I was prompted to write this piece, after reading Pappy-R’s article, From the Hardcore Side: Running a LAN event and being fortunate to attend Beatdown XXI: Sicko de Mayo this past weekend. Give it a read and see if you are not shaking your head in agreement by the end.
After reading all the reviews and hearing about all the fragging, I finally drove my ass south to Costa Mesa, California, home of the “big fuzzy,” PlanetQuake, for Beatdown XXI: Sicko de Mayo. I was not on the guest list to show off my mad skillz, I was there for a higher purpose. This was to be my first Beatdown experience, I would be a virgin no more. As I walked into the old PlanetQuake offices, I did my best American Express one-liner, “Do you know me?” After a few puzzled looks, I was greeted with a smile and hug from PlanetQuake Forums Diva, Cobby and Tech Writer, Love2Play. Both of whom, I knew from the PlanetQuake Forums, but had never met. After exchanging pleasantries, I went in search of fellow Netzwerk Terror Clannies, Dr Frag, a Beatdown regular, Dark Angel, Beatdown XX One-on-One Winner and HuDsoN. NT representing. Rock!
Dr Frag gave me the “grand tour” of the the old PQ offices and pointed out those in charge, like Bastard, Fargo and Tetsuo just to name a few, whom we all own thanks to for continuing to host these events. It was not long after I arrived, that the opening ceremonies commenced, with Bastard outlining the festivities over a bullhorn, and random chants of, “Viva La Beatdown!” Some of the scheduled events included the One-on-One Quake 3 Tournament, the 10,000 Frag Event, Counter-Strike Team Tournament, body shots and an early morning Denny’s run, just to name a few. Sicko De Mayo was tattooed, “old school” since it was only a 26+-hour event and not the weekend long fragfest most attendees are accustomed to.
Most of my time was spent near the check-in table with Cobby, wearing a name tag reading, “I am Cobby’s little bitch [pronounced bi-yach].” Who slapped that name tag on me anyway? Beatdown is not strictly about gaming, it is also about just hanging out, drinking yourself into an oblivion and having a good time. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the entire event, although I did witness some mad skillz as the One-on-One Quake 3 Tournament began, with Dark Angel beginning where he left off from last Beatdown.
It was definitely an experience, one which I look forward to again in the coming months. Beatdown is not unlike the weekly LAN I attend locally in Southern California. After playing with Netzwerk Terror for almost a year and a half, it has become like a religious experience. Devoted gamers gather every Saturday afternoon to begin the 16-hour marathon, in search of a good gaming, good warez and good alcohol! All of which are fulfilled on a weekly basis. While the NT LAN is limited to 18 gamers, due to space, the fragging is always frenzied. NT host and hostess, dEucE and MiMiMeister seem to have perfected the “art of LAN” over the course of a few years, while attracting a core group of skilled gamers who rarely miss a Saturday of gaming.
Like Bastard’s Beatdown, the mainstay of Netzwerk Terror is Quake 3: Arena. Each month, we hold the NT Quake 3 One-on-One Tournament, in which the winning fragger gets a one-of-a-kind NT Tourney sticker based on the tournament theme, courtesy of OverKill. In between tourney night, gaming is brought to life with multi-colored railgun trails from Instagib and the bedroom team trying to put the smack down on the living room team in Capture the Flag. On occasions, we “kick it old school” and go retro with Quake 2 mods such as Action Quake 2, Rocket Arena 2, and Qpong.
What makes a LAN such an experience? Is it the interaction with other gamers? The non-existent ping? The pr0n? It’s really a combination of factors, which brings out unique characteristics of a LAN, while the underlying theme is the same. Long hours of uninterrupted gaming and good friends are two characteristics, which makes any LAN a success. If you have never had the opportunity to attend a LAN in your area, or make it to SoCal to “experience” a Beatdown, then you do not know what you are missing. You definitely need to get off that ass of yours and find a LAN near you. You will find it difficult to go back to gaming over the Internet. Especially if you are like me and relegated to use an archaic 56k modem.
As for Beatdown XXI, it raged on through the early hours and well into Saturday. Next time, I will be able to take in the entire Beatdown “experience,” in what has become known as the, “Mother of all LANs.” I met many skilled gamers and friendly staff members from GameSpy Industries. I just wanted to give a big “thank you” to people like Bastard and dEucE for continuing to arrange and host these LAN parties we have all grown to enjoy.
Long live LAN!