The phenomenon of the BYOC (bring-your-own-computer) LAN party continues to grow and grow, and this fact is reinforced by the news that one of Europe’s largest regular LAN parties, the i-Series, has sold out its latest event in record time.
What started out as a small group of enthusiasts meeting in a village hall has grown to the point where 2000 seats have been sold in 1 month for the 34th i-Series. This is a relief for the organizers, Multiplay.co.uk, who have taken a big gamble for this latest event by moving its location. Until fairly recently, the event has taken place at Newbury racecouse which accomodated 1500 gamers. Now they are moving to Stoneleigh Park, which can seat 2000 gamers and has many more attractions on offer.
Among the extra attractions available are: An on-site hotel and hostel, camping area, cash machines, 4×4 of road driving and paintball. With many gamers choosing to camp in a large camping area the event has the feel of one of the big music festivals, and, just like those festivals, they are attracting some big sponsors who are putting up some big prize money.
The massive success of events like this is further evidence of how gaming is moving into the center of the entertainment industry and hopefully will mean that the image of the geeky gamer twiddling away by himself will be consigned to the past sooner rather than later.
And they even have girls now.