I went to TigerLAN, and I’m not sure how I feel how I feel about it.
I saw a flier advertising the LAN party during my between-class commute to Starbucks. Being a casual gamer, I was only vaguely aware of what a LAN party actually was. I knew it had something to do with gaming, so I was immediately interested in attending the event.
This is where the uncertainty set in. When I say that I’m a “casual” gamer, I’m not using that word loosely. I’ve never played a full round of an online match in my life, nor have I downloaded any MMO’s. I stick to consoles and non-competitive games. I should have researched what a LAN party was before packing my backpack full of PS3 games and paying $15 to get into this thing.
A LAN party, according to Wikipedia, is a “temporary gathering of people with computers or game consoles, between which they establish a local area network (LAN), primarily for the purpose of playing multiplayer video games.” For some reason — and this is completely my fault — I thought that I was going to a party where everybody brings video games, and… well, you just play video games with other people who like video games as much as you do. Which, I guess, is another definition of a LAN party.
Although this event didn’t exactly cater to my “level” of gaming, it was organized quite nicely. For providing pizza and concessions, the whole set-up was kept fairly clean, aside from a stray Monster can here and there, and everybody seemed satisfied.
I was impressed with the N64 Smash Brothers tournament and the patience of the event coordinators during a few technical difficulties. I also enjoyed the opportunity to have a riveting discussion about Pokemon and the Legend of Zelda series. The prizes for winning tournaments looked special, too. I saw a sleek-looking gaming keyboard, and a cute, miniature version of a pixelated pick-axe from Minecraft.
I wish there would have been more options for strictly-console gamers — I didn’t even get any StreetPasses — but I understand now that the emphasis for a LAN party is placed on mainly PC gaming, for games like Minecraft, League of Legends, Starcraft and Team Fortress 2, among others. If I were a PC gamer, I could definitely say that the party is worth the $15 it takes to get in. But if you’re a filthy casual like me, I’d recommend saving the money next time TigerLAN rolls around.