LAN party

From Academic Kids

A medium-sized (approximately 300 people) LAN party in a sports hall in northern Germany
A medium-sized (approximately 300 people) LAN party in a sports hall in northern Germany

A LAN party is a temporary, sometimes spontaneous gathering of people together with their computers, which they connect together in a local area network (LAN) primarily for the purpose of playing multiplayer computer games.

These LANs come in various sizes, from the very small (2 people) to the very large (4000+ people). Small parties can form spontaneously, but large ones usually require a fair amount of planning and preparation on the part of the organizing team. Even with all the organization that goes into place there is still a chance that something will go wrong with the LAN. More often than not at least one person attending the LAN has their computer crash. If you are thinking of going to a LAN make sure you take a copy of your operating system with you.

Many parties offer various tournaments, competing in such games as Quake III, Warcraft III, Counter-Strike, Unreal Tournament, Battlefield 1942 and the Doom series, sometimes awarding prizes to the winners. Prizes can include computer hardware such as overclocking kits, cases, lights, fans, graphic cards and sometimes even complete computers.

The duration of the event is not standardized; many organized parties last for a weekend, while there have also been longer and shorter parties. In particular, small spontaneous parties often last for only minutes to hours. Small LAN parties may even be a gathering of laptops on a lunch break or at Uni between classes.

Big LAN parties often offer a quiet place to sleep, showers, catering, alternative entertainment (such as music) and a dedicated support crew, as well as a professionally managed network including a connection to the Internet. LAN Parties which are not fully catered usually have a pizza run or are near some shops so you can duck out and buy some food and drink. Make sure you have a friend guard your computer because, although unlikely, someone might steal parts from your computer while you are gone for those few minutes. It does happen sometimes.

Gaming clans, groups of gamers that often play in team games such as Counter-Strike often use these gatherings to meet one another since they typically play together over the Internet between parties with little real-world contact. Their goal is often to win tournaments. Clans are often in Ladders where they move up after winning a match. As well as counting for standings in national and international gaming leagues such as the WWCL there are regular events such as Quakecon in which the very best players from around the world compete against one another, much like in popular sports. There are matches where you don't get anything for winning known as practice matches. These are usually held prior to a match so you can get a rough idea of what you are up against.

Often case modders and overclockers attend these events to display their computers, which otherwise would be seen by few. Some come just to display their computers and look at other's computers. Much can be learned about computers at a LAN party.

While being in the minority, and usually discouraged or forbidden by the party organization, some attendees also use these parties for the purpose of copyright infringement (often trading copies of software, music, and movies). On the other hand some LAN parties actually support this and run DC++ hubs or other P2P service servers.

It is advised you patch your system fully before going to a LAN because it's a lot easier to exploit you if you rely on a hardware firewall at your home. If you are running Windows disable Windows File Sharing before attending as when people are accessing your files your computer will suffer a huge performance hit. If you are going to a hacker convention try and avoid running Windows altogether ;)

There are also other kinds of parties where temporary LANs are built, but which are not commonly referred to as a "LAN party" alone; amongst these are demo parties such as Assembly, hacker conventions such as DEF CON, and freestyle events such as the Burning Man.

See also

External links

  • Zion LAN (, Annual 400-Person LAN party in Zion, IL
  • EverLan Colorado (, Colorado Springs / Denver, Colorado area LAN venue Sponsored by AMD and ATI Technologies
  • Drome (, largest Dutch LAN party (over 2000 visitors) in the Netherlands (eng/dut)
  • (, Calendar of events and how-to information
  • European Lan parties ( (in English/German)
  • World Wide Championship of LAN-Gaming ( (WWCL)
  • Multiplay UK (, Large UK LAN gaming community
  • Party Spain (, spanish parties database.
  • AusGamers Events (, list of Australian LAN parties.
  • Lan Party Coalition (, Coalition of LAN parties primarily based in North America
  • LPANE (, the LAN Party Association of New England, a coalition of LAN parties based in New England
  • QuakeCon (, largest North American LAN party
  • Fragapalooza (, large Canadian LAN party
  • LANWAR/Million Man LAN (, large LAN party in Kentucky, United States
  • The Gathering (, demo party
  • Cyberathlete Professional League (, annual LAN party held in Dallas, Texas
  • (, Benelux LAN scene coverage site (Dutch)
  • NetworkingDay (, LAN parties in and near Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • (, Benelux LAN party coverage site (Dutch)
  • Lan Addict (, LAN resources, forums
  • Campzone (, large outdoor LAN in The Netherlands (English information available)
  • LanCamp (, large outdoor LAN in Belgium
  • Room101 (, Irish Lan Party resource
  • Darkside LAN (
  • 3xtreme LAN (, Melbourne, Australia (small-medium size)
  • GameCon (, Ireland's largest LAN party
  • Paranoika LAN Party (, Bianual LAN party
  • Pittsburgh LAN Coalition (, growing multi-group LAN party from Western Pennsylvania, United States

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