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Dreamhack Winter 06 report

Those who have been following bit-tech regularly will know that I went off to Dreamhack Winter 2006 last week, along with a truck-load of mods. Dreamhack is the most popular LAN party in the world, and I've been a number of times before (see my previous articles).

The event certainly lived up to its billing, and broke its own world record for LAN party attendance - 7752 people paying to play and 7788 computers connected to the LAN. That is an awful lot of gamers in one place! The event takes place at ELMIA in Jönköping, Sweden, and is now in its 11th year, making it quite possibly the longest-running LAN series in the world.

The event really has to be seen to be believed - it's wicked. Imagine, if you will, almost 8000 gaming, hacking, Jolt-drinking nerds gathered in an area with all of life's luxuries - coffee, cola, microwave food and companies selling the latest hardware, games, consoles and giveaways aplenty. I must say, I love it!

The following is a short write up of my time at the event to give you a flavour of what it was like to be there. It all started with something of a mammoth four hour drive to get there.

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We started early - my two co-pilots and I navigated our route successfully (although one was rather more helpful than the other).

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We showed up a day before the LAN started to get my stand set up. The hall is spookily empty, and it's weird to imagine the carnage that's going to fill these walls in the next 48 hours.

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Wasa, esteemed Swedish snack maker, brought a Scalextric track for those who wanted some hands-on fun, whilst others jury rigged a ball bath, for those relaxing (or frantic) moments.