Do you remember when computers would be hooked up to Ethernet cables, or even serial cables?!
Thanks for joining us for another episode of Nerdy by Nature.
In this episode, we take you back to 1994. The internet is in its infancy and not capable of much (certainly not multi-player gaming like today). If you haven’t already guessed, on today’s show we talk about LAN (local area network) parties. I remember the first time I saw what a LAN party was, my friend Mike invited me over to his cousin’s place for an afternoon to see what he had been up to. What I didn’t realize is that he and the others had been up all night playing Quake.
Do LAN parties even still happen today? Thanks to the internet and advancements in games they do, but in a much larger scale and online. Some game companies, like EA Sports, run huge LAN competitions that are held in auditoriums filed with desktop computers or gaming systems. While multi-player gaming is all the rave these days, there are still a select number of gamers who still enjoy having friends over for a gaming marathon.
Inspired by LAN parties, I set out to make that happen for the rest of the Nerdy by Nature crew, and hosted a game night for us.
The setup was fairly simple. Using a laptop and two older desktops, all connected to 4-port router. Then using the DOS BOX program I loaded up some of those old school greats that made LAN parties legend. I used my laptop as the ‘server’ and the other two desktops as ‘clients’ using IPX NET which was included in each of the game packs.
We first played Doom II. Wow! Such a classic FPS! With three players, it was amazing. I had spent many hours playing this by myself but with two others; amazing. Working together to kill off the monsters, collecting keys, and completing levels, there was no stopping us. I have to admit, there was a bit of a learning curve in identifying each other, but we got our groove.
The next game that we tried was “Rise of the Triad”, but for some reason it was choppy, and didn’t play properly. So we switched up to a flight simulator shooter called “Terminal Velocity”. The 3D graphics were pretty decent for the time and didn’t experience any lag. The combat arena was huge, and you had the option of flying below or above the clouds which can be a big game changer when trying to sneak up on other players. I think we all found out that flying was not our thing but fun nonetheless.
Lastly, “Grand Theft Auto”. This one was a real treat. You walk around in a downtown, jack cars and drive creating mayhem in the streets. All while trying to track each other down to be taken out. At one point I was shot at, run over and blown up by Elijah. There is so much to this game, yet we only scratched the surface in the hour. I would definitely try this one again, now that I have a handle on the game play.
It was a good night for sure, the community, the friendship, and the competition all in one room. Wow. We hope you enjoyed listening to our show, and if anything sparked some new found interest in running or being a part of a LAN party. Get out there and play some games that made gaming fun as a group or maybe just kick it old school with some of these classics that started it all.
LAN on, geeks and nerds!