After nearly ten years, Gothic Earth finally comes to an end. The very last adventure sees the heroes exploring Sarah Winchester's labyrinthine mansion in California, its moving chambers making up an enormous 138-room puzzle that takes the players months to unravel, with each new chamber revisiting another moment from earlier in the campaign. Former player Jeremiah Poisson returns, joining fellow players Aaron Shurtleff, Evie Totty, Jeff Coopes, Kelly Lee, and Wes Bryant in the final chapter. In the end, the heroes can alter the very universe as they see fit, and at Aaron's suggestion, they relegate their super-powered villains like Dracula and Frankenstein to works of fiction, making their world into our own. Scott leaves the Gothic Earth section of Funeratic online for a few months afterwards, to give players and any other interested parties a final chance to review the decade-long campaign. Celebrity Goo Game runs a two-week "Gothic Goodbye" theme featuring the historical authors who most influenced the game.
Just as superheroes have taken over the local movie theater, so too do they dominate Thorough Movie Reviews. In the "Best Movies of the Year" feature, Funeratic members consistently vote for superhero films, putting 3-5 of them on the list for several years in a row, including the top position in 2016 and 2018. Lengthy discussions spring up spontaneously after reviews of such films as Spider-Man: Far from Home. The trend culminates in the site's longest movie discussion by far, a months-long conversation about Avengers: Endgame that more than doubles the previous record for most comments. With superhero-movie actors turning up as celebrity goos and discussions about Marvel TV shows turning up on Tragic Comedy, the entire site seems consumed by the trend.
Rock Block celebrates two anniversaries with an entirely new kind of tournament format. First, in the summer tournament, Rock Block celebrates the 50th anniversary of Woodstock by recreating the festival. With each win in concert, players get to "attend" another performance from Woodstock via video clip, collecting a list of performances. The first player to collect all 33 performances will win. Scott Hardie pulls ahead of the pack early, but Steve West eventually triumphs. On the game's fifth anniversary in September, the "collecting" format returns, this time drawing inspiration from "We Built This City" by Starship: Players are mayors of rock-and-roll villages, which they must build into metropolises by constructing locations from rock history like Hotel California, Rock & Roll High School, Blueberry Hill, and more. The first player to collect all 100 locations, a months-long task, would win. Steve West takes a commanding early lead, but ultimately, Scott Hardie goes on to win.
Sometimes Funeratic affects real life, and sometimes it's the other way around: Some of Aaron Shurtleff's co-workers in entomology discover his blog MiracleASSassin, which he has kept up sporadically since 2006, and convince him to write more. Rather than being bothered by it, Aaron accepts the challenge, and begins writing more frequently throughout the summer. His co-worker Shaun Creasey even joins the site in order to comment on Aaron's blog posts. Aaron writes about a lot more than just insects, but across all of his varied topics, there's one constant: Naming a "song of the day" that suits his topic at hand or just general interest. He does not, however, choose a song by the Beatles, or the Bee Gees, or Iron Butterfly.
With his friend Wes Bryant, an occasional Rock Block player, Scott signs up to participate in the Extra Life charity drive. Every November, gamers sign up to play all sorts of games for 24 hours, while seeking sponsors to raise money for Childrens Miracle Network hospitals. Scott and Wes agree to play Marvel Legendary, a strategic card game that features different super-heroes and super-villains each time it's played. Scott even crafts a narrative to tie the games together, about a Skrull invasion of Earth and an alliance between heroes and villains to resist it. Several Funeratic members including Andy Perkins, Erik Bates, Jeff Coopes, Kelly Lee, Matthew Preston, and Steve West contribute to the fund, inspiring a series of Marvel GIFs to thank each one individually. In Tragic Comedy, Scott posts another chapter of the "story" each time another game is finished over the course of the 24 hours. Together, Scott and Wes, along with short visits from friends Carl, Jeff, and Kelly, play a total of 15 games of Marvel Legendary, and raise $609 for charity.
June 14, 2005: Competition in the now-daily goo game becomes so intense that victory seems a privilege reserved for a few dedicated experts, especially Mike Eberhart, Russ Wilhelm, Megan Baxter, Jerry Mathis, Elliot Farney, Denise Sawicki, Todd Brotsch, and Steve West. Read more...
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