now known as Adobe Flash), a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages, beginning with Tellybubby Fun Land. The animation showed caricatures of the Teletubbies drinking and doing drugs, sparking a copyright lawsuit with the BBC in 1999. Newgrounds eventually won, as the site is protected as parody under the US Fair Use law, and received media coverage and international attention as a result.
As a combined entity, the site began to draw more traffic and the site was dropped by its ad company due to the controversial nature of some of the animations. In September 1999, the film company Troma approached Fulp about hosting the site as part of their network. Known for infamous movies like the Toxic Avenger, Troma hosted Newgrounds as part of their network until 2002.
The site also began to shift away from showcasing Fulp’s personal creations to curating a variety of original content created and submitted users. In 2000, Newgrounds introduced the Portal, a method to feature the best of these submissions. The initial Flash Portal was divded into an Audio portal for music and an Art portal for images.
- The home page is curated by staff administrators and displays a variety of recent user submissions picked by the staff.
- The Flash portal is utilized by Newgrounds members to submit Flash content. Registered users can submit new Flash games or animations and can vote between 0 and 5 on existing submissions.
- The Audio Portal is a media sharing platform where artists can submit and share all types of music, all of which is free to use for remixes under Creative Commons license.
- The Art Portal is a place similar to the Audio Portal with an option for users to opt out of Creative Commons license. Launched on June 18th, 2009, the Art Portal allows art submissions of any genre or medium, but it primarily focuses on digital art.
Some of the earliest users of newgrounds like typequeen and Doki66 went on to have huge fame on youtube. The website was featured on the news a number of times. Has a huge influence on the underground electronic music and modern rock music communities. And most of the times has information before reddit .
Strawberry clock (aka "king of the portal)
The strawberry clock bonanza started after the user strawberry clock Started a widely popular series of videos on the flash portal. He is one of the older users dating back from March of 2000, he is the king of the portal as proclaimed by Tom Fulp himself. The videos he makes are usually random but constantly funny. The games can either be simple like b the game or complex like clock day smack down ’11.
Search for Newgrounds peaked in June 2005, with search consistently rising during the summer months and December, corresponding with school breaks. Search overall has been steadily declining, similar to the decline in searching for flash animation as well as YTMND and Ebaum’s World, two sites that were also popular memetic hubs in the 2000s.
Since its launch in 1995, Newgrounds has long served as a hubsite for classic memes like Numa Numa, Charlie the Unicorn, Salad Fingers, Phoenix Wrong. It Prints Money and Shut Down Everything stemmed from Newgrounds uploads as well.
Newgrounds also provided an early boost for memes like Peanut Butter Jelly Time, Star Wars Kid, All Your Base Are Belong To Us, I could eat a knob at night, Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, What Is Love?, and The Llama Song.
On Monday February 6th, Newgrounds had declared they were going to change the entire site into a new design. The site had been temporarily down for 2 days before the site was finished with the redesign.
The news attracted many users, with many comments on the Newgrounds facebook page, many of which were either about shock, surprise, or nostalgia.
(Picture of downtime unavailable)
The New design is finished: