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My First LAN Party

Posted on 23rd Sep 2010 at 10:47 by Sophie Bray with 39 comments

Sophie Bray
The whole concept of a LAN party was new to me up until three weeks ago and, to be honest, I always thought there was a bit of a stigma attached to them in terms of how geeky they are. When I told some of my friends what I was doing some scoffed and some didn't have a clue what one was, but most were just amused that I was even going to one.

I too was sceptical at first but, as I watched my cousin's boyfriend excitedly pack numerous bits of electronic equipment into the back of his car, I realised that there was more to a LAN party than I thought. I tried to go in with an open mind, even though I’ve never been a big gamer in the past. A few Wii games and Pokemon: Silver on the DS are the limits of my gaming credentials.

So, I was crammed into the back of a car next to a giant television, on my way to a LAN party where fifteen other people were already waiting to kick some serious butt. Then, before I knew it, I was immersed in a tense game of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and was congratulating myself for finally shooting someone after four minutes of play. My joy was short lived, as a friend crept up and stabbed me in the back just seconds later – a tactic he used for the rest of the game. It was frustrating to die so quickly and regularly, but I was still hooked.

My First LAN Party
SSH! I'm hiding!

What I found particularly fun about LAN parties is the playful banter that happens between the players, whether it's threats of vengence or the congratulatory comments that follow an impressive kill. Having played in a smaller room away from the bigger crowd, hearing from afar the commotion the game caused was hilarious. Only after two hours of play did I start to flag, leaving others to battle on without me.

As a new player, I learned a few things from playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Don't camp because you're just going to get shot before you realise what's happening. Don't panic. A bazooka always helps.

Occasionally I found myself involved in a team game, which put a huge amount of pressure on me considering that I spent most of my time either dead or hiding - which was met by the disapproving groans of my allies. Having me on their team was a hindrance to them, I think.

After a couple of hours of play, I decided to try something else. Super Smash Mario Bros on the Wii was a welcome break from the despair of dying for the umpteenth time. Again, it involved everyone at the party, with onlookers yelling support when players were pitched to go head to head. People get so involved in playing a game that on occasion it was quite funny to see a guy release a string of curse words at Princess Peach for “floating too bloody much and not doing as she's effin’ told!

My First LAN Party
I'm the one on the left - source

Just Dance on the Wii was next and provided a more energetic and fun way to get out of the game chair, but still gives you a chance to compete with each other. The only thing I didn't like about it was the remote didn't seem to pick up on my movements all that well, which made it even more frustrating than getting stabbed in COD. Either that or I'm a terrible dancer.

Even judging just on my limited experience LAN parties are a great way to get together with your friends and test out your game skills, or to build on them in my case. The key is that it’s not actually about the games themselves, but about getting together with friends to play in a fun and involving way. A party akin to a modern technological day tea party, though with a lot more swearing and junk food. Games are about socialising, whether it's through the headset or surrounded by others.

I didn’t have the abilities or the endurance of the others, but even I had a lot of fun and spent most of the weekend playing. I’d go as far to say that the only bad thing about it was the diet of pizza, crisps and fizzy drink, which left me buzzing like a five year old who’d OD’d on Smarties.

Still, despite the sugar-induced headaches, I still feel like I’ve been converted and only hope that, next time, I can kill more than six people in one game of Call of Duty. Then I’ll be better than Joe.

39 Comments

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proxess 23rd September 2010, 11:58 Quote
Ahh LAN Parties. I haven't been to one in years, since the days of my old P4 1.8@2.5 and a GeForce4 4800SE. Good times, good times. Imagine 20 blokes in a tiny garage waking up the host's parents at 4am yelling swear words at each other. Bundles of fun.
Centy-face 23rd September 2010, 12:03 Quote
LAN parties are brilliant fun but are sadly a dying trade with only older games really getting played now. I haven't been to one in years now since widespread hi speed broadband but I miss them. Although like you said Sophie sugar induced headaches and being outplayed are 2 things I do not miss at all.
antiHero 23rd September 2010, 12:17 Quote
Sounds like you had fun after all. I still go on LAN parties on regular bases as my student club organizes 4 of the a year. Its great as the really put some afford into it, with prices and batches and from time to time even some freebees like keychains and stuff.
But i noticed that staying awake for 24 hours straight is not that easy anymore when you get older :)
Laitainion 23rd September 2010, 12:28 Quote
I host LAN parties twice a year (a summer and a christmas one) for 8 years now and through a friend of mine have been involved in FragSoc in York, that hosts about a dozen big events a year (often 60+). My LAN parties are somewhat smaller as we have it in my kitchen/dining room.

They're both great fun, FragSoc events are fun with loads of people meaning you can have frantic FPS games in fully loaded servers but on the flip side it's more personal at my smaller LANs, I know when it's Ben that shot me rather than some guy on the other side of a big hall.

I see what you mean, Centy-face, about LANs being more about older games. The first game we played at my last LAN was AoE2 (Conquerers naturally). It was great fun having..6 of us I think in there back-stabbing each other, even more fun hearing Jeremy get paranoid that I was going to pull a comeback on him after he stabbed me in the back. (I am accepted as possibly the best AoE2 player in our group, with Tom who hasn't played in years so maybe...). Still took Jeremy ~half an hour to finish me off though, even after totally destroying my economy and troop production with his first strike.

Really looking forward to the Christmas one now, want more AoE2!
Xtrafresh 23rd September 2010, 12:30 Quote
i go to about 6 LANs a year, ranging in size between 14 and 600 people. I love every bit of it, even though i get my ass kicked in just about every game i play. It's just great fun. The diet thing, i agree. I'm a big sugar-addict, and indulge in junkfood a lot too, but at LANs i try to be smart and not overdo it. I usually bring a lot of fruitjuice to drink, and eat a fresh salad or so for lunch, to make sure i get some actual nutrients in my system, along with all the cafeine, sugar, chocolate, junkfood, and halfbaked or burnt meat from the BBQ.
Zider 23rd September 2010, 12:34 Quote
I hate the term "LAN party". It's a computer party, it has always been called computer party and I shall always call it computer party. Of course, you might have different kinds of computer parties, like gamer party, scene party or whatever, but it's still not the network it's about, but the computers.
Baz 23rd September 2010, 12:34 Quote
A LAN is only as good as the people you go with. Turn up on your own or a bunch of guys who just want to play 1 game all weekend and you're going to have a bad time. Get a bunch of mates who are up for a bit of everything though and you'll have a great time.
Xir 23rd September 2010, 12:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Get a bunch of mates who are up for a bit of everything though and you'll have a great time.

Like "Just Dance" :D First time I heared about that one on a LAN ;)
But it makes sense to GET-SOME-MOVEMENT, like the Idea.

Sooo, you're the one that did the first-time-player article a while back?
CardJoe 23rd September 2010, 12:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir

Sooo, you're the one that did the first-time-player article a while back?

No, Sophie is with us on work experience this week and this is her first article for the site. If you're referring to the Fable 3 Casual Gamer Review then that was done by my sister, Faith.
Floyd 23rd September 2010, 13:49 Quote
I was just at a LAN this weekend! 2 days straight playing with friends! It was a small one with only 12 people but it was a blast!
What event is pictured in this blog? Thats a heck of a lot of PCs!
wuyanxu 23rd September 2010, 14:24 Quote
work experience....... why i never found such a cool company to do it in?

my work experience many years ago was just in an computer admin's office, installing windows.
Benihana 23rd September 2010, 14:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd
What event is pictured in this blog? Thats a heck of a lot of PCs!

I'd imagine its one of MultiPlay's insomnia events (i-Series) been to a few of them, but am a fan of the smaller events as they are cheaper and more personal!
Dudey109 23rd September 2010, 14:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd
I was just at a LAN this weekend! 2 days straight playing with friends! It was a small one with only 12 people but it was a blast!
What event is pictured in this blog? Thats a heck of a lot of PCs!

I would guess the one pictured is dreamhack

Largest LAN in the world i believe.
llOriginll 23rd September 2010, 15:13 Quote
Dreamhack is the Swedish mega LAN, but if you're in the UK look up multiplay i-series, coming up at the end of November!
kornedbeefy 23rd September 2010, 15:14 Quote
LAN parties are awesome. It's a shame most people assume playing online is just as entertaining and some devs/corporations are removing the LAN feature from their games. Our LAN group didn't buy COD4MW2 or BFBC2 because of it.
wuyanxu 23rd September 2010, 15:19 Quote
found the picture from wikipedia. you got to cite other people's work :) university will drill that in so deep, you'll never forget about it.

where's the next multiplay i-series? should be going if it's near London area.
CardJoe 23rd September 2010, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudey109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd
I was just at a LAN this weekend! 2 days straight playing with friends! It was a small one with only 12 people but it was a blast!
What event is pictured in this blog? Thats a heck of a lot of PCs!

I would guess the one pictured is dreamhack

Largest LAN in the world i believe.

It is indeed Dreamhack.
CardJoe 23rd September 2010, 15:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
found the picture from wikipedia. you got to cite other people's work :) university will drill that in so deep, you'll never forget about it.

That's actually not where I got the image, but you are quite right. Updated.
Xir 23rd September 2010, 15:52 Quote
I prefer the smaller LAN's as, as you said right, most fun is the communication between players.

I'm getting too old though, can't stay awake, can't sit still in a cold garage for hours and hours...and them is bloody fast too, them 15 year olds :D
Playing CS against a clan that was in average half my age in an unheated tear-down house in winter (with gloves on). I was fragged the moment I spawned :'(
freaks...the lot of them...and me too....darn... *muttersandshakesstick* :D
MorpheusUK 23rd September 2010, 15:53 Quote
I remember my 1st LAN party, at my parents computer college, the games of choice were Doom 3D and Duke Nukem (I know I have just given away my age) however haven't been to one since, would love to go to a small gatering someday.
Dudey109 23rd September 2010, 16:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu


where's the next multiplay i-series? should be going if it's near London area.

12-15 November

I am attending and will be my 4th I-series event

They are great fun would definitely recommend.
And its in Newbury so not far from London :)
Hugo 23rd September 2010, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudey109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd
I was just at a LAN this weekend! 2 days straight playing with friends! It was a small one with only 12 people but it was a blast!
What event is pictured in this blog? Thats a heck of a lot of PCs!

I would guess the one pictured is dreamhack

Largest LAN in the world i believe.

It is indeed Dreamhack.

What the picture doesn't convey is the Smell (capital justified) at such events. After a few seconds your nose just shuts down in protest.
Waynio 23rd September 2010, 18:00 Quote
^^ LOL
Still never been to a LAN party :o, I'd have to make a compact pc to ever go to one, wouldn't fancy dragging my air cube around :D, a future project I think a mini pc but a power house one :D.
cobalt6700 23rd September 2010, 18:15 Quote
I love i series events, been to a few at stonleigh and newbury. The atmosphere is brilliant, and the shows are good. Lots of gaming and sociaising too. Plus i won a quad core extreeme in the raffle once :D

I also run my own lan party, with a friend, called AtomLAN. started a few years ago as a bunch of mates wanting to game, and now we run anywhere between 12-30 people on a gigabit LAN. totally different atmosphere from the i series, so much so i think small LAN's are the way forward.

The other nice thing about small LAN's is the price. We charge £30 for fri-mon with food (3 breakfasts, 2 lunch's and free beer). ;)
Sloth 23rd September 2010, 19:08 Quote
Never done a LAN bigger than six people, sadly. But still absolute fun!

Most recent one cramming everyone into a tiny apartment and using my HAF 922 as my chair. I was blocking some of the top fan, but it actually worked quite well! It's always fun seeing the ghetto inventions made at LAN parties.

All I have to say for food: Jack in the Box's "Big Cheeseburger". $1 each, quite filling and everyone likes a basic cheeseburger. Best memory is the drive through conversation:
"Welcome to Jack in Box, may I take your order?"
"Yeah, I'd like a big cheeseburger"
"Anything else?"
"Nineteen more"

The moment of silence on the other end was priceless.
frontline 23rd September 2010, 20:14 Quote
If only games developers would continue to support LAN play & proper multiplayer support on dedicated servers...
stoff3r 24th September 2010, 03:03 Quote
Never been to a LAN party before as we allways had internet on our computer parties. But we still called them LAN parties anyways :P
timevans999 24th September 2010, 10:42 Quote
There is no point in getting excited about lans any more. Most new software has lan disabled or you have to be online to use it which of course is pointless as then you are limited by the bandwidth of the internet connection, which any self respecting lanner knows is a tiny fraction of the band width of a full duplex gigabyte switch and a bunch of cat6.
It is extremely Tight of the games manufacturers to remove lan and to insist on internet connectiveity as this reduces the sales of their games almost definitly, which does seem crazy. I have contact with several different groups of Lanners and if the game does require an internet connection they wont even consider buying it.
Steam represents the start of this type of copy right protection, but as everyone knows steam is not secure and access to thier server with the right .exe is of course possible.
Look I guess what i am saying is that if a new game will only run using say a router in a local capacity then that game will never reach my LAN hard drive WHICH IS AN OFFLINE COMPUTER WITH NO INTERNET PROTECTION. The industry has yet to realise that removing straight lan (offline) is harming their revenues that much I promise.
Zoon 24th September 2010, 13:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
It is indeed Dreamhack.
I went to Dreamhack 07.

The sheer scale of such events is truly insane. I've never been to an i series, but Dreamhack was HUGE.

Also, going Airsofting when the safety lecture is only available in Swedish and the only person who could speak enough to give it in English didn't know all the words was ... interesting.
liratheal 24th September 2010, 14:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoon
I went to Dreamhack 07.

The sheer scale of such events is truly insane. I've never been to an i series, but Dreamhack was HUGE.

Also, going Airsofting when the safety lecture is only available in Swedish and the only person who could speak enough to give it in English didn't know all the words was ... interesting.

Heard one safety brief, heard 'em all :D
Niftyrat 25th September 2010, 08:40 Quote
Why is it that for us older gamers LAN party always revolved around 4-8 friends spending more time trying to get the damn network to do it's job or making sure there was enough extension cables then actually playing not helped by significant quantities of alcohol and take away pizza.

Hours of games like heretic and doom, although my favourite was always interstate '76 with the agony of the microsoft force feedback joysticks after you have had it set too high for too long.
leexgx 25th September 2010, 17:04 Quote
most large scale LAN partys (should be called WAN Partys :) ) each system gets an Internet IP with 100mb of bandwidth (when its like 1 am or in the morning you get that speed) not an Lan IP so lack of lan support in games is not an problem as it would not work any way (lan play)
timevans999 26th September 2010, 20:06 Quote
Lack of lan support is a problem if the internet is not uptoo much though
Jezcentral 27th September 2010, 12:49 Quote
If we want a new game for a LAN Party, we'll probably have to wait until Valve scome out with another shooter. 90% of LANs seem to be made up of Valve games.

Not that this is a bad thing. :)
[USRF]Obiwan 27th September 2010, 13:01 Quote
I organized two LAN party's with my clan back in 2002 and 2003. We invited all Dutch TFC/CS clans to come and in the end it about 90 people came in for a long sleepless weekend in a empty office building somewhere near Amsterdam. It was so much fun to do. People could win prices too. Even for case modding. Which I happen to win both times ;)

Fun days!
Zoon 27th September 2010, 14:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by liratheal
Heard one safety brief, heard 'em all :D
Wear a face mask.

Don't shoot anyone in the face.

Don't shoot anyone in the nuts. Unless you're really cruel and they're asking for it.

Job's done.
nissanskyrice 28th September 2010, 04:07 Quote
Im going to one this weekend :) there will be about 10 - 15 of us so a pretty small one but good fun. there will be 40odd hours of bourbon fueled gaming fun and no sleep.
Unknownsock 28th September 2010, 11:48 Quote
Is their any semi big ones up north? I always wanted to go to one.

Although I'd wanna visit one first before i drag all my gear up their.
Grimloon 1st October 2010, 21:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
I prefer the smaller LAN's as, as you said right, most fun is the communication between players.

I'm getting too old though, can't stay awake, can't sit still in a cold garage for hours and hours...and them is bloody fast too, them 15 year olds :D
Playing CS against a clan that was in average half my age in an unheated tear-down house in winter (with gloves on). I was fragged the moment I spawned :'(
freaks...the lot of them...and me too....darn... *muttersandshakesstick* :D

It's been a few years since last went to a LAN but I was still in my thirties playing against teenagers - old age and trickery got more kills than youthful reflexes on CS:S. Apparently a bullet in the back or top of the head offends, particularly when it's silenced and you proceed to mop up a few more before anyone notices :D

We also used to get two thirds of my old RTCW:ET clan in the same room on bank holiday weekends. Communication was great, atmosphere was fantastic and a great time was had by all. I miss that :(
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