Oct 17, 2020 // 11:52PM EDT
Newgrounds… now that the name you heard from me millions of times before, the time when I left DeviantART in favor of Newgrounds community for good. Why is it that makes Newgrounds so special?
To be honest, they're a lot to offer in this independent site that steps away from corporate business tactics. Oh wait, you guys don't understand what I trying to say… The internet nowadays is filled with greedy practices and overall depression. The one thing you see on the internet world is either Facebook, Youtube, or any other social media and the reason is that they took over the internet and those are all you see as well as Government censorship that getting out of control. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, Google, your good ol' search engine is stalking you, invading your privacy information because you agreeing to their shitty Terms of Service.
Okay, I went way off-topic, or has I? Newgrounds is not just social media, it entertainment that heavily focus on user content and not money. Newgrounds have been sitting on the internet for more than 20+ years and this specific site is known to be a founder of Flash content, this site is making history with this internet technology known as Adobe Flash (or as longtime people know as Macromedia Flash before Adobe owned it and trash it at the same time). Newgrounds are the reason why Flash has been growing and sticking around for a long time during the 2000s and 2010s.
Flash and Blash
Before I talk belief about Newgrounds history, let's talk about Flash and why it important tool on the Internet.
Flash was something that allows both animation tools and websites. In short, it a multimedia tool, an internet technology that was simple yet powerful, and they're so much you can do with Flash tool and all it took was a simple plug-in on the site and boom, you got yourself an entire site or animation, save into one .SWF file.
In 2005, Adobe acquired Macromedia (who was at the time, their biggest rival) and renamed it to Adobe Flash as well as the player itself. That when we all recognized it as an Adobe product (Big company do make a difference!).
In 2010, when Apple announced iPhone, Steve Jobs has slammed Flash, saying it won't support Flash on every iOS platform due to being Buggy, Security Issues, and Privacy. The result is that Apple and Adobe themselves have decided to make people shift their stuff into HTML5 and later on in 2017 that Flash will meet its End-Of-Life at the end of 2020 (which is this year the time I write this). Still, that doesn't mean you should fucking kill it entirely when the Internet is covered in Flash content (with over billions of them). It means you want to get rid of Internet history for damn sake.
There is an entire history timeline created by Tom Fulp himself in Newgrounds site but I going to short it on how it began.
Newgrounds didn't start as a Flash portal and become an instant success like any other site that got famous the second it got released. Rather, it was part of Neo Geo Fansite and funny thing is, Neo means New and Geo mean Grounds. That where the name "Newgrounds" came in place. That was back in 1995, the time when the Internet was very young.
But it wasn't until 3-4 years later when it became Tom Fulp Flash collection (as I like to call it). The main reason I called this selection "Risky Beginning" was that his flash collection wasn't friendly at all. Of course, the Internet wasn't even discovered by Business so it was the wild west and wasn't big deal at the time. His collection included game like Club the Seal (where you hit the Seal with club), Assassin (where you killed famous people), and the most controversial yet famous title is Pico School (which making fun of School Massacre featuring the fictional character, Pico, who later became the most iconic mascot of NG).
In later time, Portal was also introduced but at the time, Tom has to put people Flash content manually into Newgrounds until 2000 where Tom and Ross (who now consider as Drop-out at Drexel) decided to make Automatic Portal for people who want to upload their Flash content and that where Newgrounds has changed forever, making Newgrounds as full-time for Tom Fulp as well as his four employees whom he hired.
Everything by Everyone
2006 is the time where Newgrounds starting to become more of a Flash site for all the people then being Tom Fulp edgy collection. They did lose their edginess to being more community-based, even so, that they even changed their slogan to "Everything by Everyone" when as before it was "The problem of the future, today!". Can't blame them because, at some point, you can't be edge lord forever, and, Newgrounds was welcoming more young and inspiring artists who want to be an animator or artist in the future. You have to understand that at the time, there were no Twitter or Facebook or any major platform and Youtube was founded by 3 ex-employee of Paypal a year ago and was a very small business at that time. The only platform you have to get on to back in mid-2000 was either those flash sites (that stole Newgrounds concept and make loads of ads money), forum, Deviantart, or Newgrounds.
Famous people such as Jame Lee (Creator of Tarboy), Alvin-Earthworm (Famously for Super Mario Bro Z), and Egoraptor (also known as Game Grump and known for Metal Gear Awesome) started on Newgrounds from their ground-up. What makes them famous and how they are well known are all started on Newgrounds.
Later on from a couple of years, Newgrounds started to introduced more genres such as Audio and Art Portal as well as Literature. Newgrounds is also home to an animated collaboration with more famous work such as N1n10Doh!, Smash Bros Collab, Mama Luigi Project and so much more. Newgrounds become a heaven place for all those people who want to post their animation/flash content.
What is Newgrounds? A Hentai site?
In short, not entirely though they were once infamously for it back in Dot Com Bubble where most internet businesses went down while other site struggling to keep their site on the ground and for NG to keep in business, they have to put out those Adult ads and pop-up and oh boy, Tom Fulp always complain how bad they were.
Newgrounds is still up and running, in fact at this Flash End-of-Life Era we in right now, Tom and his NG crew have already set up a backup for all those Flash content with their stand-alone version of Flash Player as well as Ruffle, a Flash plug-in without a plug-in using Rust programming language since the beginning of 2020 as well as going ads-free for good. Tom has a lot of plan for Newgrounds this years and next years and years afterward. After Tumblr banning NSFW artists in 2018, NG was pumping with over thousands of users joined, even to point that the NG server even crashed. Newgrounds, unlike other flash sites, is still around the net.
From Tom edgy collection to surviving Dotcom Bubble to making history with making Flash the most useful tool for animator and being independent for 25 years, Newgrounds has some bumpy roads back then but Tom managed to pull it through, making the largest flash collection ever exist. Thanks to him for all the flash glory we can ever experience because, without him and Newgrounds, Flash won't be as popular as it was and could end a long time ago.