Thinking Thursday: So You’re Going To a LAN


By: Stephen Crane

So you're going to a LAN event. It could be any event, really. Wherever there are enough gamers with transportation needs, where is bound to be a collection looking to get together for the purpose of being able to throw insults to each others' faces. Okay, so that is a little facetious. I actually love going to LAN events for many reasons not least of which is the camraderie. For anyone who is planning on going to one in the future, you can take this article and use it as a brief guide so you know what to bring and accurately plan ahead.

1. The Obvious: If you're going to a LAN event you are probably going to be bringing your computer if it's a BYOC event. You should also be bringing your favorite controller if it's a console event. Honestly, it's the obvious and necessary thing. It's kind of the reason you're there, no?

2. Preripherals and Cords: It could seem obvious, but you should of course always bring a keyboard, mouse, etc. NEVER bring speakers. Only bring headphones and microphones. No one wants to hear your music or your game except you. Don't forget to bring a mouse pad as well. It's not something some usually think of but the tables aren't always the most friendly for mice. Also, remember -ALL- your cords. Power cords (there should be two: one for your computer and one for your monitor) are a must as well as your monitor cable. Again, all fairly obvious.

3. Memory: This isn't always obvious. Bring your external hard drives and make sure there's a decent amount of free drive space. Perhaps you should keep open about 500gb to 1tb. Some of these events keep open DC++ servers or you can pick up some files from friends you make there, etc. Trust me, you would be surprised at how much you can obtain file wise. Having a large allotment of file space is alwas a plus.

4. Game and Operating System Discs: I've seen this a few times: Someone comes in, sets their computer up and powers it on to find something messed up during transportation. It can be anything but the point is: The operating system is dead. There are also less panic-inducing instances of finding out the game you were planning on playing somehow got messed up so you have to re-install it. Bringing discs is always a good idea and sometimes you can loean them out as a courtesy to others. It's just good practice.

5. A Comfy Chair: People underestimate this, I think. A comfortable chair cannot be denied its usefulness. No, really. You're going to be sitting at this chair for hours on end. Most LANs have chairs provided that are tremendously uncomfortable, standard folding chairs. If your LAN event allows it bring your own. Trust me on this one.

6. A Sleeping Bag, Pillow, Etc.: Some LANs will have specific sleeping rooms. Others will just let you sleep under your table. Either way, it is highly recommended you bring a sleeping back, pillow, and generally soft surfaces to sleep on. Trust me, as much as you want to pretend you'll be pulling a 48-hour rager fueled by your energy drink of choice, you will crash at some point. Prepare yourself.

7. Comfy Clothes: You're with your own people. No one is going to care how you look. Those designer jeans and that nice shirt may be in style but can you really sit in them for an entire weekend and not grumble about them being sore.

8. Cash Monies: Most in-LAN vendors aren't going to accept credit. I know, in a digital age physical money can seem barbaric, but make sure to bring a decent clip of money to pay the vendors. You never know when you'll be getting the munchies. Also, some LANs have a raffle and flooding the raffle with tickets can often earn you some sweet swag. I've gotten nice processors and a good case because of a good raffle.

9. Swag Bags: Swag happens. You're going to want a way to contain it all safely. Also, if you're at a stage and they're throwing something to the crowd, an open bag is probably more reliable than your hands when it comes to catching stuff. Watch out for stacks of DVDs getting thrown at your face, though! They can be dangerous!

10. Coordinate Ahead of Time With Friends: If you're going with people you know, it helps to sit down and talk with your friends about what you want to play during the weekend. It's inevitable that some game there will surprise you, but having a list of about 8 games that you all make sure are installed before you leave helps take the headache out of installing for the first few hours you're at a LAN. Instead, plan ahead so you can get the max amount of gaming in.

About Stephen Crane

Stephen was hooked by the NES at a very young age and never looked back. He games on a daily basis and is currently trying to climb his way up the ranked ladder on League of Legends! Outside of the video game world he actually likes running and owns a rapidly growing collection of toed shoes. Stephen Crane is the owner of Armed Gamer.

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