Best of the Spiels 2014: Your Finest Rants, Raves and Ruminations

By Gizmodo UK on at

Another year draws to a close, and another 12 months passes in which you all proved that Gizmodo UK has the best readers in the world. Engaged, funny, argumentative and insightful, you've kept us on our toes, called us out on our missteps and kept the Giz UK comment section livelier than a Weatherspoons at last orders time. Well done you.

As we're sure many of you know, every once in a while we like to let you run loose on the site itself with our long-running "Spiels from Them Below" column series. It was a bumper year for submissions, producing some really excellent glimpses into the lives of our readership. Your rants, raves and ruminations were energetic, creative and inspiring, so we thought it was high time that we offered space for an encore for the very best. Really, we could have put them all in here but, hey, it's Christmas and we've still got leftover turkey to eat.

We're always on the lookout for Spiels submissions too, so if you've any topic (and we mean ANY) that you fancy knocking a couple of hundred words out about get in touch at matt.hill[at], after reading the details here.

Thanks again guys, it's been a blast. See you in 2015.

The Irony of It All: Why I Think Pot Should be Legalised

By Kamira

How do I write about a sensitive topic (my love of marijuana is well known in the comments 'round these parts), without sounding like some drugged-up hippy? Let me try. Read More >>

What the Hell is the Point of an English Degree?

By Ben Meredith

Hi, I’m Ben and during my five years at university I’ve learnt, errrm… something about communication? Way back when, if I had been asked 'what is the point of an English degree?' I’d have probably espoused some aspirational gumpf about expanding my communicative skills in a way applicable to all walks of life, making me the perfect candidate for any job which involves... you know, writing or talking. Read More >>

So You've Landed a New Job But Life Hasn't Finished Kicking You in the Groin Yet

By HmmmErmmm

For young people these days, finding a job you've spent your whole life preparing yourself for is comparable to winning a lottery. For the past 11 months I have endured misery most of you will never know, and something I will not wish on anyone. Read More >>

X-Men: Holding out for a Hero (That Isn't a Bloke)

By Kate Longman

I love a good superhero movie as much as the next guy. I love the bright colours and whimsy, I love the whirligig of action and fraught emotion, and I of course love the simple (but noble) battle of good against evil. Despite all of this affection, I am still astonished that now, in the 21st Century, female superheroes are still struggling to make the lead role. Read More >>

National Service Was the Best Two Years of My Life, But...

By Sharky66

The topic of conscription repeatedly appears in the UK media as a cure for the ills of the youth of today, with Dame Kelly Holmes recently suggesting that bringing back National Service would benefit young people and provide a great start in life. After the London riots, a national poll to bring back National Service had a massive 72 per cent approval to help save a “lost generation”. But is it really a solution in an age of ASBOs and ineffective jail terms? Read More >>

How to Solve a Problem Like the Rush Hour

By Simon Abernethy

Rush hour. For some it's an '80s classic by Jane Wiedlin featuring a bizarre array of dolphins for no apparent reason. For others it's Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker belting their way through two fun action comedies. Also a third action comedy which we don't speak of. Ever. For millions of people though rush hour is the sequence of events where you attempt, in a sort of live action version of Marioland, to fight your way from home to work in the morning. Read More >>

Drive to Mongolia! Because Life is More Fun When You Don't Know What You're Doing

By Will Thompson

In front of me is an aluminium rectangle filled with more knowledge, wisdom and cat pictures than I could absorb in just one lifetime. It's a wonderful time to be alive when you can find out how many calories are in a pineapple with just a quick Google search, but it's just such a dull and meaningless existence. Read More >>

The World Couldn't Give a Toss About Your 'Senior' Job Title

By Miningnog

Some people wear their senior title as a badge of honour, trying to impress on people how talented they are, how respected they are. They may have worked their way up through the ranks after having joined as a junior. Invariably in these environments they would have worked alongside a senior – well, not really alongside; the junior would work under the senior. After all, that's what those titles are designed to achieve: a clear definition of hierarchy. Read More >>

Press A to Restart: One Man's Struggle With Gaming OCD

By Toby Clarke

I've reached an impasse. I'm stuck at a digital cross roads, with a difficult decision to make. I've been here for a while, weighing up the pros and cons of each option. Do I go down the left corridor, or head down the right one? If I choose incorrectly, I may never be able to find my way back to that same junction; I may never discover what lay at the end of the unchosen corridor. This is killing me. This is my gaming OCD. Read More >>

I Helped in the Fight to Save the Birthplace of British Skateboarding

By Jason Caines

The act of skateboarding offers an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to meet and enjoy a meaningful pastime in a uncontrived and organic way. Southbank is the main skate spot in London and is therefore a beacon for this ethos. Read More >>

...And, when you lot were stumped for ideas (and being the narcissistic bastards that we are) we even had a go a few times...

'Picking the Low-Hanging Fruit' is Harder Than You'd Think

By Jack Tomlin

There I was, in the dirt, on my hands and knees with the sun belting down on my shoulders, the heat magnified by an expanse of polytunnel above. My fingers were stained with the juice of countless strawberries, my thighs and calves burning with strain, and all I could think to myself was “how did I get myself into this?” Read More >>

Tech Life in a Rural Place That Isn't London

By Gary Cutlack

What it's like to live somewhere where the streets aren't paved with crisp packets and there are fewer Gs floating about in the sky? Read More >>

I Took a Bath in a Giant Tub of Beer, for My Health

By Gerald Lynch

The Czech Republic is a nation renowned for its beer. The home of Pilsner, with first class breweries everywhere you turn, you're as likely to find a great place to stop off for a pint on its street corners as you are to see a Starbucks or McDonalds in the UK. However, for my recent trip to the Czech Republic I wanted to go one better than just getting sloshed drinking beer – I wanted to bathe in the stuff. Read More >>

Spiels From “Them Below” is our series of columns written by “them below”; the thousands of readers who comment tirelessly, or tirelessly read, Gizmodo UK. Have you got something to lament? Extol? Ponder? Get in touch at matt.hill[at], after reading the details here. Disclaimer: Spiels From “Them Below” doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of Gizmodo UK or its editors.