In 2 days, on Easter weekend, there will be a big gaming tournament at Stoneleigh Park in Coventry. Because I’m incapable of gaming for 4 days in a warehouse with middle-aged strangers and the Parents wanted a cycling holiday on those 4 days, I decided to call it off. Instead, I organised a LAN party in which we would play Counter-Strike: Source and then watch Anime films in the front room until the evening. This isn’t my first LAN Party. When I was in Germany, I regularly took part in matches with the guy I was staying with and his friend. Despite the language difference, I understood enough and it was a lot of fun.
Here’s my summary:
It was meant to start at 4 O’Clock. Andriy turned up and we had a match on Rome: Total War. I lost.
5:00 – Nick turned up with his laptop and we couldn’t connect it to our network for some reason.
I spent ages looking for the router’s control panel until my dad came home from work and found it in under a minute.
6:00 – Caleb and Josh arrive. Some attempt is made to co-ordinate the various Steam accounts and see to it that we have Counter-Strike installed on all our PCs. Unfortunately, CS takes about an hour to install.
6:40 – Sam and George arrive. Nearly all PCs have Counter-Strike and we start to play.
7:00 – We realise that we have to eat. All cramp in the kitchen and try to cook pasta. It goes cold and everyone tries their hand at gaming-while-eating. We try to make toffee popcorn. It ends up as a huge sticky mess.
7:30 – Caleb makes all the bots too hard and sets the server password to ‘Nick is gay’. Conflict ensues.
8:00 – Josh plays CS on his own against bots for ages and Sam and George leave. Nobody knows what’s happening upstairs.
8:20 – I suggest that we watch a film. Nobody (except me and Andriy) likes Anime so we watch Max Payne. It’s the third time I’ve seen it and it become more and more mediocre after every viewing. Also, my expensive surround sound fails me in my hour of need.
10:00 – Max Payne finishes. Thank the Maker. Everyone returns to Counter-Strike.
11:24 – Andriy’s mum turns up to take him home. I keep the two controllers to play Halo 3 co-op.
11:40 – Halo 3 doesn’t let people play 4-player splitscreen co-op campaign. We play Custom Games against one another for a long time.
12:00 – My mum manages to convince Josh to stay at our house for a sleepover and tells me I have to sleep in the front room with everyone else. She also disturbs everyone by bringing in mattresses and pillows and so forth.
1:20 – We play Far-Cry: Instincts 3-player split-screen deathmatches. Nick surfs porn on my laptop. Not cool.
2:00 – FarCry is declared an unfair game because as soon as anyone got the predator powerup, it made them near-impossible to kill. All matches turned into an all-out scramble for the powerup. We play more Counter-Strike. I vaguely remember playing Assasin’s Creed too.
3:00 – People go to bed. Caleb outright refuses to sleep on the same mattress as anyone else for fear of being called gay. He takes all the cushions off the sofa and sleeps on them instead.
6:30 – I get up and play Team Fortress 2.
7:00 – Peter wakes up the rest of the gamers by opening and closing the door very loudly. A just revenge for keeping him awake earlier on.
9:00 – The others wake up. We play more Counter-Strike.
10:30 – I cycle to headington to give back Andriy’s controllers.
11:15 – I return. Caleb is still there. I retire to spend the rest of the day in a dazed, tired state.
I’ll think very carefully before organising something like this again. Or I’ll just take my chances with the friendly pro-gamers and game journalists in that big warehouse in Coventry.