See, I’ve been a member of newgrounds.com for years, and I can pretty much always find something on there that will make me laugh, think, grimace, or even cry. Being the first website for user generated content, it’s become an unstoppable mass of talent and fun. The website wasn’t officially created until sometime in 1998, but the roots of the site itself go back to 1991, when Tom Fulp, the creator of Newgrounds, was working on a fan magazine for Neo Geo called “New Ground”. A short two years later, in 2000, center for the user created content on Newgrounds dubbed “The Portal” was created because of the mass group of fans that sent Tom Fulp their own flash animations. This is where the website really started to boom, so to speak. Lots of time was spent on updating and upgrading the site, to make it easier for users to submit their own content. Tons of flash games and movies where added to Newgrounds in no time.
With the “Flash Portal” being so popular, and the website again being updated, in 2003, the “Audio Portal” was added to Newgrounds. This allowed independent musicians to showcase their work as well as have their works added to flash animations and games. Since then, lots of things have happened with the site, ups and downs, both of the site, and its creator in general, but those things aren’t for me to discuss, and if you would like to know more you can read it here: http://www.newgrounds.com/wiki/about-newgrounds/history
Now that the brief history lesson is over, we can now get to the real reason for this article, the current Newgrounds website. It’s last a little over a decade, and is still going strong. The great thing about Newgrounds is that it is free for members to join, as well as free for members to showcase their work. Incoming Flash submissions are judged by the websites members, meaning that your position on Newgrounds is decided by your peers. Though the amassed amount of content on Newgrounds in the “Flash Portal” is staggering. There have been character that have become staples on Newgrounds whether it be through flash movies, games, or both, some even creating their own franchises based on their newgrounds.com content. If video game companies checked this site more often, the major staples that are on Newgrounds would probably make it to home consoles easily.
Though the “Audio Portal” works in a bit different manner, being that your first submission must be reviewed for a short time, and if that submission makes the cut, then every other submission you post there will automatically be posted for the hundreds of thousands of Newgrounders to judge and comment on. Audio submitted is also freely available to anyone to download, and use in their works, though that mostly ends up being in other newgrounds content. This is great for musicians and voice actors who’d like to get themselves recognized.
The “Art Portal”, which I happened to forget to mention in the history, also operates in a different manner. Though artwork will appear immediately on a users profile, they have to be scouted by other artists, those whom already have their work in the “Art Portal”. Either way, it is a good way to display your artwork, and have your very own online showcase. And other Newgrounds members who aren’t apart of the “Art Portal” can recommend an artist to be scouted, which should draw more attention to that particular individuals work. The artists that submit their work to Newgrounds are generally very good, wish we could see more of them doing comics or cartoons.
All and all, Newgrounds gives people a great place to build up their potential careers, or feed their favorite hobby. With the many ways to contribute to the site, either by submitting content, or reviewing it, as well as sharing it with other people. The only thing that Newgrounds is really missing, is a way to be on television. A few people, including myself, have suggested Xbox Live and the Playstation Network as ways to present Newgrounds content to the World, but there are many other ways to get Newgrounds to the populations, which have yet to be seen. Well just have to wait and see what other marvels Tom Fulp will unveil on the website in the coming years, as well as the users of the site.