As you may have noticed already, the Web is vast. Scrub that, it’s epic. There are hundreds of millions of active websites out there waiting to be explored, and that number is growing all the time. This is why the Internet section of MakeUseOf is so important, as part of our mission is to pare that colossal number of websites down by sorting the wheat from the chaff.
This is usually done by organizing websites into collections around a certain theme or topic. But just occasionally a website crops up that deserves its own entry into the MakeUseOf hall of fame. Right now that domain is Us Vs Th3m, which has become my new favorite website and may just become your new favorite website as well.
Us Vs. Th3m
Us Vs Th3m is owned by Trinity Mirror, a newspaper publisher in the U.K. The website is seen as an experiment, and is the result of a one-day workshop. There is a small editorial team, a small budget, and none of the trappings that normally come when old media tries to muscle in on the Internet’s way of doing things.
Us Vs Th3m is, in a way, old media meets new media. This is a newspaper publisher trying its hand at a very non-traditional kind of online property. Martin Belam, one of those responsible for Us Vs Th3m, has written a lengthy blog post detailing the idea behind the site and the story so far.
In a nutshell, Us Vs Th3m is dedicated to both producing and sharing funny Web content. They are the Us and the rest of the Internet is the Them. Or should I say Th3m. Everything posted to the site is meant to raise a laugh and be highly shareable on social networks.
There are three main types of content on Us Vs Th3m: Games, Quizzes, and Features. What follows are a couple of the best examples produced so far in each genre.
The games on Us Vs Th3m tend to be related to technology and extremely geeky in some small way. This makes them perfect for the MakeUseOf readership, which comprises of mostly geeks who are obsessed with technology.
How Geeky Are You? asks you a series of multiple choice questions designed to reveal your level of geekiness. Suffice to say I achieved a good score, assuming you think being a geek is a good thing.
Don’t Shoot Your Friends should not be taken lightly, as one wrong button press and you’ll shoot a virtual friend. No biggie, perhaps, but if you shoot someone you also unfollow them on Twitter. Awkward.
The quizzes on Us Vs Th3m are often difficult but also fun. Some have a link to technology but some are totally random and look to have been created after a few too many pints down at the pub.
That Retro Tape Quiz tests your knowledge of old audio cassettes. This technology is now 50 years old and has been replaced with physical and digital formats, but this quiz works purely on nostalgia.
Name Those Sega Pixels presents a series of 90s icons in pixelated form from their Sega video games. Get one right and you’re rewarded with the “Seeegaaa” audio soundbite, but get one wrong and hear Mario die.
This is all of the original content that doesn’t qualify as a game or quiz. It’s an eclectic mix of the topical and bizarre, but once again they are all highly entertaining.
JAWS: The Text Adventure will take old PC gamers back to a time when visuals were almost non-existent. Brilliantly, you play the shark, so this turns the film on its head in a quite profound way.
Dress The Royal Baby asks you to do just one thing: dress the royal baby. Obviously. This game won’t last the test of time, but it’s an example of content produced to mirror what is trending online.
If You Like This You’ll Love…
Us Vs Th3m isn’t alone in producing and sharing brilliant Web content. If you like this site then you should also check out…
BuzzFeed – A site guaranteed to lift your spirits.
Cracked – A smorgasbord of funny Web content.
Funny Or Die – Home of some amazing Web video series.
Digg – Which sits comfortably alongside other curated websites.
And then there is Reddit, the daddy of them all. It’s home to content of all kinds, with subreddits full of obscure content, subreddits to learn new stuff on, and interesting subreddits. We’ve produced a short guide for n00bs, ways in which to keep your karma, and a lengthy guide for all Reddit users.
Us Vs Th3m is one of those websites you’ll either love or hate. Your views on it will likely depend on whether you enjoy websites that exist to entertain rather than educate, are they to be enjoyed rather than utilized. Life is too short to always be learning and never take a moment to simply have fun.
Please feel free to let us know what you think of Us Vs Th3m. Is there a particular game, quiz, or feature you enjoyed on the site? Do you prefer another, similar site? If so, which one? Do you consider fun and frivolous websites such as Us Vs Th3m a waste of time or an important part of the Web? Take to the comments section below to air your thoughts.
Image Credit: Romana Klee