I woke up Friday morning with that giddy excited feeling that you used to feel on Christmas Eve when you know you had been well behaved. It was no other Friday for I was to set off on a journey, a journey to an arena of blood, sweat, tears, pizza and booze. The eFragz LAN event!
We arrived around half five Friday afternoon at the Bedwas Working Men’s club, a beautiful 1920s example of industrial wealth at the turn of the century in South Wales. We are very grateful to the committee for allowing us to use this fantastic building, it has proved suitable accommodation and the fact that there is a bar open in the evenings really makes the cake! Also, and I’m sure I don’t speak just for myself but I like the idea that we’re supporting a good cause rather than hiring some shitty corporate rooms near the motorway.
We lugged our equipment up the two flights of stairs that nobody mentioned prior to turning up and we picked our seats, next was the exciting time of setting everything up, lots of up and down and acrobatics around a desk, making sure that you haven’t missed anything or (god forbid) forgotten anything (like my laptop charger) Fortunately we had everything and touch wood things have been running kind of smoothly (just some issue with sound, network connection, game permissions, downloads, gameplay etc) but apart from those minor issues (still no sound) it’s all good.
Despite the fact that I haven’t gamed in fucking ages due to being a snooty Mac owner I discovered that I am reasonably okay at Depth, a fun little game where you’re either a shark or a diver. As a diver it is your job to follow a little robot diving machine into the ocean and ensure that it safely makes it to treasure chests where it works on opening them so you can get the booty. However if you’re the shark it is your objective to eat the divers and damage the robot, preventing the humans from stealing from Davey Jone’s Locker. As divers you can purchase and upgrade some rather creative underwater weapons to take on the sharks – A very entertaining game.
I’ve been introduced to Rocket League a fast paced arcade style game combining fast-car acrobatics with Football. I haven’t won a single fucking game yet, but it’s great fun.
The strangest game I’ve enjoyed so far this weekend is a little game called Nidhogg where you and your opponent take on the forms of two stick men with little swords. The objective is to brutally murder the opponents stick man and run either left or right (depending on the arrow) to the next screen. Each time you get to the next screen your opponent respawns and you have to fight again. Once you make it to the last screen your stick man will run past a cheering crowd of on-looking stick men before promptly being devoured by a giant worm. When the worm eats you, you win. Simple.
I think there is a League of Legends tournament about to start (or has started) I don’t understand it at all, my cousin has tried explaining it to me but fucknose. All I know is that Asian dudes play it and hot Asian girls throw themselves at them! Crazy world.
It has been so long since I’ve been sat amongst the wonderful crowd of the eFragz community but even after all this time and even though I barely play anything I have been welcomed as if no time as passed. Here you are known for your gamer tag and not for what you achieve in life, but for what you achieve on the screen in front of you. Whether its leading a team to victory or killing more bad guys than the person next to you, here you can be whoever you want to be.
Right now my friend is some sort of magic elf, battling it out through some haunted woodland to retrieve some mystical shit. There’s a kid here who could take on some of the best gamers I know, he is seriously shit hot! (He has just returned to say that he lost miserably and that he was stabbed in the back by his friend who put a curse on him) Sad, sad times.
The organisers of this LAN are a really great and approachable bunch of guys, they’ll help you out whether they’re happy about it or not. Everyone is up for a laugh and the vibe is great. Obviously there is mass consumption of fast food and booze but for a lot of people here this event is a rare break from reality. There are people here from all kinds of backgrounds before you pass judgment on what gamers are like, there are people here from law firms, accountancy places, colleges, warehouses, dustbins, you name it! It just goes to show how wonderfully universal computer gaming has become.
It’s a great weekend and it’s going to be over all too soon. At least tonight is pizza night! Bring it on!
Dukeofearl for The Shonk
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