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Guest Hessen

LANs in general

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Guest Hessen

I, like many others here no doubt, love a nice LAN. And given how many gamers there are in the UK (and to an extent in this context, elsewhere) I'm wondering what the biggest stumbling blocks are as to why LANs aren't more popular.

Cost - Given how much the average youth spends on a Friday night out on the town, I'm guessing that people have enough disposable income, so is it a value-for-money issue?

Travel - Not being able to drive certainly stops me from attending as many LANs as I would like, but even if you can drive it's often a fair distance to get where you need to go. Being able to move your own PC about is a big hassle.

Accomodation - Hotels add an extra cost, camping isn't always ideal considering weather, sleeping in a giant room usually works up until a certain level of attendance.

Atmosphere - Are your friends going, are you happy to meet new people with a common interest, do you just want competitive gaming, do you just want casual gaming, do you want more non-PC activities? etc.

I'm sure Epic are well aware of these and other issues, but I'm wondering what stops people here from attending LANs and what possible solutions are there to get attendances to rise, not just at Epic events, but increase the LAN culture across the board.

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Guest Cheez

I think the ultimate thing it boils down to is image. Gaming is hugely popular, gaming on a console with your mates after a night out is even more so!

The idea of taking your computer to a place and playing in a room with a load of people from around the world suddenly makes people think it's not cool and don't want to be associated with it.

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Yeh What Cheez said. Similar thing with games like D&D.

The appear to be geeky as hell.

But at the end of the day it breaks down into playing games with mates, having a laugh and a joke and drinking some beers with it. Don't think any of those are overly geeky individually :P

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Couldn't agree more with Cheez and Jay.

Even though I work in IT with some real geeks, when I said I am going to a LAN I get a blank "what's that?". To a lot of people, the idea of shipping your PC across the country, to sit in a darkened room for three days 'just to play silly games' (their quote, not mine) is an alien concept.

Playing PC / video games is stigmatised by the general public. On Saturday morning a couple of ladies from the dog show came to buy tea from the breakfast van and asked what we were doing in there. I told them, and showed them inside the door .... and laughed at their look of surpirse / disgust. They couldn't understand why we'd want to do something like Epic LAN. Playing games isn't classed as being 'cool'.

Whilst at the LAN, I met and spoke to some fantastic people. I didn't hear a bad word said (besides some BBQ queue whinging!), everyone was helpful, people were swapping tips / hardware / knowledge / anything else and and it'd be hard to find a friendlier, more social bunch of people. Seeing as we're all supposed to be virgin loners that never venture out of our bedrooms or talk to real people, we're nothing like the image the general public/media makes of us.

But as a request for Epic 5, please can we have a rack of sunglasses we can use as we pass between the gaming and sleeping halls? That bright yellow thing in the sky was killing my retina's during breakfast. :)

P.S. I'm doing my bit for the next generation as my boys can't wait until they can take part in a LAN. Just as long as it's not at the same ones as me!

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I only started attending them 3 years ago, before then I knew they existed but did not know anybody involved in them. The reason I didn't get involved with them earlier was simply because I didn't know anybody else who was.

I'd never have gone along to a LAN party having not been to one, without knowing anybody in advance.

However, as soon as a friend was like.. "Hey I'm going to a LAN party you should come" I was like hell yeah... and now I know everybody. :D

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As mentioned by several people, I'd imagine the biggest stumbling block is the stigma associated with it.

Secondly it would be the not knowing anyone.

For younger people the other reasons may weigh more heavily: Cost, Distance, Travelling

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I came to Epic 3 with a friend who didn't like it - yet it was his idea!

I came to Epic 4 on my own and to be honest, was worried that I'd be lonely. No need to have worried as everyone makes you feel so welcome I didn't think about it again. I guess it helped being on the forum and taking part in the Tuesday / Thursday games.

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I'll be honest, I only found out about LANs via David (_david) in our first year at College - never heard of them before then. I've been to a few other LANs but CLUK was my first and I kinda kept it up. :P

For alot of people it's the unknown, "I'm turning up on my own, there'll be loads of tight-knit clans and I'll have no one to talk to".

If I hadn't been with the NULC lot, I doubt I'd have just turned up. Same with when I went to LanSoap, I met Kaneth there but I didn't go until I knew others a bit better. With the profiles we've got on the epic site, the whole aim was to give newbie's a way to get to know people before the events; check out their profile to find some common interests to kick-off conversation!

Everyone at epic (at least) is really friendly and from a staff point of view, that's just awesome to be around. Talking to the newer guys in the community, it seems it's key getting to know a few people before you turn up - that's one of the good side-effects of epic.Tuesday and running Mumble - the other being we just like to play games! Of course, it doesn't stop people just turning up and chatting to those they're sat next to!

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My first LAN was SavageLAN 7 back in 2002 in Coventry. I went along as a spec to see what the deal was as some of my online mates already attended. I then attended the following four as a full participant. This was back in the days of Quake3 and CRT monitors! :)

SavLAN died after number 11 at the end of 2003. A few people I knew organised a small event in SavLAN's older venue (Midlands Sports Centre) called CovLAN and which ran for three events. It started as a small gathering of about 30 of us but the third one ended up with nearer 60-70 and hosted a big Q4 TDM match between Dignitas & 4Kings, with RedEye & Tosspot there commentating live - god knows how that happened! :)

After that I stopped lanning for years tbh until I popped along to a CLUK (17 I think) as a spec to see what the deal was. That was the first time I'd ever been to a LAN where I didn't know anyone beforehand.

Looking back I really wish I'd kept with it after SavLAN and CovLAN and perhaps attended some of the early i-series events rather than just stopping for so long.

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I went to i6, i7 and i9 and met up with the Team Fortress Classic clans I played with and against. I didn't go to any others after because my dear Wife would have cut my nads off!

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I've never been to an i-event, but wish I had maybe back in the "good ol' days" - then again, I could just tag on with the box :P

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I went to i36, and it was an awful event for me. The guy I provided transport for buggered off and left me on my own all weekend, even though he could have invited me to join in some clan games. I'm somewhat backward in coming forward so didn't socialise very well. I think I spend 50% of the weekend playing L4D with my mates that were at home! I would never recommend an i series event if you're going alone.

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The i series just aren't as good I find these days nor offer the value for money. I first went about i28 and stopped after i38. I enjoyed them, but they started to get less fun for me. Now I just stick to the smaller LAN's as they are more social and allow you to meet new people easily! Also, no CS kiddies!

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Guest bindip

My first lan was CLUK 17 where i went along with p1rate. Really enjoyed it, mainly due to the friendly staff and nice bunch of people there. Before the event I thought lans were just 24/7 hardcore gaming, but its more social, having a laugh & beer with mates whilst playing some games.

I have tried to turn up to as many events ran by you guys as possible, although work / uni have got in the way recently :P

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Yeah, the idea of just turning up alone is daunting for most people. I just needed to know 1 person to get me to go, after that I'm more than capable of chatting to random strangers. If you go to epic.LANs now and don't know me you're an anti-social bastard, because I talk to everybody! :D

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If you go to epic.LANs now and don't know me you're an anti-social bastard, because I talk to everybody! :D

Apparently you know me very well then! :oops:

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Yeah, the idea of just turning up alone is daunting for most people. I just needed to know 1 person to get me to go, after that I'm more than capable of chatting to random strangers. If you go to epic.LANs now and don't know me you're an anti-social bastard, because I talk to everybody! :D

And then you become really quiet after LAN :P

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He's just keeping a low profile after enraging everyone by backstabbing them all weekend in TF2.

LAN rule no.1 - be on the same TF2 team as Zorg!

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He's just keeping a low profile after enraging everyone by backstabbing them all weekend in TF2.

LAN rule no.1 - be on the same TF2 team as Zorg!

Or, LAN rule no.2 - All rage quit TF2 once Zorg joins the game! :P

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Started LANs by going to i28 with Goten and Riot.. before that there was a small LAN at College we went to (they should remember this well)... and I've been going from there really. I wouldn't have gone to a LAN if I didn't know anyone first. It's not the same!

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Or, LAN rule no.2 - All rage quit TF2 once Zorg joins the game! :P

We must arrange that! :P

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I think the biggest problem with getting new people to come to LAN meets is convincing them that they won't be bored. Even seasoned gamers have trouble with the idea of attending an event where they either don't know anyone, or only know enough people that they can count them on one hand. Even I worry a little bit about whether or not I'll spend most of the LAN in a game or staring at the desktop.

The obvious solution is to promise to sit next to them and play whatever games they want, to encourage them to try at least one event and if they don't like anyone there at least they'll be playing their favourite games with you. For me however it was the stories of the more random social aspects that convinced me to go to CLUK and try to become part of the group. It of course helped that I new at least 2 people who already went regularly and that Damocles is pretty good at telling LAN stories.

Even now I've never been to an i-Series event as a participant (or any Multiplay LAN for that matter) and am still a little put off going by not knowing who will be there, what will be played, etc, etc, .... It's really fear of the unknown that puts me off - although now I know a lot of this community and how much of an overlap there is, I'm starting to change my mind.

Of course there are other factors such as cost ... yeah Silverstone cost me a lot more for a weekend than a LAN would, but then I don't do that 4 or more times a year. .... Going to the pub on a friday night might cost as much as a LAN ticket but the price of the ticket isn't the only cost in attending a LAN. Personally I feel that attending a LAN is good value for money, but I can see how when compared to staying at home and playing online, it can seem expensive. Again the stores of the social aspects of the LAN can help here.

Whenever someone non-IT asks me what I'm doing on a LAN weekend or what a LAN is I always focus heavily on the party side of the equation and describe the weekend as "A group of friends from all over the country rent a bar for 3 days and spend all of our time chatting, messing around and playing some games.". Doesn't sound all that geeky, does it? Well maybe a little bit.. but it usually wins them over.

Before I attended CLUK a group of my IRL friends, who are now my work colleagues, and I ran a monthly one-day 20-30 man LAN meet in Llandrindod Wells (Mid Wales). It was basically a monthly excuse to play 10 a side Quake 3. Eventually however the concept of making more profit by increasing ticket prices got brought up by people who owned the venue and so we closed up shop in protest.

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Guest Hessen

If anyone wants a friendly mature group to get to know at i-series just let me know, although my clan currently only attend the summer one we're a top group of people and will more than welcome anyone, just drop me a note on here/IRC.

Whenever someone non-IT asks me what I'm doing on a LAN weekend or what a LAN is I always focus heavily on the party side of the equation and describe the weekend as "A group of friends from all over the country rent a bar for 3 days and spend all of our time chatting, messing around and playing some games.". Doesn't sound all that geeky, does it? Well maybe a little bit.. but it usually wins them over.

I hate that people feel like they need to lie about what a LAN is to not sound sad/geeky, the stigma attached is just so unjustified it makes me nerdrage.

I quite proudly tell friends, work, family what I'm doing and the reaction varies from intrigued to disgust but I refuse to gloss it up to not sound like what it is.

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A lot of colleagues and friends around my age take the mick out of my for going to LANs. TBH I think they're just envious and wish their lives were a little less domesticated and boring :)

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Vertigo - I think there is a lot of truth in that!!

When I was 19 and working at a department store and got 10% staff discount. Every month there was a special offer and this month they had a 15% of all toys. This meant I could get 25% off everything ... STAR WARS! When I was a kid I had always wanted a Milennium Falcon, AT-AT, AT-ST, X-Wing, B-Wing, Y-Wing, Tie Fighter etc but my parents couldnt afford them so I had some of the figures and a playset. So I'm 19, 25% off and my own money to spend and I bought all of the ships. Now I couldn't let on to my work mates in the warehouse that I'd done this, they would have taken the proverbial mickey and made my life a misery. So I paid for everything and asked my Dad to pick it up and take home. Great! I had gotten away with it.

The following night I was at home putting all the ships together and working out where to hang the fighters and Falcon in my bedroom when the phone rang. I shouted "If it's for me, I'm NOT IN!", as I didn't want to be disurbed from my Star Wars toys. Then I hear the fateful words:

"Hello Ian. Yes, he's in and putting the stickers on his Star Wars toys."

I got to the phone and Ian, a colleague from work with whom I was great friends but has now sadly passed away, said "Did your Mum just say you were playing with Star Wars toys?!" The conversation ended with him in fits of laughter. When I arrived at work the abuse / ribbing started. Ian had told everyone it went around like wild fire. They even put a message over the stores tannoy for "Obi-Wan Fat Blokie" to return to the warehouse :( For about 2 weeks my life was a misery until it all calmed down. At 19 I really wanted to hide my new Star Wars toys from everyone for fear of the ridicule.

Roll the clock forward 24 years and I couldn't be happier being a Star Wars fan. I dont care what people think and when the kids have left home I will buy the huge Lego models of the Death Star and Star Destroyer, so I have somnewhere to build and house them!

Age does change your perspective on things but I can understand why someone wouldn't want to tell the full truth about Star Wars toys or a LAN!

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