The LAN parties I'm talking about are not about taking the XBox 360 and hooking up to someone's home network and playing side by side, which you could do. This more about the computer gaming side, using PCs. It's still very much active and alive. QuakeCon is still a big event and StarCraft tournaments in South Korea are like the NFL, NBA and Baseball all rolled into one over there. With players of those gamers getting rock star treatment. If you want to just experience the fun locally, here's how.

Back in the mid 90's, when I was working Tech Support for a local ISP, to unwind from the calls of people's coffee cup trays (CD-Rom tray) breaking off, or their foot pedal not working (mouse), my friends and I all unwound with some multi-player games like Quake 2 and Starcraft. We would build a small network and would have a LAN party.

It was pretty simple to do. Just get a hub and have everyone hook into it with a network cable, and designate one machine as the server. Then we would all log in to the server and play. Those early games like are still very playable to me, but even modern ones that have local LAN play are still pretty fun when you get a group of friends to play together. There are even organized LAN parties still out there.

Exile Computer Gaming is a local group that organizes computer LAN parties. According to their website, they get about 50 people on average at parties that they host every 4 to 6 months. They welcome not only the hard core gamer, but the n00b, as well as the weekend warrior like me. Perfect for those of us that have to take care of real life and are not as skilled at the art of fragging like some. I'm still pretty low on the tiers on QuakeLive myself.

Their Facebook page also has pictures of past events as well as post from members of the group who are selling computer parts and info on new sponsors who have been added to the upcoming event. If you're a gamer looking for something new, check these guys out. I can say from experience that a LAN party is a lot of fun, and it's also a great way to meet other people. I have known about these guys for a while but was just never able to get to one of their events, because i lived up in Gloversville at the time. Now that I'm down here, I may be tossing together a little gaming machine and joining one of these parties myself. Maybe I'll see you there.

If have been to one of Exile's events, let me know what you think.