Today is my 11-year anniversary on Newgrounds! I can't believe I'm still having so much fun on a website I discovered such a long time ago. The reason I created an account here was because I found out about Pico, by far the best free online game back then. There were rumors Pico 2 was going to be released really soon, so I created an account to be informed the moment that would happen. Very funny Tom, very funny. At first I didn't really care about stuff like experience points, I was too busy slapping Britney and clubbing seals.
After a few years, some of my friends started making flash movies. One of them actually won a few daily prizes. Being an awesome friend, I voted 5 on their movies, and that was when I discovered voting power. I started to deposit daily, and right around that time Newgrounds introduced the blam/protection system. Watch & vote on movies/games, and you earn points, ranks, and more voting power. This was probably the most addicting thing ever to me, and after starting off slowly I became obsessed with the numbers. I still remember a beautiful day when I was at the beach thinking 'ugh, I'm missing out on some points now. It was awesome to become Supreme Commander #19, but I instantly quit earning points afterwards because it was time to stop the madness.
Around that time there was a 'Dutch People Club' on the BBS, a thread that allowed us to speak Dutch. People were basically spamming around a bit and I chimed in from time to time. Before the thread got closed (as it was impossible to moderate) I came in touch with a girl (a regular in that thread) and we started chatting a bit. She was living like 150 miles from me in the capital of Belgium. I'm old fashioned when it comes to dating, but going to an unknown city to meet an unknown person to go to an unknown underground party seemed like an awesome idea to me. Even though her Dutch was pretty horrible at first and my French was even worse, we had an amazing connection and actually dated for a few years. Having a long-distance relationship, combined with going to a university, was pretty damn difficult, as I was basically living in a train. We had to sacrifice all of the little free time we had just to be together. This is easy at first but gets progressively harder. Loosing her as my girlfriend wasn't too difficult, but I still miss her as a friend sometimes, even a few years later.
Well, I wasn't going to quit on Newgrounds just yet. For some time, I only went to the site just to deposit my daily experience. Right when I started to doubt why I would still waste that daily few minutes, Newgrounds implemented the medal system. Being a Nintendo guy, there aren't a lot of great games out there, but I really love gaming, so earning a few medals seemed like fun. Medal games turned out to be even more addictive than b/p'ing, and new medal games were released once every few days. This kept things interesting, and reason enough to keep playing them. There was a period I was really obsessed with medals, just like I was with b/p points. This hasn't been the case for a long time, but on that foundation I'm steadily cruising on the #1 spot on this site for medal points. I'm still having fun and don't see myself retiring from medal games any time soon, but you never know what happens in life.
So, what do you guys think? Is it time to grow the f up, make a few babies, brag about my car/work, and do whatever it is people are supposed to be doing at their mid-20s? Or just keep on sailing through life, do whatever I want, and hide the fact I'm one of the best gamers on a website full of 15-year old dudes to my social environment? :P