Originally, "South Park Gaming" was conceived in 1999, roughly 2 years after the titular show aired on TV for the first time. The concept was basically just fan-made games based loosely on the characters of the show. Most were made in Clickteam/Europress Software game creation programmes; at first, simply with primitive program, "Klik 'n' Play", which due to being the first of its time, lacked features that would become staples in later development programmes, such as scrolling, application protection, etc. At this time, it would simply be quantity over quality, with creators such as Matt Crosta, Matt Kennedy and Joe "Polygon" Dixon. The games in question, apart from being South Park tributes, were usually simple 2D platformers, shoot 'em ups, with music in the form of MIDI versions of songs from sources like Final Fantasy, Doom, Nirvana, Chrono Trigger, Castlevania and countless others.
Although as aforementioned, some favoured quantity over quality, there were exceptions; Polygon, for example, made a great name for himself creating "SP Super Mario Bros 1 & 2" and "SP Arcade". Matt Kennedy also became famous for his shoot'em up game "Kenny's Rampage" in 2000. 2000 was also the year when the SPGaming started to develop into a proper community, with big names like Steven "Stanster" Trinkl, Maxime "Junkman" Tondreau and Matt "Beamer" Gandhee. These three, and others would become the main contributors to the trend and community, with both quality AND quantity flowing through their contributions. Not only this, but the software that Clickteam would release for game development was evolving rapidly fron Klik 'n' Play, from Click & Create, to The Games Factory to Multimedia Fusion! (And even that's far from the newest or most advanced program in this day and age)
In 2001, the bond between the community seemed to dwindle a little, so one SPGamer from UK, named Lee Ashcroft birthed a revolutionary concept that would greatly add to the community aspect of SPG: SPGtv (South Park Gaming Television). SPGtv was basically a group of "shows", created with the same software as games, based around not only the SP characters, but also SP caracatures of the SPG community. The types of shows varied widely, with things like "Parkzai", a SP parody of Bonzai, "Fatass", a SP parody of Jackass, most acclaimed of all, Beamer's lewd depiction of futuristic SP life, "South Park 3000", and even some acclaimed one-off shows, such as Junkman's "AOL vs Lee". (AOL has always been mocked and reviled for being a poor ISP).
In 2003, the community officially had itself a place to crash and socialize/contribute/build up a fanbase, in the form of a forum created by "Spratt_", which would later evolve to be the South Park Gaming Archives you now see before you. The games meanwhile, were archived on "Smileytown Arcade", ran predominantly by Junkman, and this is where all known SPGs at the time could be found, thus providing the backdrop for fans of freeware games and/or SP to find their all you can play buffet. By late 2004, however, Smileytown Arcade closed its doors, as the SPGA merged its archive with the forums as one, allowing all things SPG related (including SPGtv, which went dead for a period in 2002) to be found in one domain.
'Twas in 2004/2005 that the community saw its largest growth, with a staggering number of new members, both fans and contributors, thanks to the domain being user-friendly and having all things wanted as one. At this time, whilst Spratt_ maintained the site, the show was being run by Beamer, Junkman and Stanster, with Beamer in particular being the biggest contributor of forum activity and game contribution by an enormous margin.
During 2005, due to extreme popularity and fan requests, the currently defunct SPGtv was revived by Beamer for a third (and later fourth) season, coincidentally even though Lee still showed up now and then on the forums. SPGtv evolved greatly from its 2001-2002 period, with SP3000 being much bigger and better than ever, and new hits like "South Park How To" by "Wormmaster" "Wheel of Misfortune" by Stan "Stanimation" Townsend, "SP Claymation" by Jack "Smacko" Xeureb, "The Thickest Shit" by Jake "IngramJ" Ingram and others.
"The South Park Gaming Archives were started some time in early 2002 when the main SPG site was really incomplete, so I felt there should be a place with ALL the games ever made. It immediately got a good response and had quite a few amount of games. I updated frequently and had a reviews page with quite a few reviews because of nagging people to write them up. The site continued to grow off and on, and went through a few weird stages (eg. the SPGA Topsites?). Once SP Games X went down after a while of slowly dying, the Archives and the Forums we had at the moment, kind of became the main place for South Park Gamers. However it was a bad time for me and I wasn't really updating much or paying attention to the site. One day the database crashed and the forums were lost, since I was really busy during that time I never really went to set it back up. Soon, Beamer, Junkman, and Stanster opened up a site for their personal games by the name of Smiley Town Arcade.
They probably figured the SPGA was just going to be forgotten so decided to try and keep the community alive by starting up Forums themselves once more for everyone. Off and on, I did a few things to the Archives, even brought back the Forums for about a week, but it didn't work. However, Smiley Town arcade was doing a pretty good job, and the Archives were sending quite a few people to the other SPG sites too. After having a few talks with the STA members and almost closing down the Archives, I decided to re-design SPGA. While I designed it, and made the main forums of the site its future forums, I realised how pointless it would be to have TWO forums in a community of (at the time) 20 people at most. I spoke with the STA members and they all agreed it wouldn't quite work. So I got working on the design, and once it was almost ready to roll out, we decided to merge forums. So here it is, with quite a bit of life left in it, and ready to grow, the South Park Gaming community." - Spratt_, 2004. P.S. I know, I really summarized that a lot. Too much of the other stuff in there is boring..
Summary written by Stanster with amendments by Ingram and RFI