Last Friday was the day (and night/morning after) of the Dark Media X13 LAN. I was pretty excited for this particular LAN, as I’d heard it was the largest LAN in Southern Tassie – and with roughly 90-100 attendees, I’m probably right.
Having been to an aXon LAN (the biggest LAN party in the North) a couple of years before, I had high expectations for this particular LAN.
For the most part, it lived up to those expectations, but it was certainly a lot different as well.
Maybe it was the fact that outside of our little threesome (Martin, James and I), we didn’t really know anyone (personally, anyway – I knew of a couple people in attendance, and I was Steam friends with at least 1 other person there), but it seemed as though you were a part of the “scene”, you were an outsider. Held up and compared to the aXon LAN where Rob (our host) knew pretty much everyone, and where we felt like honoured guests rather than just some guys who decided to rock up and play some games, and we felt like we were in our own little bubble.
Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty good – sure, there was no DC++ trivia bot to keep the masses amused, but it was, undeniably, extremely well organised – you ordered your food run over an intranet, which was then put into a DB, checked off, etc – and there was a heck of a lot of that filesharing thing going on, but as for the actual games – well, it kinda lacked.
I mean, sure, we had a couple of decent rounds of Counter-Strike:Source and Killing Floor with other people, but those were pretty much the only games that were actually played with other people. The rest of the time was spent trying to find free slots from people who were sharing terrabytes of stuff over DC, or just amusing ourselves in the DC++ chatroom, or even just going off and playing our own single-player games.
I’m not sure how many other people there were constantly enjoying games in the company of others, but organising games turned out to be hellish – getting people to join (and stay!) for any length of time was nigh-impossible.
Will I go again? Sure, if only to leech more HD content that my home internet couldn’t suck down if it tried, and I’ll probably play a few games of CSS and Killing Floor here and there.
At the end of the day though, going to DM X13 taught me one thing – games are better experienced with other people you actually know. Otherwise, you’re probably better off staying home and playing with randoms over the internets in pub servers.