You will need to provide every gamer attending the LAN party a good amount of space. While PC LANs do eat up a bit more space than console gaming parties, you can count on each gamer requiring a five by five foot square of space. This allows for the necessary seating and storage space as well as tabletop space for PC deployments, or for playing area for console gaming. Garages are fine if you’re planning a small eight person LAN, but generally you’ll be looking for something a bit larger. Town halls, community centers, etc. are ideal. Do a rough calculation for the square footage of the floor, and divide by the number of planned attendants do see if your square footage meets minimum demands. Providing sufficient space is always a good idea, as extended game-play in tight quarters can really deter from the events overall quality. In terms of table area, most efficient setups allow for gamers on parallel sides of long tables. Think rows of lunch tables from elementary school!
Depending on the number of gamers you have in attendance, you will want to check with the owner of the event area to ensure that the power grid can support the power demands of so many computers, monitors, TVs, consoles, etc. LAN parties consume massive amounts of electricity, which is why you ought to safeguard against potentially blown fuses. As a rule, I restrict three computers per socket. Be prepared to compensate the hall owner for electricity as well.
This is the most important part of a LAN party: the Local Area Connection! While your PCs and consoles might be great for single player, they’re no use at a LAN unless they’re linked up. While your average router can supply you a networking solution for four computers, you might require something a little more extensive depending on the amount of people you have coming. While most routers have only four ports, larger switches have expansions between eight and sixty four Ethernet ports. Renting a piece of networking hardware like larger switch might prove worthwhile. I opted for a refurbished Cisco switch so I have something on-hand, but if your LANs are planned infrequently, then a weekend long rental would prove more cost effective. There you have it, the basic logistics necessary to get your LAN party off the ground! Thanks for reading and happy gaming!
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