In case you haven't noticed, LAN (Local Area Network) parties have becoming increasing popular in recent years. And by "increasingly popular" I mean "substantially less popular due to the fact that they are quickly becoming pointless and redundant alongside the proliferation of high-speed internet".
So I guess I'll write a guide about them?
WHAT IS A LAN PARTY?
Since the dawn of time, videogamers have been searching for a way to combine the stifling, oppressive atmosphere of a party with the time-consuming frustration which comes with attempting to network computers together. Luckily for them, personal computers were invented in the late 20th century, and soon after, LAN parties were born. A LAN party is, of course, when a number of videogamers gather in an enclosed area to network their computers together to facilitate the playing of multiplayer games.
In the early days of personal computers, this was mostly done out of necessity, as internet access was fairly uncommon, and unbearably slow. But this might leave you wondering why any intelligent human being would go through all the hassle of organizing and attending a LAN party when playing a lightning-fast low-latency game online these days is only a few mouse clicks (or button presses) away. But as I understand it, people who attend LAN parties are masochists who crave visceral, close-range contact with large groups of ill-groomed, meme-spouting, nose-whistly protohumans possessing a considerable number of objectionable physical and mental traits.
But enough with the insultingly unfair characterizations and definitions already! Lets delve right in to the exciting part of LAN parties: The detailed logistics and extensive planning which are often required of their organizers!
LOCATION IS KEY
Tiny, poorly ventilated areas (such as sub-basements, deserted bank vaults, or private storage facilities) are ideal, but a small bedroom or living area would probably suffice in a pinch (so long as you are able to block out all external sources of natural light). You may also wish to stuff towels into any opening (heating vents, door locks, etc) which might allow for air circulation. The idea is to create a lightless, airless cave so that each of the LAN partiers will be better able to wallow in the collective bodily excretions of the others.
Optimally, you are going to want the stench of body odor to literally seep (like a green cartoon fog) into every crevice and orifice of the room, where it will remain indefinitely. You want to be able to stick your nose into the radiator a year later and have the fresh, pungent the odor of foot and back sweat overpower you, inducing a dissociative fugue state in which time and space hold no meaning. The effects are not altogether unpleasant, and are said to be similar to those brought on by high dosages of horse tranquilizer.
LAN parties are about "becoming one with your gaming brothers and sisters". They are about camaraderie, and reveling in your "human-ness". And what better way to accomplish this than by spending 6-8 hours boiling alive in a stifling sea of sweatsmog and wet Doritos farts?
Yes, LAN partying is truly the sport of kings.
INVITING GUESTSAs the old saying goes: "A LAN party without partiers is just a LAN." And while I personally might find the idea of spending a night in empty room filled with networking equipment to be far more appealing than actually attending a LAN party, I am well aware that a good portion of the population (being not nearly as ascetic as I) would probably enjoy a night spent having fun in close proximity to other humans, and would also appreciate some advice about which of these humans to invite to a LAN party.
So here are a few of the key personality types you should seek out when creating your LAN party guest list.
NOTE: Any LAN party host who begins to reject guests on the grounds that they are unlikable social outcasts will soon find himself in an empty room. In the case of LAN party patrons, I think you will find that it is best to take what you can get, regardless of quality.
Your instincts will likely tell you that it is not the BEST idea to invite an Insufferable Asshole Who Is Constantly Pointing Out Each Of His Minor Victories In The Most Asinine Way Possible While Simultaneously Becoming Hilariously Enraged At Every One Of His Equally Common Defeats to a friendly gathering at your home, but you would do well to ignore these instincts, as finding people who will react to an invitation to a LAN party with anything other than derisive laughter is extremely difficult. When it comes to these sorts of events, one cannot be too picky.
The Humorless Internet Comedian
When planning a LAN party it is extremely important to invite at least one person whom you are constantly fantasizing about driving a railroad spike through the head of. This is where The Humorless Internet Comedian comes in.
Over the years, severe overuse of the internet (coupled with positive feedback from other internet users with similarly low standards) has caused these people to believe that "repeating a commonly-heard phrase over and over" in the most annoying fashion possible is somehow hilarious and original. As such, the mere presence of the Humorless Internet Comedian is enough to drive even the jaundiced legions of gape-mouthed Australopithecines who consistently laugh out loud during episodes of The Guild insane with murderous rage.
In Short, a Ragenerd is the guy who flies off the handle and goes into a blind rage when he becomes frustrated while playing a game. For a more in-depth look at Ragenerds, See This Article.
But really, the only thing you really need to remember about a Ragenerd and LAN parties is that it is essential that you require the ragenerd to bring his (and yes, The Ragenerd will always be male) own equipment to the party, unless you fancy the idea of having your keyboard shattered or your monitor kicked off across the room.
And again, you may wonder why one whould even invite someone as unstable as a Ragenerd to one's home at all, and I will admit that this is a very good question. A question which would be better answered by someone who actually hosts and/or attends LAN parties.
As a Judgemental Elitist Piece of Shit On The Internet Who Has Never Hosted Or Attended A LAN Party In His Life, I feel unqualified to comment further on the subject.
Unless you are some Michigan-Militiaesque hoarder who, for some reason possesses six or more computers in his filth-encrusted home, your guests will have to bring their own PCs and set them up. Obviously, this will take hours. Remember that you will also have to network them all together and make sure everything works, which takes longer still. Optimally, once everything is set up and working properly, it will be late morning and everyone will have already gone home.
This is not to say that nothing is accomplished with a LAN party, because indeed, a great deal of work has been done. Namely the disassembling and reassembling of multiple PCs, the lugging of heavy components across town, and the and wasting an entire night waiting for the rest of your "friends" somehow manage to run six-year-old internet jokes even further into the ground while futilely attempting to get their computers to boot and connect to the network so you can all play some mediocre 8-year-old game because "it was the only thing everybody had".
FINAL RATINGI realize this wasn't a review, but I'm just gonna go ahead and end by giving LAN parties a final rating of 0/10 anyway.
- LAN parties often involve videogames, which can sometimes be fun!
- Everything else (but especially the smell)
So I for one will be glad to see the day when the phrase "Attending a LAN Party" joins its ancestors "Playing Games In 16 Color EGA", "Installing From A Floppy", and "Paying Per Minute To Dial A BBS" as just another absurdly antiquated footnote in the history of PC gaming for us to make fun of.
Only then will I have peace.
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