Sometimes It Makes Me Feel Dirty

Sometimes it makes me feel dirty, an outcast even, and I need to get it of off my chest… Hello, my name is Affro and I’m a PC Gamer.  You want the whole shocking truth? Alright then, hello, my name is Affro and I’m a PC LAN Gamer.

At least twice a year I gather up into a big bag with wheels: my computer, monitor, peripherals and the associated cable mess that makes it all go and I head off to networks new. They’re good places to meet up with friends and to see people that I’ve spent months speaking to.  It’s an opportunity to put some faces to some names and to get some games on.  Well, that’s what they tell you.

So, I turn up, I check in, I get everything set up and then it happens.

It’s a phenomenon known and dreaded by PC LAN Gamers, and it will happen to at least 1 in 10 of us.  It’s the LAN Curse and it can be gruesome. Regular LAN Gamers talk about it as if it were a physical condition, an unavoidable and incurable gaming disease.

Poor little fella 🙁

I go to three to four LAN events a year, some local, some national.  I’ve even been international on the hunt for a good LAN.  At every event I’ve been to, the LAN Curse has kicked in. Let me explain what happens so that you’ll know if you’re a LAN Curse victim.  Your PC is set up and you’re ready to crunk and for no obvious reason your hardware or your software will fail.  There will be no playing games for you at this LAN.

It’s happened to me twice.  Equipment that I know was working before I packed it has developed a fault just as I got settled in to what should have been my stronghold for the following 48/72 hours.  The first time I blamed it on the travelling but then I hosted a LAN in my flat.  My friends and I all set up and my PC died on me.  I was then convinced that it is karmic punishment.

You see, these events are potentially too much fun so the world needs to lash out to show that there’s a balance.  And make no mistake, LAN events are fantastic.  Almost everyone that you meet is having an excellent time. Not absolutely everyone though because when the LAN Curse hits, and it will hit, it can put a big downer on someone’s weekend.

Don’t use this as a reason not to leave your home though because help is at hand.  It comes in the form of people like me.  People with plenty of PC troubleshooting experience that would never leave a man down and don’t like to be beaten.  I’m still friends with some of the people I’ve helped to get back up and running.  We meet up when I’m down at events and we have a laugh about the Curse and how it brought us together.  And if the Curse is karmic punishment then fixing its symptoms is karmic motivation because people who are helped go on to help others.

So that’s the LAN Curse.  If it’s coming for you then you can’t dodge it. It’s generally treatable though and it’s a fair price for a great weekend of PC Gaming shenanigans.

Each one of those lights is a PC, a PC which could contract the curse at any moment…







2 responses to “Sometimes It Makes Me Feel Dirty”

  1. MarkuzR avatar

    That last picture’s like my ideal back garden! Wow… what an incredible sight!! I have to say that I love LAN gaming with my mate Pete on C&C. The difference between playing on the same network and playing online is incredible, and I’d choose LAN over Live any day.

    OK, so now I’m craving multiplayer C&C again!!

  2. Ramsden avatar

    I used to go to a lot of LAN events when I was still very much a hardcore PC gamer. Also hosted a couple of small ones at college (how I miss the days of Red Alert, Total Annihilation and DooM…) and in a hall in town. Seems every time I went to one someone had a problem.

    I personally wound up missing Unreal Tournament 98, Starcraft and Red Alert 2 events because of bizarre network protocol issues when Windows XP was released, so I feel your pain. Works fine on your own network, but as soon as you connect to someone else’s or at a LAN party, it’s like playing computer Russian roulette.

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