What happened to Lan Parties?

As I was making my third attempt to reassemble a horribly aged futon (that had been passed around to so many people there’s no doubt its seen more action than Tom Selleck in his Magnum PI days), wondering if it was some kind of early attempt of Ikea’s to blend furniture with some kind of social experiment to see how much a person can take before starting a three figure body count, and swearing enough to make Bog Saget blush, I decided that the best course of action to keep me from going hulk on it was to think of better place.

Lan Parties - Panel One

That didn’t feed into my almost Gibson-esque epic instability.

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I then started thinking of my friend (no not that way) and how he (still not that way) was having a lan party this weekend and how he had invited me to it. Now I probably would have gone if it weren’t for the fact he lives 10 hours away, I’ve never actually met him in person, and I’m pretty sure he’s actually just inviting me over because he needs a new host body as his is falling apart.

You remember those days. 10 high school (maybe college) dudes all smashed into a basement with 10 computers going full blast, cases and cases of mountain dew, all completely focused on one and one thing only: gaming. Those 48 hour gaming benders fueled by so much caffeine that by the morning of the second days everyone had that weird anxious/excited/electrified feeling that somehow mixes the feeling you get right before you start opening birthday presents and the feeling you get right before vomiting:

Lan Parties - Panel Three

You know, the same feeling we would feel again 10 years later right before having sex for the first time:

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Well this led to me asking my self, “Self, why don’t I go to lan parties anymore?” For the most part, I think part of getting older is realizing that the copious amounts of caffeine taken in at 16 would no doubt kill me or more than likely be replaced with alcohol and no doubt would end with some kind of machine being forced down my throat in a last ditch effort to keep me alive so that I could enjoy the week long hangover to follow.

I think also in my oldness, I’ve lost the ability to play games for any extended period of time. Seems as if that part of my brain has been removed or possibly atrophied due to suffering from depression brought on by lack of use. Either way, I now have a greater capacity to code for extended periods of time instead… Wait. I’m feeling something… I think it’s an idea which would explain why its a feeling I don’t recognize.

What if the gaming lan party were to evolve? What if all that caffeine drinking, sardine can sized room of guys, (I’d say gals too since I realize there are women coders but really, what woman wants to take the chance of being locked in a small room chock full of essentially coked up geeks?), table to table, computer to computer, energy filled mayhem could be used to code? Think about it:

What if you were to take some idea like say a program that compares the hotness factor of supermodels (YEAH SUPERMODELS MAN, CAUSE THAT’S WHAT MANLY MEN DO, YEAH!) or the best picks for fantasy football (more in line with reality) and just go at it for 48 hours straight? I think this could actually work. After all, you have the combination of a ton of minds and no external interruptions to really just hammer something out. I realize there could be some issues inherent with super-fast coding:

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But couldn’t this work? You get lots of up-side on this one. Comradery, energy, excitement, a semi-working program, and quite possibly good, old-fashioned physical nerd fights (hey, that’s what Youtube was invented for) caused by late nights, caffeine psychosis, and uncomfortably close proximity to other people for more than 10 minutes. How could this be a bad idea? So I say, have at it. Prove me wrong about this one. And make sure you take video proof of how wrong I was. You know, some kind of video diary of you attempting to flee the country after they find the 9 bodies you somehow managed rage into the trunk of your car. (Again, that’s what Youtube was invented for).

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3 thoughts on “What happened to Lan Parties?”

  1. I hate to simplify the answer but the only thing that happened to LAN Parties is…drumroll…Broadband.

    It was next to impossible to play games over the old 14.4K and 28.8K modems that were the technology even when Quake came out. LAN Parties were almost a necessity to get a good gaming experience without 450+ ms ping times.

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