The Joys of the LAN: by FIR35TORM

LAN Parties are a favourite pastime for many gamers in the 90’s and even in the early 2000’s, usually consisted of several friends playing in a local network with low latencies, binging through games for 12+ hours straight and the satisfaction of hearing the yells from the person they just fragged. These environments are impossible to do with a 56K dial up internet but with the rise of ADSL broadband and later the NBN, LAN Parties has become more scare as more modern multiplayer games requiring a constant internet connection and removing any LAN multiplayer capabilities, giving more gamers a reason to stay in the comfort of their own home and fast internet.

However, the LAN Party scene in Perth are far from dead and events like RFLAN generally pulls large numbers and runs tournaments on popular eSport titles with a 10 000+ prize pool. It’s a great place for new and returning competitive gamers to test their skills, but sometimes the scene can be confronting for those who aren’t comfortable being in a large room, full of strangers. Luckily, RFLAN isn’t the only LAN Party in Perth and there are others that caters for smaller numbers that like RFLAN, run by gamers for gamers.

Now here’s a small LAN party – Wolslan!

Founded back in 2001, Wolslan hosts a quarterly event at Rockingham Baptist Church in Waikiki. It’s latest event, Wolslan 83, or better known as Wolslan AT FREE (since it was a free event), gathered over 50 attendees, a farcry from the huge number RFLAN regularly pulls however, the social interaction opportunities and the out of the ordinary competitions is something memorable.

Classic and uncommon titles like Unreal Tournament 2k4, Savage XR, Age of Empires 2 and Insurgency are generally played at Wolslan but during the day, social games like Secret Hilter and numerous unique competitions brings a fresh spark to the LAN. There’s also a VR booth available for anyone to use, loaded with great VR titles like Beat Saber , a surprisingly fun music game that is quickly becoming a must-buy for VR.

Homemade Beef Rolls and Hot Beef Jerky are always a lovely treat by the Wolslan crew and the atmosphere is very chill and relaxing with no schedule to keep an eye on and plenty of impromptu games to play, as it happened in Wolslan 83 last weekend, we played TETRIS for a good hour! Overall this adds Wolslan’s unique character of a small LAN party and others in Perth (and in all the capital cities) will have its own quirk, along with some new LAN venues starting up.

Why I should go?

Sure, you can just stay at home and play multiplayer games and talk to people over on voice chat but as previously mentioned, there’s nothing better hearing the yell from the other side of the room from the guy who you just killed. If your connection isn’t the best, LAN Party generally do provide a decent and stable internet along with caching servers, so you won’t miss a lot of time updating your steam games.

You never know what you’ll see or who you’ll meet by not attending, but once you leave your familiar gaming area and explore, you can find some exciting builds, learn new things in networking and meet people who can give advice or able to perform little jobs that will improve your system performance, like in this instance at Wolslan 83, I was able to have my notebook’s CPU and GPU thermal paste replaced with Liquid Metal by a talented fellow known as ‘Seeker’. But ultimately, friends can be made in these events alone either from competing well together or sharing the same interests, which can lead to forming eSports teams and/or future career opportunities.

So where I can find them?

At this stage, there are no dedicated sites to check up with upcoming LAN events, but there is a Facebook Page, WA Gaming Events that shares LAN and other gaming events in WA, but on a very short notice. Otherwise, Wolslan and RFLAN informs the public of their events at least a month prior. If Wolslan’s too south for your convenience, you can also check out ComSSA for their list of events and Artifactory recently started hosting LANs in their own workshop.

If all else fails, you can invite your friends over and crowd around the dining table or in the shed with monitors and PCs, playing games together in the same network, effectively creating a very small LAN party. This is how the well-known LANs originated and who knows, you could end up creating the next big LAN party in Australia down the line. While the amount of LAN Party venues has declined over the years, but the concept of a LAN party is far from dead as long people can get together and game all night!

Links to LAN events in WA:

RFLAN – Redflag Lanfest
www.rflan.org

Wolslan
www.wolslan.net

Avalanche Gaming
www.avalanchegaming.org

The Perth Artifactory – Artifrag
www.artifactory.org.au

ComSSA LAN
https://www.facebook.com/ComSSACurtin/

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