I don’t know why I haven’t written about this before, especially as it was such a big part of my life for a long time. Now, I have to warn you, some of this post will be deeply geeky. So to that end (and for our American friends):
Those of you with a “jock” disposition, should probably close down your browser……hang on, they wouldn’t be reading anyway, surely. *meh*
I used to run LAN parties many moons ago. I like to think that the emphasis was on party and that the LAN side of it was a means to an end. In fact, we probably had less stereo-typed geeks than most other LANs could lay claim to. For those of you that don’t know, a LAN party is essentially a get-together of people that like playing computer games against each other, people bring their computers to a central venue and spend a weekend shooting people. The main game at my LANs seemed to be centered around drinking as much as humanly possible.
Unfortunately, not many business want to give over a large venue with enough power for say 70 computers, so I moved around a number of different venues. One of which had an ornamental pond outside and was a no smoking building. The pond was on 3 levels like a set of steps, starting at the top with a huge pond, then one level lower that had a slightly smaller pond, ending at the bottom with a small pond. One guy gave us a moment of drunken comedic genius by falling into the top pond, where he panicked and scrambled out of it….. into the next pond down, where he panicked and scrambled out of it….. into the next pond down, where he panicked and scrambled out of it onto the grass. A lot of people took a very long time to recover from that. I managed to pull myself together for long enough to stop him heading into the room with all of the very expensive computers….
At the same LAN, a guy got so drunk that he started stripping down to his boxer shorts and mumbling incoherently. When he finally passed out, we very kindly….stacked beer cans and alcohol bottles around his inert form and balanced them on his head. Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
At some point we decided to run a LAN in Blackpool which, up until this blog post, was known as the LAN that shall never be named. The main reason for this was that I was completely stitched up by the hotel owner. I visited him and was given assurances that he could meet the power requirements of some 60-70 computers and all associated paraphenalia. He also told me that, as it was out of season, we would have the entire hotel available. When I arrived, he was checking in a stag do, which meant I couldn’t have the entire downstairs…there weren’t enough tables and chairs so friends from the area had to scrounge them from other hotels, there was no parking that he said we could have and then to top it all off…..no power. He expected us to run everything from 2 or 3 plug sockets. In the end we had to string power extentions into the hotel next door. The stag do were a bunch of arseholes and none of the guys were happy leaving their equipment out. I basically spent the whole LAN trying to calm people down and not have to give them all their money back.
In the end we overcame the shite and had a great time. There was Evs destroying everyone in the UT competition. He was so good that I stopped monitoring the match to sit and watch this guy play. Couple that with the fact that he was just having a laugh and getting pissed, just made it all the more impressive. We also had operation car breakout. A military style operation where Preachys motor was extricated from its clamp hell with an angle grinder and about 20 fairly sizeable guys telling the clampers to fuck off.
After Blackpool, we headed back to our previous venue – Also known as the “Sex” LAN, which basically seemed to revolve around me fighting with the “caretaker” of the building when his power tripped and he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing, and people being randomly “sexed”. For those of you not in the know, sexing involves taking a photograph of a sleeping member of the LAN, whilst having a photo of you gyrating your hips above their head. It was quite the sport across that one. This was also the LAN where Exo chose to drink almost every left over beer and glass of..whatever the hell was left. When we got him back to mine, he thought that Sarah was his missus and tried to get her in bed with him…fell over and cracked his head on a shelf. We checked he was ok, but he didn’t wake up for quite some time….mad Irish Goat pr0n loving bastard. This was the first LAN where we had a rare breed…the female gamer. Finally Lee decided to try his hand at topless modelling….oh and eyballing various alcoholic beverages. It was quite an eventful weekend that’s for sure.
Yes, that does look like we got Pierre Luigi Collina pissed and posing. In fact, when we went to Anfield a load of lads took their photo with Lee as he could pass for PLC :-D
I also started running private LAN parties. This started with the guys and gals from Loony Asylum. If we thought that the WolfLAN mob were drunken party machines, these boys were pros. If I were to post all of their exploits in party form it would take all month to read this post instead of just all day. Let me bulletpoint some of my fave memories:
- Actually naming Man Love Central
- Shooting airsoft weaponry at each other…in the room
- Someone getting rammed on Jack Daniels and throwing up after losing control…but maintaining enough control to find a plastic bag
- Bringing an entire professional Karaoke setup
- Porn displayed on 30 PCs and also 15 feet high on the projector
- An asian lad being more offended at being called Jackie Chan by some dickhead. Asking to at least be called Chow Yun Fat
- A few local lads kicking off in the venue thinking that Loony were a bunch of computer geeks. The same lads being very surprised when 40 fairly un-geeky guys wandered downstairs in some sort of “The Warriors” stand-off
- Sharing so much porn across the network that it couldn’t actually handle it
- Conning a barman to leave the bar unattended for slightly too long…
There were many many more things, but my absolute fave has to be a lad called Geordie.
Now let me just explain, we had a venue above a pub in Edwinstowe. It was run by Andy and Andy, a gay couple and a superb laugh. You know how cats will always jump on the lap of the only person in a room that is allergic? Well, Little Andy had much the same knack, only his particular talent was finding people that were slightly uncomfortable with homosexuality. Well, Geordie fell into this category. He wasn’t homophobic or anything like that, he was just a little uncomfortable. So the drinks are flowing, the bar has been closed and has turned into a lock-in for the Loonys. Little Andy decides to have some fun at Geordies expense, by flirting with him…you know, stroking his head, leaning a little too close when he was talking…all the classics.
Geordie, for his part, took it all in reasonable spirits. That said, it was fair to say that he was drinking slightly faster than perhaps he would have normally done. This ended up with him being comatosed in the bar. The lads took it upon themselves to make him pay for this lapse of judgement and write on him, spray shaving foam etc etc. One lad went a little far though, and got some Veet hair remover and sprayed it on his head. Anyway, Little Andy finds him and decides to wake him up and help the poor guy. So he took him to his shower, stripped him and showered him. Being the kind and generous soul he is, he recorded the event for posterity.
I don’t think I have ever seen a man so completely broken as Geordie was the next day.
You know what, I think I may have to post more about WolfLAN at a later time….