Campus LAN parties ‘fun for every gamer’

Cameron Ray News Contributor

Once a month a symphony of keyboard clicks fill the room, illuminated by the colorful aura of glowing computer monitors and TV’s in the basement of Sackett Hall. Groups of gamers line every wall, playing an array of games, ranging from high paced first person shooters to traditional tabletop strategy games.

This scene will reappear this weekend from Friday 8 p.m. to Sunday 5 p.m. during the Let There Be LAN 7 event.  

The Oregon State Gaming Club hosts this type of event called a LAN (Local Area Network) party every month. According to nuclear engineering graduate student and organizer of monthly Sackett LANs, John Jordahl, the gaming club welcomes anyone who loves gaming, gamer culture or socializing.

“If you play video games or tabletop games it doesn’t matter how often you play, it doesn’t matter what you play, it doesn’t matter what you play on—a LAN party can be fun for any type of gamer,” Jordahl said.

According to Jordahl, LAN parties originated when internet speeds were not quick enough to accommodate high level gaming, but over the years they have evolved from a technological necessity into a social form of entertainment. International students, men, women and whole families come together due to a shared interest and passion for games.

“It certainly is a great time when you see a bunch of different types of people playing,” Jordahl said.

According to Vice President of the gaming club Will Seble, LAN parties are not just a place to play games, they act as a forum for people to share ideas and discuss culture.

“The first LAN I went to after moving out of the dorms, I reconnected with a buddy I hadn’t talked to in months and months. And we just sat there and looked at each other’s movie collections on our computers and talked about movies and film and TV for six hours. And that, I think, is a testament to how LANs aren’t just about playing video games and being competitive, they’re also about finding friends and rekindling old friendships,” Seble said.

For the non-electronic gamers out there, the Gaming Club LANs have a tabletop section, where people gather to play traditional strategic or party style board games. According to Seble, typically players switch between video games and board games throughout the duration of the LAN, some players plan to play a quick game of tabletop and, due to the social aspect, end up playing for hours.

“You can show up to see new games or meet people with similar interests,” said Chance Jensen, a member of the gaming club. “Most people think LANs are for hardcore gamers. It doesn’t matter what type of gamer you are—you will enjoy them.”

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