Welcome to the new 5punk.co.uk front page. In order to celebrate this new aspect of the site the blog will start off with a potted history of 5punk and its community.
In the beginning…
5punk began its life in 2004 on B3ta.com, an image board promoting good natured puerile humour. Gamers there wanted a place where they could organise and chat about gaming, but which was free from the childish trolling and casual racism of many gaming sites. Forward came B3tards Woo Elephant Yeah, to establish and manage the site, and KamikazeStoat, who provided the coding skills. The B3ta sense of humour and ethos came with the members, and gradually the community built into a friendly haven for non-serious gamers, with WEY managing the community and promoting the site, and Stoat providing the facilities with custom features such as a game scheduler and B3ta-style discussion board. Before too long the community was large enough to warrant a dedicated game and voice server, with B3ta regular Dr. Kitteny Berk providing both the funding and expertise.
The Golden Age
With a thriving community and excellent gaming support 5punk grew beyond B3ta to become an entity in its own right. Games such as Counterstrike Source and Call of Duty: United Offensive were staple weekly events, filling the servers with regulars. From these games and the witty banter they prompted much of the 5punk memes were born. Custom maps with interesting bugs were popular, creating such legends as the madcap games of Capture the Bath or the feared AIDS Cannon. An attempt to organise a CSS clan met with hilarious failure, as did a tournament, also for CSS. Alongside the frantic comedy shooters a healthy MMO community was developing. Guild Wars was popular, as was City of Heroes, but it was Eve Online which created a popular sub-community which drew a great many like-minded gamers in from beyond the B3ta roots for the first time. During this time Real Life began to restrict WEY‘s capacity to run the site. Site moderator and evangelist Dog Pants was appointed in 2006 to assist in managing the community, and Spoodie as a jack-of-all-trades to help moderate and maintain in early 2007. Soon after his penultimate appointment, in May 2007, the site founder retired. In his place stepped up the quiet and deliberate FatherJack, a well respected forum regular.
Just prior to FatherJack‘s patronage, 5punk suffered a huge blow. In April 2007, as the site’s popularity began to plateau and the community began to mature, the visitors were confronted by a black screen bearing simple white text stating “Haxzored By BlackBox.” Somehow hackers had gained access to the site back end and destroyed it, deleting content and denying access for a short while. The technical admins worked tirelessly and had 5punk restored from backup quickly, but confidence in the ageing forum had been lost. Stoat upgraded the software to prevent further breaches, but the custom plugins were no longer compatible. 5punk had survived the crisis, but had taken casualties in the form of the discussion board, the front page, and the scheduler.
The site continued in much the same vein, with newer games such as Battlefield 2 and Call of Duty 4 having taken the floor. World of Warcraft had begun to pick up a decent sized following, opening up more of the community to the particulars of MMO gaming. The community was just as vibrant and close as ever, but without the tools of a gaming site members began to gradually drift away. 5punkers became dissatisfied with many of the big-budget multiplayer games emerging and the big games of old fragmented into smaller groups. With the games becoming patchier and the recession starting to take hold, Berk finally had to concede the game server. Since then voice has been picked up by several 5punkers, settling on talented bastard Grimmie as provider, and with temporary servers cropping up for games including Minecraft, Battlefield 3 and Terraria. As something of a counterbalance to the lull in gaming activity, soon after the hack Bearding (or tabletop roleplaying games) started to take hold and is now a slow-burning forum regular.
The 5tate of 5punk
Today 5punk remains a core of the old stalwarts and those who found a like-minded community with whom they could fit in. Despite the setbacks which still haven’t been fully rectified, the smaller community is tighter and more friendly than it ever has been. Old faces come and go, and are always welcome, and occasional passers by stop to soak up the offbeat humour then continue on their way. Things are changing, though. Despite the advancing age of the average 5punker, and the corresponding reduction in free time, the community has come together to improve the site and start to rebuild what the hackers destroyed. This front page is one step, and more ideas are afoot to bring back some of the functionality which made us once great. Watch this space.