Remember when: It wasn’t uncommon to leave a LAN party feeling exhausted, slightly nauseated or outright sick. It sounds inconvenient and miserable on paper but those that got to experience a genuine LAN party during the golden era remember how magical they truly were.
PC gamers old enough to remember life before the Internet made local multiplayer obsolete likely have fond memories of LAN parties.
Before broadband, competing against your friends meant hauling your computer and monitor to a central location and physically linking everything together over a local area network (LAN). After ironing out all the network issues and getting everyone on the same page software-wise (a process that could take a full day or more), what often ensued was a junk food and caffeine-fueled marathon of gaming where trash talking reigned supreme, screen peeking was frowned upon and the concept of sleep was ridiculed.
(Requisite junk food and soda)
Author Merritt K is hoping to bottle some of that magic in a new book titled LAN Party. At face value, it is a photographic celebration of gaming sessions from yesteryear. Really, it’s a typhoon of nostalgia that not only encompasses late 90s and early 2000s technology, but culture, fashion and even home décor.
The story of one of the most infamous LAN party pictures on the Internet
LAN parties still exist, even on a large scale, but trying to recreate the past is often a lost cause. There was hope early on that virtual reality could revive the spirit of LAN parties but that never really panned out.
LAN Party is seeking funding on Volume, and is already more than halfway home with north of $30,000 in pledges and 35 days to go. Those interested in backing the 167-page hardcover book will need to plunk down a minimum of $40 to secure a copy. Should everything go according to plan, LAN Party will ship in autumn 2022. If the campaign isn’t fully funded by December 15, all pledges will be refunded in full.