Over the years I’ve put on so many events, a bunch of which were LANs for the University of Auckland Video Game Club. In case you don’t know what one is – a LAN is an event where gamers get together and play games. Simple as that. Sometimes it’s PC, sometimes it’s console, sometimes it’s social, sometimes it’s competitive and hey sometimes it’s just playing at a friends place with a bunch of gaming mates.
But LANs in NZ are quickly evolving and I just attended Ping Zero, one of the top and longest running gaming LANs in NZ. Throughout the first few weeks coming up to the LAN I contacted a whole bunch of my gaming buddies to check if they were going and by DAYUM did I get a list of the crappiest excuses why they weren’t. So here’s my top 10 list of reasons why people don’t go to LANs…and why they’re bullsh&%t!
“I don’t have transport”
Yeah ya do. If your mates aren’t able to take you, you could post on the event page(s) online and trust me someone would be happy to carpool. People going to LANs are always keen to help more gamers get out there. Me? I went by bus with my laptop!
“I don’t have a good enough computer”
If you have a computer that can run minesweeper, that’s good enough. Even if it’s a lumpy desktop there’s always a way to get it out there. What people don’t seem to know is that a lot of the games people play at LANs can run on, lets face it, NETBOOKS (or worse). You could even bring along a handheld and start up a handheld gaming group if you’ve got the guts and time to organise it.
“I suck at tournaments and competitions”
Getting into the competitive spirit of gaming is only a tenth of the experience you get at a LAN. The other nine tenths? SOCIAL GAMING! The majority of LAN lovers go to LANs to meet other gamers and have a bloody great time. The tournaments and prizes are just a plus.
“I’m busy that weekend”
Yeah, nah, nah you’re not. Ok sometimes this can be a good reason but if you tell me you’re busy that weekend and all your Facebook updates are “at home alone, bored” then I call bullsh&%t and you deserve a slap in the face with a trout wrapped in a rag that’s covered in alcohol and lit on fire! That or you just don’t wanna go, which is fair enough.
“My significant other/ etc doesn’t want me to go!”
This one makes me more sad than any of these points. No one should control another person’s life, and those who love you really should try to empathise with and understand your passions and pastimes. However that’s a deeper convo and might actually be a pretty unpopular opinion so what do I know hah. One way to go about it is to compromise though. Promise them a romantic weekend another time in exchange for going to the LAN. Or, if the LAN runs over a few nights, promise to return home to cook a beautiful meal for them each day. Relationships aren’t easy so best of luck with this one.
“None of my mates are going”
Yeah they are. Gamers are your mates and the gamers that go to LANs, as I mentioned in point 1, are keen to help other gamers out and are generally nice as folks. Last time I went to a LAN solo I was seated with a few other solos and got showered with food, rides to food and invites to games. That’s the real truth.
“LANs stink like ass”
Yeah gotta admit sometimes they do. Bunch of sweaty people not showering for a day or two. HOWEVER most LANs these days come equipped with fans and you can bring along light smelling deodorant ect. That and the fact that GOOD LANs pretty much don’t smell at all. They’re also hosted in clean and big, spread out venues with plenty of ventilation (and occasional sunlight). So don’t you worry your pretty little noses. Choose your LAN well and you won’t have a thing to worry about.
“The heat is never right, I’m always either too hot or too cold”
Relating to the last point, most (if not all) GOOD LANs are filled with fans which cool the place down. This is great for computers so you don’t overheat and reduces the chances of all those people generating body heat to the temperature of a small sun. And what’s best about the cold? JUST LAYER UP! Bring a bunch of clothes along (or a sleeping bag, that helps) to warm up in the cold if it becomes a problem. Works a charm.
“I only play online games these days”
Hah, tough titties gamer. The great LANs of our time are equipped with INTERNET! LANs over 100 people in size will have internet and many LANing communities in NZ are now getting fibre so you’ll (arguably) be running faster than if you stayed home. HELLOOOOOOO DOWNLOADING! (ahem…).
“I’m not really that much of a gamer”
I’ve saved this lil ole point for last. LANs aren’t event just about games, they’re about sharing the experience of gaming with others. Go out and meet new people or experience a different kind of gaming life. Many people bring movies and things to do to LANs in between days so you could sit down with a few new friends and have a movie night. Hell, last time I went people introduced me to loads of freeware games that we played in online multiplayer. Some of the funnest times of my life.
Some people have good reasons why they’re not going to some of the best LANs in NZ, and some people just don’t wanna go which is a-ok. But if you’ve used one of the above ten points as an excuse not to go then you might just find yourself in the happiest place on earth if you change your mind. LANs are amazing events that pull gamers together and so much more. So join in on the next big gaming LAN in your area and give it a go. You won’t regret it!