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LAN & WAN How To

Introduction

So you've been going to LAN parties for awhile and know that they can be a fun and exciting experience for you as a gamer. But somehow you've gotten the idea into your head that it would be even more fun to host a party yourself. Do you just set up some tables, plug in some power strips, buy a switch big enough to handle the number of players you're planning on and send out the invites?

While in some cases it can be as easy as that, hosting successful large LAN parties requires specialized knowledge, good organization skills and attention to details. In this series of articles I'll be giving you some of that knowledge you should have before you put on your first Party. But first you might want to know who the heck I am and why you might want to listen to me.

I have been attending LAN parties since late 1998 and have watched them grow in popularity and complexity. As a newbie myself, I started attending LANWAR, a party based out of Louisville, KY, which currently holds a party four times a year with around 550 players in attendance.

LAN Party in Progress

Figure 1: LAN Party in Progress

As the staff struggled to keep the event running smoothly, it was apparent after a number of events that one aspect of the party consistently needed improvement - its network. I suppose being a glutton for punishment (and excited about the challenge) I decided to step up to the plate and volunteer my services to LANWAR.

Around early 2000, I became the lead net-head for that event and quickly began implementing a solid infrastructure. Through experience at that event, I learned a great deal about setting up a solid gaming network and shortly after, started a LAN rental business.

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