"The Internet makes you stupid."
- – Something Awful motto (they got the "stupid" part right at least)
Something Awful is a "comedy" website and message board operated by Richard Kyanka, better known to the Internet as Lowtax. It was founded in the late 1990s, with the forums appearing around 2000. It is most famous for the latter, with the front page consisting of random shit skimmed from the forums and a side order of blogging from the forums' moderators. Moot came from here, as did almost all of 4chan's original userbase, now long since vanished in favor of a newer set. Much like any father of a mentally retarded crack baby, Something Awful doesn't like to talk about this. And much like any son of a abusive deadbeat who keeps cutting himself for attention, 4chan doesn't like to talk about Something Awful either.
SA forum members are called goons. To become a goon, you have to pay
$10 10bux as a registration fee, not including the amount you have to pay on top of that to get basic features like access to old threads and forum searches. The justification for this is that it improves forum quality, as the paywall prevents underage idiots and drive-by trolls from shitting things up. In practice, it just selects for users with a "unique" combination of high disposable income, low dignity, and an unwavering belief that the Internet is serious business enough to pay actual money for it.
What Something Awful gave to 4chan
- Creative image editing for lulz generation, motivated by the weekly "Photoshop Phriday" threads.
- Loli as a distinct concept from child pornography, and a morbid fascination with CP in general; many of the CP posters from 4chan's early history were in fact SA goons who openly bragged about wanting to fuck children and got banned (possibly several times) for threatening Lowtax's moneymaker.
- Burning hatred for furries. Note that several of SA's most privileged contributors turned out to be diaper-wearing fursuiters. Such is the wonder of Something Awful.
- Unjustified elitism.
- A style of humor built on shock value, nerd rage, and gratuitous profanity, intended for those bored with conventional social norms.
- Many "original" memes, including:
Why the hell should I care?
One of the few things from Something Awful that /tg/ has reason to care about is FATAL & Friends, a set of writeups on RPG books posted by forum members dedicated to both the obscure (in relative terms; usually it's just old shit like Rifts) and the terrible segments of the industry's output. These writeups are usually in-depth, covering both fluff and crunch, with examples of character generation where appropriate. While some controlling for the... colorful views of SA's userbase is necessary, if you find an old rulebook or something at a bookstore and /tg/ doesn't know anything about it, there are worse places to look for a second opinion.
The other reason why /tg/ might conceivably care about SA is that a disproportionately large number of indie RPG writers are goons, or are close enough friends with a goon to give them free stuff that they then shill for in the aforementioned F&F. This may be surprising until you remember that two of the primary goon talents are sucking cock for brownie points and wasting large amounts of time and effort on shit nobody cares about. A disproportionate number of White Wolf employees past and present are also goons, surprising absolutely nobody who has had the misfortune of interacting with both groups.
- Encyclopedia Dramatica's article on Something Awful.
- A homestuckfag's archive of FATAL & Friends threads so you don't have to get goon on yourself. See what your favorite sup/tg/ mods say when they think nobody's watching!