So you’ve got your PC, your friends, and your games, but now you need somewhere to play. Here’s a breakdown of local LAN venues and what you can expect to find at each of them.
Beginner: Your House
These days it doesn’t take much to host your own LAN. Most games are already Internet-based so all you really need is a connection, a router, and a decent set-up of tables and chairs to game at. Just make sure to provide some food (see Gamer’s Cupboard) and, most importantly, that you’ve got enough power for each computer. You don’t want to invite too many people over and blow a fuse.
Advanced: PONG LAN
PONG is a student group from UW-Stout that’s been regularly hosting LANs since 1999. In the past they’ve been known to bring in as many as 100 gamers for 36 straight hours of gaming, but because of the Student Center construction they’ve been forced to move around a bit and the events have gotten smaller. This may work in your favor, however, as it makes them the perfect mid-sized venue for gamers looking to branch out without feeling overwhelmed. The next PONG LAN is scheduled for Sept. 17, and for more information on the group you can head to pong.uwstout.edu.
Expert: AWOL LAN
AWOL LAN is the big kahuna of LAN gaming in the Chippewa Valley, providing 36 hours of gaming for over 150 gamers twice a year. Hosted at Action City, AWOL’s got big tournaments and big prizes, but it’s also a place you and your friends can go to just get away and game for a weekend. The whole of Action City is open to gamers who attend AWOL (of course, you’ll have to pay for it) and the LAN offers survival kits that provide everything from food and soda to Chaos Water Park Passes, depending on how much you’re willing to pay. The next AWOL LAN is scheduled for August 12, but you’d better hurry if you want to plop down your $25 for registration at awollan.com. Half of the seats are already gone.