Old forums/sites you used to frequent.

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Shu

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What I liked about the internet of the past, was that, every site/community felt like it's own village. Every message board had it's own veterans, villains, content, vibe, lore, etc... there were multiple sites for each interest too. If you were into Fire Emblem for example, and you went to Fire Emblem Universe and thought it was whack, you could just pop over to Fire Emblem Shrine. Set up shop there. Feels like we don't really have that anymore. Most communities are centered around >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk, or tumblr, or twitter. Massive blobs of faceless people. Weirdly, even though people have gotten more comfortable sharing their face and personal details on the web, things still feel very anonymous. Perhaps it's the performative nature of social media that's doing that.

Anyway, I'm curious, what were the old sites that you used to frequent back before Facebook and >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk and Twitter streamlined everything? Are they still up?

I was a big fan of www.feshrine.net and koei warriors. Fire Emblem Shrine is still around, but Koei Warriors kinda ended up chopped up. I don't think the original site is viewable anywhere besides the archive. Sad to see that.

Also dabbled in MyFavoriteGames, and Naruto2 back in the day.
 
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A few that I visited:

VampireFreaks Deleted, site turned into a Hot Topic clone
I was mostly on there to chat with musicians. Ended up making one IRL friend for a little while who happened to be in my area, but that didn't last since he ended up just wanting me to drive him places

//Rome.ro GameTalk, John Romero's Forums Deleted
The most notable thing that came out of this was that there was some guy named Corbin who would post about how he was making Daikatana 2. It was basically "hey, I made a team to work on D2. We're totally going to make D2. Where's the demo? Well we have a rather nondescript screenshot of a house asset. Oh no, team drama, gotta reform the team," rinse and repeat for like two years

Eventually, two members of the forum got fed up with him hyping up a project that obviously didn't exist, so they made their own "Daikatana 2" in a single day. It was a fully playable 3D game written in a custom engine. It was one room where you had to run around and collect some coins or something and the game would be over. It was rudimentary, but had lots of Daikatana references in it. They posted it to be like "We made a demo. Where the fuck is yours already?" Corbin fucked off for a while after that

Troniks/Chondritic Sound Forums Deleted
This was a popular forum for noise music fans and musicians, related to a noise music label. They had a really interesting DIY section where people showed off the different things they would come up with to make noise or affect sound. The forums were deleted over some petty drama, which is endemic of noise artist behavior

Zeuxworld Deleted
A forum founded around the game creation system MegaZeux, which was basically an advanced version of ZZT. The community was full of creative types, from programmers to visual artists to musicians

Probably the most notable thing to come out of this was that the site owner was trying to figure out how to make a script that would automatically log him into his admin account. He posted the code publicly asking for help with it, but it included his password in plaintext: "puddle". Someone grabbed it, logged in, and started screwing with the forums. Then the hacker logged in as the admin on IRC since he apparently used the same password for everything. People in the chat were trying to tell him that the site was being hacked, but he brushed it off. Shortly after he logged off, the actual admin logged into IRC and everyone immediately started accusing him of being the hacker

Ultimately, owners and admins repaired the damage. One even commented something like "I'm surprised he didn't hack the FTP server since the password was 12345"

DigitalMZX Online, yet dead
Everyone migrated here after Zeuxworld shut down. Nothing particularly notable happened here from what I remember. The site is pretty cool since it lets you play MegaZeux games online without having to download the MegaZeux binary

Litany.net Deleted
Basically the #1 Skinny Puppy fansite online. There were a lot of cool people on there, but nothing particularly notable came out of the community

Craigslist Forums Active, unfortunately
Arguably one of the most incoherent and nonsensical places on the Internet

Foetus Official Forum Deleted
The official forums for the musician/band Foetus. I remember the forums being inexplicably deleted within a few days of someone pointing out that the Foetus song Chimera was ripped off entirely from the Carrie soundtrack. Maybe these things weren't related, but the sole member of the band also wouldn't add me on MySpace until I changed my avatar to something other than the Pig logo, which is a band that he hates. I wouldn't put petty stuff past him
 
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http://thebest404pageever.com, full of old flash animations that are hard to play now that every browser has dropped support.
This links to some Bizrate site. My adblocker is stopping me from reaching it

You can still play Flash games though. You probably remember Armor Games. It and others like it let you still play classic Flash games and animations because they use Ruffle, which is a Flash emulator that works through WebAssembly. It works natively and doesn't require any explicit downloads
 
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imnotdeadyet

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Back when flash was a thing I used to frequent bunch of sites related to flash animations and games to kill time online.

Dagobah flash gallery (Still up) - Gallery of many old school flash animations, mostly sfw and of some quality.

z0r.de (Still up) - Anyone a bit older and online knows about this one, has its own forum too that is now dead. Rotator of iconic swf flash animations and loops, might contain some unsavory stuff.

Miniclip (Dead) - Now home to 8ball pool, agar.io and subway surfers(?), miniclip used to a hub for most flash games with many now indie studios releasing HQ flash games back in day on it.

Not much else coming to mind atm besides flash stuff thanks to Lis's comment, but I'm sure I'll think of more later.
http://thebest404pageever.com, full of old flash animations that are hard to play now that every browser has dropped support.
This one is a dud, links to a parked domain. As MySpace Tom said, flash content can be viewed mostly successfully with ruffle and most sites that still use flash have it integrated. Extensions for all mainstream browsers are also available. With the extension it's almost like flash was never killed off, if you ignore the now very dead culture it once had.:AquaCry:

Oh and if you wanna play old flash games locally and have it work 100% Flashpoint Archive is the best choice out there, with a modified flash projector and a massive library you can play pretty much everything from back in the day.
 
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Lis

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This links to some Bizrate site. My adblocker is stopping me from reaching it

You can still play Flash games though. You probably remember Armor Games. It and others like it let you still play classic Flash games and animations because they use Ruffle, which is a Flash emulator that works through WebAssembly. It works natively and doesn't require any explicit downloads
Oops, I meant https://thebest404pageeverredux.com
 

vulonkaaz

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there was this website called tfou.fr, it was made by tf1 (channel 1 of french television) and it was basically a flash website for kids a bit like club penguin i guess and full of high quality games they had their own visual style and there were some kind of chatrooms with avatars and 2d maps basically the site was a whole metaverse

none of the content seems to have been properly archived we can't play any of those games anymore and I feel like it is the most terrible case of lost media that ever happened in my country

PS : while writing this message i found that someone managed to recover some of the games what a gigachad this is so great https://seledreams.github.io/tfou-games/index.html


I also played a lot on garfield.com, garfield.com and tfou.fr were the two first websites I ever visited I knew about them before having internet (in 2007) I was very hyped for those two websites

I kinda learned english with garfield.com, when I was like 8 years old i remember trying to play garfield scary scavenger hunt i remember i had like the game on half the screen and reverso translator on the other side, I fondly remember a card game called Go Fish as well
 
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Vitnira

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My First Internet was Neopets, back in the day with dial-up I only really got to use the internet at the library and someone around my age introduced me to the site. She only visited the area in the summer so we were on and off friends. I kinda did my own thing though. I was so uncreative my username was based off my school lunch ID because I couldn't think of anything. Never got too involved in the community, just played the games and did the dailies.

I was a huge GaiaOnline user starting at...11. I was incredibly obnoxious and regret all of my posts.
Somehow I ended up in this thread about Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, and since that was the first Pokemon game with Wi-Fi I finally got to have Pokemon battles with others since I had no real friends IRL. Spent many years there. We created a "gym league" and "elite four" with custom made badges and gym leader art. We'd all talk over AIM, MSN messenger, Yahoo messenger, Skype, and then eventually when those dried up, Facebook. I spoke to many of them occasionally even after college until I deleted my FB account. Contact ebbed and flowed. I wonder how a lot of them are doing but I have no way of knowing now.
 
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My first internet community was for an old flash game, Submachine. (No guns involved - it was exploring crazy architecture out in voidspace, shutting down computer networks, crawling through 19th-century sewers).

The forum was very low-tech - no image embedding, no editing or deleting posts. But the community was very tight - the developer built a later installment of the game around all the theories we vomited up. I wasn't much of a theorist - so I rebuilt the game's wiki as admin.

The third version of the forum still exists, but it's dead. I was a regular in the early days of the second version, 2008-10ish. Just like any good hidden corner of the Internet, the forum had a still more obscure history in the form of "version 1.0" (Rewolucje Forum) dating to 2004 when the developer was a grad student nobody.

The only other old-style forums I've really been a part of since were for another flash game, Elements, and now Agora.
 
Shoutwire - It was a news / discussion site and forum which focused on free and open discussion.

It was a regular part of my internet diet and in the 2000s was a pretty popular site.

Sadly it went down (was not able to find out why).

Funnily enough the pornographic satire version Spankwire is still up lol.
 
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tofuDWU

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it was a bit before my time, though I was still old enough to experience most of the death of old world internet. At that time I was more interested in playing video games and mostly used Facebook. Although there were a few forums I vaguely remember visiting like the ones from Kongregate (RIP) and Youtube (which arguably was something of a forum of itself before it was bought out by Google. Hell, even Facebook was somewhat of a forum compared to what it is now.

Anyways, I mostly popped in here to say that the tribalism that existed in old internet communities is really just nonexistent. I particulalry blame >redditcostanzayeahrightsmirk because it basically created a 'one size fits all' solution for online forums. If you think about it, the whole site exists in an ecosystem in itself, along with it's own search engine. Realistically, it is the only forum that you'd need if you want to participate in online forums, minus pretty much any sense of individual identity and tribalism old internet had. And that makes me sad.
 
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brentw

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I used to frequent the form of whatever computer game I was currently obsessed with.

Over 20 years ago I used to hang out on Stratics to talk about Ultima Online.
Interestingly it's still online! https://community.stratics.com
Although I recall it being very different. IIRC it used to be more of a general MMO site with news and articles and guides to multiple games.
Or perhaps I'm conflating Stratics with another page I used all the time while playing UO.

Another forum I frequented was the one for Lineage ][, another game I was obsessed with for a while back in my "MMO's are the greatest thing ever" phase ~20 years ago.
 
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COCKPIT BLUNTSMOKER

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https://www.tribalwar.com is an ancient forum dedicated to the recently-revived FPS-Z franchise, Tribes. Founded in 2000, it has experienced a steady decline in its userbase, following the trajectory of the games it was founded for, however it has experienced a splash of new activity with the recent release of Tribes 3.

The forum has a history and hall-of-fame section, which hosts an archive of long-expired threads that are important to the history of the site. I have only poked through a couple of them but there's A LOT of drama, old-school flaming, and toxic political discourse.

Here's a thread that's of particular importance to many of our older users, and our collective history as well: The thread made on the morning of September 11th, 2001, after the initial attack on the North Tower, and just before the follow-up attack on the South.

 

COCKPIT BLUNTSMOKER

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https://www.vampirerave.com founded in 2004:

"Vampire Rave is the social networking website for vampires and goths. We are a home for real vampires around the globe. If you're looking for a darker gothic or vampire social network, you've found it.

Vampire Rave was designed as an online resource for the vampire community. Our goal is to catalog everything there is to be cataloged about vampires. This is an immense task and we have a long way to go. With your help we will become the largest vampire database, resource, and community on the Internet."
 

赤い男

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No mutants allowed, never made an account, but i still lurk the place from time to time, is essentially an old school fallout forum with a bunch of grumpy old people complaining about trivial stuff, like agora road, but older waaay older, i think since the release of fallout 2, still their fallout guides are supreme, i encourage everyone getting into classic fallout to give it a try, they have some sick builds.

Is also the only place that hosts and translate mods from classic fallout, because believe it or not, fallout 2 has a decent amount of total conversion mods that are Expansion Pack size of quality, sometimes even better than the original fallout 2.

Seriously everyone fallout 2 fan should try fallout 1.5
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