Stan’s LAN Guide 2009

Hi, Stan here, your friendly neighborhood community manager!

In a few short hours, I’ll be flying up to Portland, Oregon for PDXLAN 14. Even if you live in your parent’s basement, you still have no excuse for not knowing about one of the best LAN events in North America. Check back next week for a full write-up of my weekend. In the meantime, enjoy my little guide on how to enjoy LAN parties.

– If you can drive to a LAN, bringing a PC is no problem. Be smart and get some of those case/monitor straps to help carry your rig (we personally love the Gear Grip stuff). We all know someone who’s accidentally dropped something important and valuable. Don’t be that guy.

– Now if you’re hardcore and you fly to LANs, you probably have the budget for it. Don’t go through the pain-in-the-ass process of breaking down your PC and shipping it. Either build a Shuttle or go for a solid gaming laptop. A good choice is something from the ASUS line of gaming notebooks, like mine which has been working great for almost a year now.

– We all know the little things you have to bring to a LAN, like power strips, ethernet cables, headsets (like an Astro A40!), etc. Want to be the cool guy? Bring some extra cables or power strips because someone ALWAYS forgets something.

– GO TO SLEEP. Blasphemy! This goes against everything LAN parties are all about, right? Look, staying up all night hyped up on caffeine will probably make you feel awful and play even worse. PDXLAN shuts down each night at 4AM and the next day; the attendees are much more awake and actually game MORE — and that’s what you came to do.

– To avoid the dreaded ‘nerd flu’ (general sickness that hits after any gaming/comic/anime event), be smart: wash your hands, get some sleep, drink OJ or take vitamin C.

– Don’t smell bad. If you go to a LAN, bring deodorant and actually use it. Don’t do the AXE thing either because you’re just replacing one obnoxious scent with another. Remember this simple formula: shower + clean clothing + deodorant = happy LAN neighbors.

– Take a break and grab a bite to eat with some friends. Some of my best memories at LANs were getting lost trying to find a Safeway and getting pulled over in the process.

– Be social. Introduce yourself to people in your row. You never know who you’ll meet. Even that weird guy at the end of the row in the bunny costume could have that Torx screwdriver or copy of Starcraft you needed.

– Lastly, if you see a girl at a LAN, remember that there is a 99.9999999999999% chance she has a boyfriend… who will be sitting next to her. Even if she’s single, avoid hovering over her (with three other guys) while she’s gaming. You’re not exactly establishing yourself as datable. LAN parties are not a place to meet women, so if a girl approaches you — bonus!

As I pack up my stuff in the office and get ready to head out, I hope my little bits of wisdom can make your future LANs more fun. If you have any tips or suggestions, email me at stan@astrogaming.com. I’d absolutely love to hear them!

– Stan