Does anyone still remember LAN parties? For all those who have no clue what this is about: It’s about a party, privately or officially organized, where gaming fans meet, bring their computers, connect to a local network (LAN stands for Local Area Network) and get going – sometimes for hours, often for days. It’s less about competition and more about the fun of gaming. Whether strategy, tactics or shooter games: Everything is allowed that is fun in multiplayer. While the first LAN parties were held in the late 80s, the heyday was in the 90s with games like Warcraft II, Command and Conquer, Counter Strike or various car racing games.
But back to the present, to answer the question in the headline: Yes, they still exist. Especially in Germany, LAN parties are still popular and are often held several times a month across the country. Dreamhack, Germany’s largest LAN event, is held annually in Leipzig over a three-day period and started in Sweden in 2004 before coming to Germany and regularly attracting thousands of participants to the trade fair city. This year, however, the motto was “Back to the Roots,” as the event only took place virtually within the confines of one’s own four walls, something the online gaming community was very sad about. The real-life exchange about the common passion, the meeting of old acquaintances simply was missing.
And what is played nowadays: still classics like Counter Strike, Warcraft 3, Age of Empires 2, Unreal Tournament 2004, but also newer games like TrackMania, Minecraft, 7 Days to Die, Ark: Survival Evolved or Warsow.
In principle, everything is just like in the 90s. Only instead of giant PCs, there are gaming notebooks and instead of CRT monitors, there are now HD displays, but the right ingredients for a successful LAN party are the same, whether as a large event or privately in the living room: lots of fun with friends, good games and a lot of drinks and snacks.