A few months ago ashford pride made a movie with a foreboding title. It was called "Awesome Grounds".
Well ladies and gentlemen, that's might as well what this site should be called (at least right now), with the top row on the front page slot dedicated to an "awesome" movie and an "awesome" parody, an "awesome" t-shirt in the newgrounds store, and pretty much every "awesome" movie in the top 100, along with han's "awesome's creed".
I can't go to newgrounds with seeing something not about egoraptor or his coveted video game parody series. It makes me wonder sometimes if pursuing anything but half-assed cartoons making mildly funny observations about video games laced with profanity is even worth it. Truly, they are what bring the masses of 13-year olds to this site, and thus increases traffic and competition in the internet world. But you have to ask yourself, with this sort of two-bit audience increasing in numbers, are they really interested in watching anything else?
I understand that it's a dog eat dog world in the online entertainment business, and to compete you have to pretty much put up content that a majority of internet browsers would click on. This includes either women or video games. Things they already know they want. And that's all they want. They sign up, watch more, and come back and do it again later. They're trained to know that what they want is easily accessible and is promoted all over the site.
Original content is often shuffled off to the bottom of the page, or never gets any attention to begin with. Now comes into play the whole 'they won't click on it unless there's a boob for the icon', etc etc. That's because they've been fashioned to think that way.
I'm not saying i have all the mysterious answers to the way people's minds work. But this much is true - if all people click on are breasts and video game icons, and you give them breasts and video game icons, you're not pushing the envelope.
Newgrounds is the epitome of user-generated content. We already have a massive advantage over youtube in the fact that making a cartoon involves so much more creativity than snappily editing your webcam footage. So instead of 200 cartoons coming out every minute, we have 200 cartoons coming out every day. That gives someone a better chance of breaking out and being discovered for his hard work, and a reward for a job well done.
But in the same way that viewers are trained that they don't have to go out of their way to avoid original content they would otherwise enjoy, authors are becoming more and more disenchanted with their personal creations and are turning to nerd culture icons and cheap tactics to get viewers.
I can't tell you how many animators I have spoken to that have shunned their own creations in favor of sub-pop culture parody and disjointed scripts sprinkled with toilet humor and profanity. a cartoon catering to everyone who's forgotten what cartoons are all about. And here we are shoving away everything about cartoons that was originally appealing and magical, because we're pretty much forced to.
I'm not pointing the finger at any one person here. I think it's part of the bigger picture - bigger than Newgrounds, too. But if people really care about the future of cartoons and animation, we wouldn't be seeing this kind of blatant favoritism.
People will find what they want if they want it. They don't need to be spoon fed it all.
For thirty years animators who strive to create something genuinely unique have gotten nothing but a slap in the face. It's sickening and it has to stop someday, before they all disappear.
Lastly, this post is not about me. I'm not writing this out of self-pity, bitterness or spite. I'm being honest. I care a lot about the future of animation, and what I see around me is very troubling. The industry is bad enough, but where the future lies is in the small corners of the animation world. Newgrounds is one of them. I spend a lot of time trying to encourage and teach frame-by-frame animation, and creating your own characters and scripts. That is what is important to me. If I really cared about being popular, my list of flash cartoons would look a lot different.
Below is a lovely review describing the bright future of newgrounds.