Joined: Jun 04, 2003 Posts: 57 Location: Santa Rosa
Posted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:29 pm Post subject: My midterm paper
I received an A for this midterm report - enjoy...
The magazine was depleted; I fired off my last shot and repeatedly bashed down the ?End? key in a fruitless attempt to reload my gun faster. I then saw my opponent throw something at me and knew intuitively it was a grenade. Responding quickly, I began a feverish pounding of my ?Up-Arrow? key which allowed me to run from the inevitable blast that was going to kill me; however, it was too late and the grenade detonated under my feet sending me sailing through the air as my gun completed its reload. Before hitting the ground, and with only minimal health points left, I fired my gun and killed my opponent just moments before dying myself. Thrusting back from my computer screen, with lightening reflex the mega-phone was in my hand and in between the fits of laughter I cried out ?Take that monkey boy?. What followed was a room full of friends laughing, screaming, and clapping with the excitement of a very close round.
Much of today's computer games can be played on the Internet against other players which includes the ever-growing LAN (Local Area Network) party gaming groups. LAN party gaming groups are computer gamers toting their computers to someone's house and hooking up to a network and playing against one another. LAN parties could be called ?the sporting event of computer gaming?; close interaction and good sportsmanship between gamers is commonplace. Hosting LAN parties can result in hours of entertainment for yourself and your gaming friends.
My days of multiplayer gaming began by playing a game called Duke Nukem against a co-worker during our lunch hour and grew into a collection of additional friends gathering in my garage on weekends. Due to underdevelopment of game designs during this early age of multiplayer gaming, setup and configuration was difficult, but as computers advanced so did the multiplayer portion. Within a couple of years we purchased the Internet domain name www.fragster.com and developed a web site advertising our LAN party gaming group.
A typical LAN party event starts a month in advance by using the web site to post dates and allow online sign ups. Within a few days of the LAN party I purchase the required beverages, munchies, and pizza, followed by configuring the garage with tables, servers, and a network. The event generally starts at noon with all the gamers present by 4p.m. and each contributes $10 for the cost of food. Although I can not recall ever breaking even with all the expenses, I consider the loss part of my fair share of the fun. The game tournaments begin at 7p.m. when we divide the garage into teams and compete against one another for small prizes such as a bag of potato chips, and although the prize itself may not be of high value, it is the recognition of being the winner that carries the value. My greatest satisfaction comes from knowing that everyone is enjoying themselves ? including me. This is especially true given that our party event involves no drugs or alcohol, just highly caffeinated drinks, food, and lots of friends gaming to sounds of laughter and applauding throughout the LAN party. I always holster a mega-phone for announcing the rules and winners of tournaments, including special recognition for players (good or bad), and although they have never stripped me of my mega-phone, they have threatened to ban me from future events if I didn?t stop talking in it. A recent fun tradition has been the midnight run to Krispy Kreme doughnuts and brewing up coffee for an energy blast that will keep us going until dawn. Although we play a scheduled list of agreed upon games, we change to playing a variation of games around 3 a.m. after a few players call it a night. By 9 a.m. the painful wrists, fatigue, sleep deprivation, and my wife usually force the closure of the LAN party. Everyone shares stories while contributing to get the garage back in order.
In contrast to that successful party, which is typical of a Lan party, the worst event I ever hosted was a couple of years ago when the gaming group grew to 74 members. It was the only major LAN party we held in a clubhouse at Sonoma State University. My co-worker who was to help in the hosting of the LAN party ended up at the hospital with his wife giving birth to a baby boy. In addition to that loss a breaker tripped that supplied power to my various servers and fatally damaged the hard drive for the Internet gateway server. For the remainder of that LAN party I found myself consumed with having to singularly administer computers, host for attendees, organize tournaments, and give away prizes. Because of the large turnout, I was left with very little time to play in the games everyone else was enjoying.
Configuring a network is relatively easy for a savvy gamer and with a minor amount of advertising, as well as keeping the event small, anyone can host a great LAN party. These parties provide close interaction for developing new friendships, laughter, shared stories, tasty food, and many hours of good, clean, gaming entertainment for everyone involved.
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