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LAN Parties: Dead?

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Medic183

Junior Member
Apr 22, 2012
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I've been hosting a 40-60 person LAN party in San Diego for 16 years. Almost the same people ever year and we absolutely love it. We still have people who have moved away from San Diego coming from as far away as New York and Seattle.

We were just having this conversation last night and the consensus was that if you didn't "grow up" between 1995 and 2005. The concept of a LAN party is lost to you for several reasons already mentioned. But the one that is most responsible in my mind for LAN parties going the way of the dinosaur is simply this:

- DRM/Anti Piracy measures in games/No LAN support

This year introduced some of the biggest challanges we've ever faced when conducting a LAN. Steam offline mode being completely unreliable, *every single* game that people were interested in playing required you to have an internet connection (a monster one at that because people *always* forget to update their games or worse...steam before they come).

Automatic patching agents (Fuck you Blizzard) that use torrents constantly crushing the internet connection we have (10MB fiber at the prem), bandwidth throttling from the venue host (Holiday Inn), and more.

The only reason we still do it is to continue to meet with the people we play with online, foster friendships, talk shop, and catch up on each other's lives. I have 3 sons who grew up gaming and none of them has ever attended a LAN party. The Facebook generation consider "friends" to be anyone you meet online and hang out with, even though they never meet in real life. Which as a concept seems absurd to me but thats a different topic. The idea of gaming together in a local environment seems alien.

We'll continue to run our annual LAN as play games like CS1.5, UT2K, Doom2 and other LAN friendly games. As well as some unfriendly ones like BF3 and Blur, but if developers continue to squeeze the life out of LAN type events I don't see how they can continue unless you continually pitch it as a annual retro gaming and social event.
 

MrDuma

Member
Nov 23, 2011
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i would say that sadly they are just because now you can have a lan party from the comfort of your own room. and with skype and camera available the same feeling is present!
 
Nov 7, 2000
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They're an anachronism, no real point to them now and haven't been for a while. Back in the day when broadband wasn't around much they were a necessity but as mentioned those people now have wives and kids and no time to spend all saturday at such a thing.
I am one of those people now, but the wife and kid actually make the LAN party better now. When single, could just stay up all night on the computer playing any game with any person anywhere in the country thanks to broadband. Now with a family, its really hard to find large dedicated chunks of time to really binge game. Setting up an event and physically relocating helps to secure that time! Hanging with like-minded dudes, meeting people and interacting during the games is fun too.
 

ChrisAttebery

Member
Nov 10, 2003
118
3
81
Back in the late 90's I worked at a high tech company and a few of us were really into gaming. I bought my first house while I was still single. We had a couple great LAN parties. The guys from IT would bring 20" monitors, chairs, tables and networking gear in from work. It was great. This is around the time that a 20" monitor was about $3k.

After the last one there was a Cisco switch left at my house. About 6 months later one of the IT guys called me up and asked if it was still there. I told him it was. He says "Thank God! Can you get it back to work ASAP and don't let anyone see you?" I asked what the hubbub was all about and he told me that the switch was worth $50-60k and had come up missing during an inventory. The whole time it was just sitting in my dusty hall closet.
 

TidusZ

Golden Member
Nov 13, 2007
1,767
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i would say that sadly they are just because now you can have a lan party from the comfort of your own room. and with skype and camera available the same feeling is present!
Nope. I'd explain why but I'd get banned.
 

stuup1dmofo

Member
Dec 2, 2011
84
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you can't get ban just for admitting of making lan parties and watching porn instead of playing :p
Indeed.

I used to throw lan parties back in high school. It was good times, we turned them into a two day event.

Arrive at my house in the morning, set up all the comps and drag those heavy CRTs onto any table we could find. 7 Computers with the AC running in the middle of summer. Play CS until we got hungry, I would setup the grill and we would BBQ. Sometime around 6pm, people would start to play some super smash bros on gamecube while they setup AIM to transfer pr0n. Once we got tired of SSB, we would watch whatever movie we had downloaded on the big screen tv VIA s-video. At night we would play some CS and slowly start to knock out. In the morning, we would play some more CS then start to clean up around mid noon. Great times.

I noticed though, at every LAN party I've ever held, somebody has always left some gear at my house. One year I had a monitor left over, another I had a switch, and one year somebody left a table.
 

blckgrffn

Diamond Member
May 1, 2003
7,084
357
126
www.teamjuchems.com
I host 1-2 LAN parties a year in the twin cities, usually 14-20 people. It's been constant since the first one in 2003.

Getting a venue sucks. Undeniable. I wish I was closer to the home farm (in-floor heated 30*50 shop, w/bathroom and OMGWTFBBQ power levels, stupid 4mb DSL...) but that just isn't much of an option.

Some people are incredibly lazy, true, but there are six to eight people who drive 200-300 miles to spend the weekend at the LAN every time (barring conflicts), so some are extremely motivated.

Every LAN I buy more stuff, so I provide all of the cables, switches, etc. and this last time I bought some gaffers tape. Awesome stuff.

Next up? More tables. I have five 6' tables and a 8', three more 8' and I should be done and that maxes out the garage while providing comfortable seating for ~20.

I wish I could do it some where else, as it stresses out my wife to have the group descend, but as Medic noted we need reliable internet (we are nearly relegated to Steam games due to LAN support) and I drilled some holes into my basement to run extension cords to get to a couple more 15A outlets.

LCDs have made it so much better though - compared to CRTs, the temps stay a lot lower than they used to.

In any case, if you want to come to a fairly casual Steam based (looking forward to new CS!) LAN, pm me :) Usually costs $15-20, that covers a meal and gets you a seat with all the hookups and such.

(how is it that they haven't refreshed BF1942 for us LAN gamers? So epic, but a pain these days... I just want better/tweaked graphics and AI, the rest is GTG...)

Lastly, I should point out that based on our own LAN experiences, we've refined the crap out of the setup. When we "play" from 1 PM to 1 AM, we play. You show up and the power and ethernet cables are in place, the dedicated server is ready to rock and we get to the fragging, trash talking, etc. None of the sit around for three hours while we decide what to play/try to make it work shenanigans... I don't like dicking around for fifteen minutes every time a new person shows up, either, so that's all done up front.
 
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blckgrffn

Diamond Member
May 1, 2003
7,084
357
126
www.teamjuchems.com
where/when? I usually lan with 3-4 people, so I would probably bring them as well.

we generally play LoL, BF3, and D3 once it's out.
Blaine ;)

When I am scheduling the next one, I'll do my best to let you know! Hoping to do one this fall... It has a strong chance of being a D3 one, as we did an SC2 one not long after that was released. Blizzard has a reasonably strong following among the normal LAN folks, although a new CS might be pretty attractive too. As long as they have a freaking dedicated server, but that is almost certainly a given.

:cool:
 

ViviTheMage

Lifer
Dec 12, 2002
36,100
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madgenius.com
Me and a few friends are taking the rest of that release week off for D3 LAN ... but we'd be down for anything in the fall.

PM/Email me when you do it!

What ever happened to MNLAN? I used to attend those, free GPU's/sponsors galore!
 

blckgrffn

Diamond Member
May 1, 2003
7,084
357
126
www.teamjuchems.com
Me and a few friends are taking the rest of that release week off for D3 LAN ... but we'd be down for anything in the fall.

PM/Email me when you do it!

What ever happened to MNLAN? I used to attend those, free GPU's/sponsors galore!
I heard rumors that the guys running it killed it on purpose and left angry, what that purpose was I don't know. The LAN itself was before my tenure here in MN, but I've heard much about it. Sounds like it was pretty awesome.

Will do :) I am jealous of your time off :p
 

Rukian

Junior Member
Mar 12, 2012
7
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Sounds like it would be fun, just moved out of MN last summer, or I would have been in.
 

Remobz

Platinum Member
Jun 9, 2005
2,479
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I must be one of the few who NEVER been to a LAN party or played on a LAN ever. I am almost 40 so no excuses eh?

I feel like I missed out on something fun indeed:(
 

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