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TOP 10: Gaming Tribute Sites

I don't know about you, but I've been around this big ol' Internet for a while now. I was around back before fanfiction had been invented. I've seen the rise and fall of mighty 'net empires for years upon years. And I'm the youngest out of the stable of stars here at NODJ! Imagine what these other codgers could tell you!

Me, I've always been big into games. Heck, the first time I wandered into the World Wide Web outside the confines of America Online's preset content was in pursuit of a Final Fantasy 7 fansite of any worth. (Are any of my readers here today Rocket Town denizens from days gone bye? A lot of friendships got started there...) In the many years since that first fateful hyperlink click, gaming has become more and more of a collaborative fandom, not only becoming a bigger and bigger industry, but inspiring more and more acts of daily recreation and entertainment outside the world of our handhelds, our phones, our consoles, and our computers.

What follows is perhaps not the "top" ten best sites dedicated to extracurricular gaming content, but they're certainly some of my favorites.

I typed "gaming tribute sites" into Google Image Search and this is the first result it gave me. JOURNALISM!



10. The Drunken Moogle - http://www.thedrunkenmoogle.com
Contribution: Drinks! Drinks! Drinks!



This one is a bit of a personal indulgence. It's a relatively new site, compared to most of the rest, but it's worthy of mention for its content - booze! The Drunken Moogle produces and reblogs recipes for gaming related drinks and cocktails. Try a few - impress your friends! Or drink by yourself with all of the lights turned off - either way, it's a great site.

9. Wikia - http://www.wikia.com/
Contribution: Unending, all-encompassing useless information



This one bears a little explanation. Wikia itself isn't especially gaming related - it's a free webhost where anyone can register and create a wiki about a given topic. But check out the front page of wikia right this second - more than half the pages that you'll see are about games. That's because games fans are dedicated to the point of mania, often even before a game comes out. What's that mean for you? It means that you can go look up any of the lore in Skyrim that you missed when you were busy playing it, because someone meticulously documented it for you. Thanks, Anonymous!

8. Dead End Thrills - http://deadendthrills.com
Contribution: The best screenshots you've ever seen



Another site that hasn't had as long a shelflife as some our other links today, but one that nonetheless deserves a place on the list. Dead End Thrills is a fantastic resource for high resolution screenshots from a variety of games. Not just a source for its own material, it also allows community members to submit shots to be added to a general purpose directory. Games have some truly incredible moments in them, and Dead End Thrills preserves them in screenshot form better than anyone else I've seen to date.

7. Zany Video Game Quotes - http://zanyvideogamequotes.com
Contribution: The worst of game dialogue memorialized forever



While some of the other sites on the list are relatively new, the ZVGQ is both old and hasn't been updated in a while. But it's still alive and it's still amazing, and it's one of the first truly incredible gaming fansites I ever came across. the Zany VG Quotes site preserves the worst, most truly awful video game quotes of all time - not merely those that are the result of shoddy translation or regrettable-quality voice actors, but even the stuff that's just nonsensically out of place or terrible.

6. Newgrounds - http://www.newgrounds.com
Contribution: The original proving ground for fan games and fan videos



Speaking of OLD, Newgrounds has been around since 1995. That's like back when Geoffrey Chaucer was around. It's old. And all that time, Newgrounds has been a quality source for Flash content - videos, parodies, and original games. Not always gaming related but always frequented by those of a gaming nature, Newgrounds is one of the few sites that was around back in "the day" and is still going strong.

5. OverClocked ReMix - http://www.ocremix.org
Contribution: Game music of the past and present made perfect



Great games often have great music. OCRemix is one of the biggest places on the 'net for game music to stand out. Fans from around the world submit remixes and rearrangements of tracks from both new games and archaic titles. They've published a number of fan projects dedicated entirely to single games or game franchises, and they're an essential cornerstone of the much larger game music fan community. Browse the archives for an old title you loved, or check out one of their latest tracks - you'll be surprised at the level of quality.

4. Let's Play - http://lparchive.org
Contribution: All the games you never wanted to play



Let's Play is a not really an official organization, but rather, the name of a style of presentation where fans record themselves playing games, perhaps or perhaps not offering commentary as they go through the title. While this sounds ABSOLUTELY THRILLING, I know, it's grown to such an extent that there's some pretty entertaining playthroughs out there. Perhaps the most notable contribution that the Let's Play movement has to the gaming public, however, is that it lets millions of video viewers to see what a given game is like that they might have missed, or had never heard of, or were really interested in but were unable or unwilling to purchase for some reason. The comprehensiveness of the experience varies from installment to installment, since it's completely dependent on the creator, but there's some real material of merit available to see if you spend the time to look for it.

3. Penny Arcade - http://www.penny-arcade.com
Contribution: Game criticism and comedy in comic strip form



Love 'em or hate 'em, Penny Arcade proved that you could make a comic on the Internet about video games and make that your job. Did they set out with that goal in mind? Unlikely. But from their multi-million dollar kids' charity to their multiple yearly gaming conventions, Penny Arcade has gone from being a niche hit to a Very Big Deal. Not merely a success story in the world of gaming fandom, Penny Arcade in many ways helped found the online gaming community that we know about today by calling attention to games, game development, and the sometimes incredible flaws inherit to both in scandalously funny fashion.

2. Machinima - http://www.machinima.com
Contribution: The eternal stronghold of game-related video



Machinima was founded in 2000, but its origins in the Quake mod community are older than that. Today, it's one of the go-to places for videos on the 'net relating to games. If you're looking for high quality tributes, reviews, information, strategy, parody, or just random clips, Machinima is your one stop shop. While the success of YouTube can in many ways be tied to the rise of gaming fans and the success of fans' videos, the umbrella of Machinima can often be seen as a signpost indicating an elevated level of quality from the riff-raff.

1. GameFAQs - http://www.gamefaqs.com
Contribution: For when you absolutely, positively have to kill every boss in the game - accept no substitutes.



Sometimes, you just have to have a friend help you out. Not as often these days. But back in the day? Yeah. You know what I mean. Sometimes, you just didn't know what to do. GameFAQs knew. GameFAQs was your friend. It's okay. Breath deep. You'll get past that boss.... together.


HONORABLE MENTIONS

Murdernator's Pick: Creative Uncut - Creative Uncut
Contribution: Incredible high-res original game art



For reference for fan art, 3d modeling, or just checking the evolution of a character as a series progresses, Creative Uncut provides high-res images of our favorite game characters. all at the click of a button.

Abortion Fist's Pick - If Abortion Fist ever forgives me for the joke I made about boning his brother-in-law and takes me off of his messenger's block list, then I'll ask him if he's got a mention.

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS

These sites contribute more heavily to the degradation of the fan communities and so I'm willfully not going to link to them.

FanFiction.net - Providing horrible people the opportunity to pretend that they're writers and place game characters in awful and/or AWFUL situations for many, many years.

deviantArt - For every cool piece of fanart there is on dA, there's a piece of Kingdom Hearts pornography to go along with it.

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