In the olden days, before the rise of high-speed Internet, LAN parties were the best way to bring PC gamers together. Now, as gamers tire of being cursed out by foul-mouthed 12-year-olds, LAN parties are making a comeback. Fighting for glory and prizes, they come together under the same roof, often for days at a stretch.
Last month, hundreds of gamers converged on the wired cavern of Baselan 26 in Winnipeg for the thrill of digital competition. Amidst tournaments including StarCraft 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Minecraft “hunger games,” and a retro Super Smash Bros. throwdown, players also reached into tech demos like the Oculus Rift and Leap Motion Controller.
Naturally, things quickly became competitive, with players vying for supremacy in Vitrun Air – a time-driven platformer that lets you pilot a sphere past obstacles and enemies:
Organized by AYBOnline, one of the largest gaming organizations in Canada, BaseLAN brings together gamers from across the country. Recently, we caught up with the organizers to find out how it went.
For a large-scale LAN party, Vitrun Air’s simplicity was its strength. While many games in the App Store involve complex goals or unique gameplay mechanics, Vitrun Air riffs on a classic format – getting a ball across a platform to reach an objective. It’s a race against time.
“Once people played around for a few minutes, they were challenging each other to see who could beat the same level faster,” says Aaron Kostuik, one of the event organizers. The atmosphere completely opened up – cheering each other, laughing at missteps, or just goofing around in general.”
“With the Leap Motion Controller, they could not only beat their opponent on a computer-based level, but intriguingly, on a physical level as well.” Aaron anticipates future events where 3D interaction could be combined with virtual reality or multiplayer competitions with driving sims or first-person shooters. In fact, AYBOnline has a lot to look forward to – their next BaseLAN event will be taking place at Central Canada Comic Con, which attracts over 40,000 people each year.
Do you have any fond memories of LAN partying? Which games would you take into one – the multiplayer base-capturing Volantes, anarchic wall-smasher Boom Ball, or something else altogether? If you’re playing Leap Motion games at a party, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Facebook and Twitter.
Update 9/12/2014: The Airspace Store is now simply called the Leap Motion App Store.