All that glitters is 'Flash'

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 Web page

TIME TO GET YOUR FLASH ON. offers fresh, creative entertainment to the masses.

Each day, at least 500,000 visitors log onto Newgrounds for flash movies, cartoons, games, and series shorts.

For those not familiar, Newgrounds (www.newgrounds. com) is the premier showcase for user-submitted Flash programs and films. Complete with an array of styles and genres, not to mention the largest Flash portal on the net, think of it as the YouTube of Flash content.

Creator Tom Fulp founded the site in late 1995. In its early stages, Newgrounds was a host for simple web games. Eventually, as the popularity of the Internet grew, Newgrounds transformed into a stylish, interactive database of Flash programs and films that cater to a variety of tastes, whether it’s a drama, action, or a hilarious, random clip. Simply put: there is something for everyone.

Newgrounds is still the largest Flash entertainment portal on the net, boasting content from some of the world’s most established independent animation and production studios. To date, the company remains 100 per cent independent and committed to broacasting user-submitted content.

Perhaps the most enticing features of Newgrounds are its robust layout and easy navigation. Web surfers or die-hard animation fans looking for a game to play while on break at the office needn’t look further.

An interesting aspect of Newgrounds is its community. For those interested in learning Flash programming, the online forums contain a plethora of tutorials and pointers aimed at transforming novices into pros. Experienced Flash geeks peruse the forums, and questions are often answered within minutes.

Additionally, user submissions are frequently updated and ranked so you can quickly browse the day’s top uploads without wasting time viewing content that isn’t to your taste.

Aspiring animators and production gurus are also encouraged to submit their content with the click of a button.

One of the most popular and recognizable Flash games is Pico, which features a machine-gun wielding tot trying to save his school from zombies and other undesirable denizens. Since the game’s creation, over 300 users have submitted their own games featuring Pico.

A strong warning goes out to those who object to full-frontal, uncensored films: you will be offended. As an independent company, Newgrounds takes pride in offering its content without the FCC looking over its shoulder. It’s refreshing to know there are media outlets that haven’t been bullied by censorship.

Recently, Newgrounds added an audio component so developers have access to a large collection of sound samples, ultimately expanding its base.

All in all, Newgrounds is worth checking out. Whether you are looking for a web game to occupy your time, or creating the next online entertainment phenomenon, the choice is yours.

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