10 most-viewed Shacknews Cortex articles from its first year

It's been a year since we gamified the Shacknews website to allow users to create their own content. Who put up the quantifiable best of the best?


Back on November 10, 2020, we made a major change to Shacknews. We gamified the system, allowing our faithful community to both create whatever content they desired, but also get points for interacting with Shacknews the way they do every day from using Chatty to awarding Lols to simply reading and interacting with articles on Cortex and the front page. It’s been a whole year since the launch and many a Cortex Article have been made since across a myriad of topics. What were the ones that caught our readers attention most? Well, we have that list right here. Here are the most viewed Shacknews Cortex articles of all time in its first year of existence.

10. Yes - I still have an anime wallpaper on my phone

By Daniel_Perez

Many may recall former Shackstaff and still-lurking-Shacker Daniel Perez. In fact, we know you do because he stopped in to share a Cortex post and the community let him know they remembered. He also happened to share that he’s still a total weeb, showcasing his phone background which is VTuber Gura. Whether it was fandom solidarity with his VTuber phone background or just fond memories of Perez, Daniel’s little pop-in-and-say-hi pulled quite a few views, giving him the honor of kicking off this list. Keep doing that PR you do buddy. You’re a champ and obviously a Cortex contender.

9. Dungeons and Dragons - The Essentials Kit (A Review)

By mlev

Do most people wandering through Shacknews.com know what Dungeons & Dragons is? Yeah, we’d say of course they do. However, knowing about Dungeons & Dragons and knowing how to get into Dunegons & Dragons are two very different things. That’s likely a big part of what makes mlev’s review of the Dungeons & Dragons – The Essentials Kit so cool. First off, mlev doesn’t assume you know. They take you through the whole intro to D&D and what kind of state it’s in. Then they guide us through the actual package, what it includes, and how well it introduces you to the game in a very well-thought-out use of the Shacknews Cortex review system. It got a lot of eyes and we hope there are at least a few more tabletop RPG enthusiasts because of it. Mlev really did this set justice in their explanation and critique.

8. Sunday Baking: Coffee Coffee Cake recipe from Claire Saffitz

By ejectorpod

One of the most enjoyable uses of Cortex (and definitely one that gets the conversations going) is that of food, whether exploring local favorites or cooking something up yourself. Ejectorpod was an early pioneer of this type of posting Shacknews Cortex’s lifestyle, offering the Shacknews community a fantastic-looking coffee cake recipe they found. The coffee cake recipe article includes plenty of pictures of the baking process, as well as the delicious-looking final product and ejectorpod even does us the courtesy of a review to give us an idea of the difficulties of making the dish, the taste, and other factors that weigh as pros and cons. There have been plenty of delicious food posts on Cortex since, but this delightful coffee cake bake and review is one of the all-time best.

7. Playing Warhammer 40K on TTS

By Head Rush

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we all did a lot of things to cope and try to have fun in a bad time. Tabletop Simulator was kind of a godsend during the worst of it and Head Rush knew it, so they whipped up this neat article on playing Warhammer on TTS. Not only does Head Rush lend some information to those who want to play as well, but they even disclose some tips they wish they’d known when they’d started to make it easier. COVID-19 might not be as bad as it was, but this article is still very handy for if you’re ever stuck inside and want to enjoy a good tabletop game despite being cooped up.

6. Cyberpunk 2077: How to disable "double tap to dodge" on the PC

By r_picmip 5

Let’s face it: When Cyberpunk 2077 first came out, it was an unoptimized mess. Whether you were facing down the cavalcade of bugs or just trying to wrestle against some awkward default controls, it left a lot to be desired. With that in mind, r_picmip 5 tackled one of the game’s little frustrations and took it behind the woodshed. This guide is simple, but it teaches PC players how to get rid of the annoying “double tap to dodge” controls: one of the game’s many obnoxious defaults. It must have been something a lot of folks were looking for too because it drew quite the clicks, proof positive that Cortex guides written by you can be as useful as any of ours if you know a topic that’s driving people bonkers.

5. Cocktail Fridays: Johnny Silverhand

By shotgun1

A good craft cocktail can be delightful within reason and responsibility, and around the craze of Cyberpunk 2077, Shacker shotgun1 took the time to whip up a special little something for the Shacknews community and shared it in Cortex. The Johnny Silverhand is a cocktail based on a real drink found in Cyberpunk 2077. It’s a tequila Old Fashioned with a splash of beer and chili garnish, making for quite the wombo combo of citrusy and spicy. Cyberpunk 2077 may not have been as good as we wanted it to be, but shotgun1 gave a lot of folks the means to drink away their disappointment over the holidays with a choice cocktail creation.

4. Exclusive CDPR Interview with Antoni Szymon… (Parody)

By mr.sleepy

Early in 2021, mr. sleepy got into some comedy games writing in Cortex. Not every article was good enough to make it into the top 10, but occasionally, mr. sleepy hit that perfect balance of comedy and “this could be real. I should click and read it.” His article spoofing an interview with CD Projekt RED lead Antoni Szymon is one of those. It’s humdinger of a spoof, playing at the idea that even CDPR didn’t know how to fix Cyberpunk 2077 (something more than a year later, we’re inclined to believe). Mr. sleepy’s comedy Cortex posts are usually pretty good anyways, but this one was a bonified home run.

3. The Silvyr Tower - A D&D 5E One-Shot written specifically for new DMs

By mlev

In one of the only repeating appearances on this list, mlev did it again. They really seemed to have nailed down a niche for guiding hopeful Dungeons & Dragons players towards content that would ease them into the game, especially in a time where it was hard to get together with others to play. Only difference was, this adventure was specifically designed by mlev! They made it just for new DMs dipping their toes into the game and it caught a lot of eyes. Both inside and outside the Shacknews community, readers really dug what mlev put together because there were few other Cortex articles that garnered more attention (and we’re saying this got a lot of attention). Well played, mlev!

2. Nintendo Announces "Luigi's Mansion 4: Luigi's Apartment"

By mr. sleepy

Coming in hot at number two is our only other second appearance in the Cortex first year Hall-of-Fame. We’ve already talked about how mr. sleepy’s comedic articles really hit it out of the park when they sound just a little too close to real while still being parody. This is another one of those. Boy howdy, did this get some hopes up before folks realized that Luigi’s Apartment would be… a little too silly (or would it?!). We have to say, it’s a little on point that mr. sleepy interviews Satoru Iwata, who had been dead for five years at the time of this article. Really adds that g-g-g-g-g-g-GHOST flair. Either way, this is one of the most viewed articles on Cortex. Of all of mr. sleepy’s spoofs, this was the one that got tons of folks real good.

Drum roll please! The number 1 most-viewed Cortex article of its one-year existence is…!


1. LG CX - Optimized Settings

By at0micgarden

You know, there’s something to be said about a good, simple guide. You might think it’s click-baity, but when they're done right and have something folks want, they draw all the eyes. Even in Cortex, this simple guide to getting the most out of an LG CX OLED television is the most clicked and most viewed Cortex article of all-time so far. Don’t get us wrong, there’s a lot of views on the creative stuff above (the Luigi’s Apartment parody was actually quite close to this in views). However, it turns out that a lot of folks out there just really need a hand getting the most pixel perfect clarity out of their LG CX TV! We’re not going to judge. at0micgarden found that magical niche that folks were looking for and knocked it out of the park with this extensive guide. Congratulations. You have the most viewed Cortex article so far.

That covers our list of the most viewed Cortex articles in its first year of life. Thank you all for your part in bringing life to Cortex. The above list is only a sampling of the cool stuff that has rolled through Cortex since its launch and rest-assured, there are more cool things on the way. What was your favorite Cortex article? Let us know in the Shacknews Chatty section below! And don't forget that you, too, can be part of Cortex! Have something to post? An interesting idea, a funny one, a hobby, some pictures from a trip? Post it in Cortex! Maybe next year, you could end up on our hallowed list.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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