You can’t call yourself a true Otaku if you don’t know what 2ch (aka 2channel) is. Wired Magazine has an article about Hiroyuki Nishimura, the gamer who created the largest bulletin board / forum in the world, 2ch.
2ch started out as just a site for Japanese gamers, but soon exploded as the foremost place in Japan to discuss anything from the Diet’s latest political issues to what new movie AV idol Sori Aoi was going to star in.
2ch has morphed itself into playing as much of a role in daily Japanese life as TV, radio, and mobile phones. Just recently, AV idol Miyuki Asao committed suicide with hydrogen sulfide due to the hatred, and ridicule she received by members on 2ch.
An interesting side note, while I’m not sure if this is still true, the original 2ch was actually hosted here in America — an Arkansas college apartment as a matter of fact.
Probably the most famous thing 2ch has been credited for is the use of Ascii pictures. 2ch does not allow the posting of pictures to the boards. To get around this, Japanese visitors have turned to Ascii art, and produce some of the most amazing pieces I have ever seen.
Those of you from the old school bulletin board days in the early 90s before this thing called the Internet took off may remember how popular Ascii/ANSI art was back then. Remember Legend of the Red Dragon? I loved that game. (Jennie Garth). Still to this day, many cracker groups still use High Ascii art in their group sigs. However, I feel as though 2ch takes Ascii art to the next level.