Bored one weekend while his girlfriend and roommate are out of town, college freshman Scott Hardie who had only first visited a web site two months earlier decides to learn HTML. By the end of the two days, he has created a simple page on his student account, uncreatively christened Scott's Home Page. With no idea what to put on it, he adds a information about Street Fighter II and a list of Steven Wright jokes he was forwarded in email. Finished on Sunday night, he happily shows it to his roommate Matthew Preston and emails the URL to a few high school friends including Lori Velàzquez (later Lancaster).
Photos of Scott's friends begin to decorate his site, grainy grayscale thumbnails acquired with a cruddy handheld scanner. Yearbook photos are the first on the site, but it's the addition of large, colorful Halloween Party photos that truly kick it off: Kelly Lee dressed as a wolf, Jason Fedorow dressed as a Star Wars guard, and Scott Hardie dressed as Jason Fedorow. From the beginning, Scott's friends are a big part of his site.
Scott discovers Photoshop, or rather the cheap imitator that came with his scanner, and begins tweaking photos of his friends' faces to humorous effect. One friend is a Pulp Fiction fan and asks to join Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis in a photo from the film. Another friend replaces Arnold Schwarzenegger in a shot from Terminator 2. His love of distorting photos would eventually drive the central focus of the site.
Fandom bears its influence: Scott creates the first of several fan pages he will eventually make for his adored Metallica. Not having anything original to contribute, he types up and publishes the liner notes from a fan-made bootleg of Garage Days 3, including a typo of "Rob Haldord" that would lead a Judas Priest fan to send him his first nasty email because of the site. Scott's fandom would eventually inspire numerous other sections of the site including movie reviews.
February 27, 1998: For the first anniversary of The Island at the End of the World RPG, which has become very popular among the circle of friends playing it, Scott organizes The Weekend at the End of the World, a chance to hang out and play the game in person. Read more...
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