The Web can seem as infinite as space, and while it’s sometimes fun to explore on your own, prepare yourself to encounter plenty of emptiness between the worthwhile discoveries.
Wouldn’t it be more fun to get straight to the good stuff?
We're kicking off a week-long celebration of the undiscovered side of the web with our picks for the the best, but least-known entertainment sites.
These are the sites we like to visit to play games, listen to music, watch videos, be inspired, or to simply burn a few hours.
This gaming hub offers thousands of free online games, sorted by popularity, category, number of players, and type of device.
Sure, not every game will induce withdrawal symptoms if you can’t get your fix, but this site has so many to choose from that being cut off from it just might. AddictingGames.com
Online streaming video is everywhere. Live TV streaming? Not so much.
Aereo solves this problem—if you live in NYC, that is.
Aereo offers live streaming TV from channels such as NBC, Fox, and the CW for a reasonable price. One hour of streaming TV per day is free, and 24/7 access for a year costs just $80. Aereo plans to add 22 cities this year. Aereo.com
If you find ancient mysteries as fascinating as we do, you’ll flip over AncientX. It explores the possibility that early mankind was scientifically advanced thanks to interventions from extraterrestrial beings.
You’ll find quite a few nonsensical conspiracy theories here, too, but it’s all in fun. We think. AncientX.com
Remember the good ol’ days of Asteroids, Pong, and quarter arcades?
Atari has ported several of its classic arcade games to HTML5, so you can play Super Breakout, Centipede, Missile Command, and more to your heart’s content in any browser for free.
Play while you can—Atari recently filed for bankruptcy protection. Atari.com
Create and discover engaging personal stories on this social network, produced by people from all over the world.
Instead of news streams, one-line posts, and pokes, you get text, audio, and still images built around moments and observations from everyday life.
You can also follow your favorite storytellers and share interesting stories. Cowbird.com
Most YouTube videos aren’t worth watching. And that’s where the curated YouTube site Devour comes in.
The Devour team handpicks the best YouTube videos and posts them to the site daily.
Surf videos randomly or check out popular clips. We can’t wait for our next meal. Devour.com
You only think you know Digg. The site has new owners and a new look. One thing that hasn’t changed is the addictiveness of the user-rated news site’s front page.
You’ll encounter interesting stories like “The 8 Incredibly Gross Powers Superman Doesn’t Even Realize He Has.” We dig it. Digg.com
Find Your Way To Oz
If you want to see the latest in interactive Web technologies, wander through this experiment from Google and Disney.
A promotional vehicle for the film Oz the Great and Powerful, the site lets you explore early scenes from the film, take your picture at the circus photo booth, check out areas near the big tent, or fly through a tornado in a hot air balloon. FindYourWaytoOz.com
Future Me is an easy-to-use site that lets you write an email to yourself that will arrive in the future.
Just enter your email address; type a message; pick the month, day, and year that you want the message delivered; and click Send to the Future.
In the future, when you receive a message from the past, do you think you’ll chuckle, laugh, cry, or sigh? Just remember to keep the same email address. FutureMe.org
This service streams music to fit your mood. Adjust three sliders to indicate your mood (on a scale from sad to aggressive), musical preference, and tempo.
This approach makes a nice change from the “if you like that, then you’ll like this” method of music discovery. Ghostly.com/discovery
Daily updates of Universal Press Syndicate's newspaper comic strips past and current appear here, plus selected web comics.
You'll find everything from editorial cartoons to Calvin and Hobbes strips to the work of up-and-coming cartoonists. GoComics.com
If you’re jonesin’ for a new game to play but you’re near broke, head to Indie Royale for bundles of innovative titles, many for less than $6—though you’re encouraged to pay more if you can.
As the demand for a given bundle rises, so does the minimum price, so it pays to jump in early. Buy an All-Charity Bundle, and 90 to 95 percent of your payment will be donated to the named charity. IndieRoyale.com
Know Your Meme
Ever feel like everyone’s in on the joke except you?
Know Your Meme informs you of the latest ideas, viral videos, and other phenomena burning up the intertubes.
This site is curated by "trained" Internet specialists who report, track, and trace the origin of every known meme.
Because on the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog. KnowYourMeme.com
Map of the Dead
This promo site for the online game Map of the Dead could help you survive the coming zombie apocalypse.
Enter your zip code, and the map zooms to your location. Areas in red indicate higher numbers of humans, which means they’ll attract zombies.
When your ammo, food, and medical supplies run low, these maps will also pinpoint locations you can raid. MapoftheDead.com
McSweeney's Internet Tendency
This literature and humor site, from American publishing house McSweeney’s, overflows with essays, humor articles, satirical lists, and witty observations.
Our favorite stories include “Famous Writers’ Cosmo Tips,” which imagines authors such as Shakespeare and Hemingway writing relationship advice for Cosmopolitan; and the breakup letter “It’s Not You, It’s Quantitative Cost-Benefit Analysis.” McSweeneys.net/tendency
You’ll find thousands of games on offer, including a collection of great multiplayer games. Registered users can record high scores, earn achievements, and create custom game avatars. And unlike Facebook's games, Miniclip won’t publicize your guilty pleasure to your friends, or pepper them with annoying messages to join in. Miniclip.com
Anyone who craves tunes more diverse than those on the typical Top 40 lists should check out Radio Reddit.
This music-discovery property features music submitted by independent musicians, artists, and bands, in six streams: Electronic, Hip Hop, Indie and Alternative, Metal, Rock, and Talk, plus Main Stream (which rotates through various genres) and Random (which cycles through the most popular tracks, as voted by listeners). RadioReddit.com
Unearth ancient relics at Retronaut, a collaborative storehouse for images, audio, and video from the past.
You can find 14th-century songbooks, blooper reels from 1930s Warner Brothers films, and more.
Upload your own vintage media, or just sit back and enjoy the crowd-sourced archive of recorded history you’ve never heard of. Retronaut.com
This music-streaming site plays music to match your mood. Songza plays a more diverse collection of music than Ghostly Discovery.
Click the icon that best represents your mood, whether you’re at work and want lyric-free music or you just want to find new tunes.
If you create an account, Songza will create playlists that match your tastes. Songza.com
Looking to find the next big undiscovered band before their hit song plays over the credits of Girls or The Walking Dead? You might find them on Thesixtyone.
This site plays an uninterrupted stream of music from independent artists and lets you rate your favorites. The more “likes” a song gets, the more people will hear it in their stream.
You can also create playlists, comment, share songs, and, if available, buy and download albums. Thesixtyone.com
Each week, illustrators take interesting or funny tweets and turn them into cartoons.
Founded in 2009 by writer, blogger, and journalist David K. Israel, Twaggies is a fun stop to find out just how visual a 140-character message can be. Twaggies.com
Where Cool Things Happen
We could spend hours perusing the photos on this site, such as a hot-tub boat, a chandelier made from 500 Gummy Bears, a frozen waterfall in Minnesota, an eco-lodge in Columbia, and lots of animals.
Who needs cat pictures when you can see photos of dogs driving cars?. WhereCoolThingsHappen.com
Nerds of all stripes will find common ground at XKCD, a self-described Web comic of “romance, sarcasm, math, and language.”
The art itself isn’t much to look at, but the nerd jokes are spot-on, including “A New CAPTCHA Approach,” a prove-you’re-a-human-being scheme in which a pop-up box asks if you felt sad when Littlefoot’s mother died in Land Before Time. XKCD.com
The 13 most noteworthy games of 2012
The web can only entertain you so much, so jump back to the distant past—2012—and check out the best games that came out of it.
Make sure to catch up on all of these if you haven't yet!
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