It takes a lot to get Alex Cox's attention. Here are a few sites that managed it
Wikipedia's oft-questionable content has inspired a site that does away with the factual element entirely and instead goes directly for the fictional jugular.
Set up in 1971, Project Gutenberg now encompasses over 100,000 public-domain titles. If you're hunting down the classics, this is the only place you need to look.
Cockeyed is full of facts gleaned from creator Rob Cockerham's rudimentary science experiments. Just how much gold is inside the liqueur Goldschlager? Find out here.
The Easter Egg Archive
There are hidden extras nestling in a huge number of entertainment products. Named 'easter eggs', the directions to these secret nuggets of goodness can be found here.
The Atlas Obscura, 'a compendium of the world's wonders, curiosities and esoterica' can take you from Lenin's Mausoleum to the Hanging Temple of Hengshan.
Jason Scott has collected a ludicrous amount of old data, from an exhaustive collection of bulletin-board text files to whole CDs full of archaic shareware.
Playing Flash games online doesn't get much classier than this; Kongregate has a massive selection of great online games, and an Xbox-esque achievement system that will track your progress over multiple titles.
Kingdom of Loathing
This stick-figure-illustrated MMO-lite may be ugly, but it is a witty and altogether nutty take on the genre that gracefully expels keyboard mashers with a clever exam – you must complete the tasks set at the Altar of Literacy to communicate with others.
The seminal shooter goes browser based – sort of. There's still a hefty download involved, and it's only really playable full screen, so you may as well be playing a standalone app. But as the latest incarnation of what is still one of the best arena FPS around, Quake Live is not to be missed.
This recent spin off of venerable blog Boing Boing is already one of the cleverest and most respected gaming portals out there. If it's beautiful or clever, you'll find it posted here.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
No-one is closer to the cutting edge than the RPS boys; Rock, Paper, Shotgun sees four respected writers collaborating on a site dedicated to the best and quirkiest in PC gaming.
Treat yourself to a little old-school gaming action with Virtual NES. The official homepage of the Nintendo Entertainment System emulator vNES has a selection of games available to play right in your browser, including the original Mario Brothers trilogy.
World of Spectrum
The mere mention of the ZX Spectrum sends us into nostalgic fits of glee – thank goodness the community has banded together and backed up what appears to be every single thing ever released for the venerable home computer, along with a bunch of magazines.
Can't be bothered to play games through yourself? Need to virtually try before you buy? The community behind Let's Play often records full playthroughs of the most classic (and the most frustrating) games of all time with an amusing (and sometimes extremely coarse) commentary. It's just like being part of the action yourself.
Independent Games Source
This site does just what its title suggests – it's a blog covering the best games churned out by the best independent authors. If you're looking to keep abreast of the latest wacky Gamemaker masterpieces, this is the place that you need to be.
The Interactive Fiction Archive
You are visiting a website. The design is clean and functional, and all of the words around you appear to be delicately strung together with the finest thread. You can see here: thousands of text adventures. Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold.