The one thing that I have noticed about every LAN party I have ever been to is that there are a few unavoidable hitches you always run into. For one thing, it takes about twice as long as you would guess for everything to get set up, but that is to be expected when you are co-coordinating a dozen finicky objects, and their computers. The truly amusing part is that there are certain types of people who are at every one, going through their own personal struggles with getting game on. These aren’t so much concrete parts of peoples’ personalities; instead they are the roles that seemingly must be assumed in order for a LAN party to be truly complete. I present to you, my list of LAN Party Lurkers.
The Invisible Man:
This guy can’t see anyone on the network. Maybe someone else can find him, maybe not. Sometimes he is the victim of faulty hardware, but more often he is a victim of his own stubborn nature, refusing to configure all the settings he was told to change. More often than not, he hasn’t even plugged himself into the hub yet. Characteristics: Asks everyone in the room to see if they can find his computer on the network. Will consult registry settings, star charts, and tealeaves, and everyone else’s configuration prior to checking to see if all the cables are plugged in.
Since this guy purchased his computer a year and a half ago, he has managed to get by without downloading one patch for any of his games, or any updated drivers for his devices. He has never even heard of Windows Update. While the effects of running Tribes 2 on Nvidia 1.3 reference drivers are amusing, and a little trippy, one wonders how he plays any games released since the Reagan Administration on such an outdated set-up. Characteristics: A variety of visual errors, random crashing. (Note, this particular lurker always owns a broadband connection, destroying the only valid excuse for not keeping a machine current.)
Red-Beard and Peg-Leg:
These two guys each have several Gigabyte collections of mp3’s/pr0n/warez/movies, and proceed to consume all the network’s bandwidth by sharing and transferring these treasures between each other. Characteristics: On any network through anything less than a switch, everyone’s pings approach the high 400’s. Do not take any files from them that have not been thoroughly scanned.
For whatever reason, this guy needs to re-install Windows. Perhaps he was a victim of a Serially Transferable Disease from a bad porn viewer from the pirates. Maybe he was trying out a beta of XP, or even had Real Player installed. No one can ever predict these things, they just happen. Characteristics: Spends most of the night watching progress meters and installing everything else on top. Under no circumstances will he possess a valid product key for his particular version of Windows.
This guy’s machine was cutting edge, but its not 1998 anymore, and the system requirements have changed. You know you are in bad shape if you are grateful for a loaner TNT card. Characteristics: Grateful for anything that can help him increase his frame-rate or resolution. After LAN party has overwhelming urge to buy a new machine.
How anyone comes to a LAN party without bringing a computer, I don’t know. Nevertheless, he is here, and needs help if he is going to enjoy himself. However, in a large enough groups there is usually someone extreme enough to bring two computers, just in case. Characteristics: Needs to learn all games from scratch. Has no concept of mouse look, or any knowledge of the games.
He claims he forgot his headphones, but we all know he won’t play without his sub-woofer. Characteristics: Every sound in every game can be heard from his direction louder than anyone’s headphones will allow.
Everyone else has progressed onto 3 more games since that last round of CS, yet he is running around in circles wondering where everyone is hiding. Characteristics: Usually positioned in such a way that he cannot see anyone. His headphones blot out all outside sound, except for the Audiophile’s.
Upon dying, missing a power up, missing a single shot, getting hit with a shot, hearing any sound or thinking of kittens, Mister Angry will put his hands under the desk and launch it into orbit around Neptune. Headphones can often be found embedded 4 feet into walls. He then proceeds to blame his every shortcoming on every other member of his team, his computer, economic conditions in Bolivia and Orville Redenbacher. Characteristics: Every piece of computer equipment is held together by duct tape. Has not blinked in 10 years. Veins on forehead large enough to ski down.
Sailor with Tourettes:
From arriving until leaving, utters one long stream of profanity that would make T_S_M blush. Often hilarious due to the creation of new insults in his ramblings. Is often mistaken as a Mister Angry, but the complete lack of any physical action is a revealing factor. Characteristics: Short hair, most likely drives an import, often riced. Is probably good at the game being played, and thinks this entitles him to shout profanity at the top of his lungs for 20 hours straight.
The B.O. King:
While being an introvert isn't a bad thing, His Highness has forgotten that not bathing IS. A Pigpenesque trail of dust, debris and hobos follows in his wake. Can often be smelled 5 blocks down the road. Characteristics: Indeterminate race, age or sex. Has magical power to repel anyone sitting nearby.
Sir Smoke A Lot:
Suggests everyone stop playing to go smoke a phat blunt every 15 minutes. After smoking, returns to complain about being to high to play, and goes to sleep (or smokes some more).
Mac user whose friends are going to the LAN but doesn't have a PC:
Mac user's friends are all LAN party patrons with PC's. Since he has no other friends, he must hang out at the LAN party but alas, without a PC. In order to fit this description, he must look over your shoulder and watch you play counterstrike as he delves out witticisms and Macintosh comparisons. Frequently asks to play; however is not familiar with the "PC" interface, and insults your computer after dying a few times.
Will come to party with his full tower and noisy water-cooling system. Spends most of their time browsing HardOCP and SharkyExtreme. Has the latest and greatest hardware, brags about their frame rate, yet is surprisingly bad at every game. May come to LAN party with only Linux installed.
This intriguing individual goes through the trouble of moving all their computer equipment (including their surround sound speakers) to a LAN party and all they do is watch DVDs. They also lose points for only watching stupid (usually war or Wild Things-esque titty) movies and anime.
This lowlife motherfucker only uses the cheapest guns in every game. They also have a Rainman like knowledge of every cheap camping spot in every level of every FPS. Their first mistake is using the AWP in the same room as me and their second is not saying their prayers before I strangle their worthless soul right out of their body.
Mr. One Game:
Has a huge collection of games, but claims to have beaten them all and that they all suck. He refuses to play anything but one certain game (usually CS). And will resort to playing by himself while the rest of the people play another game, thus defeating the entire premise behind a LAN party.
Mr. Small Bladder:
Gets up every 15 fucking minutes for a piss break. Goddamn this guy's got a bladder the size of a peanut.
Shows up at the LAN party with his computer and then has no clue what to do. "How do I plug in my keyboard?" "How do I connect to the LAN?" etc. Mr. N00b is your classic computer illiterate and many of the other lurkers must spend half the night setting him up.
Comes to the party with a half-built or outdated system and a bag of hardware he bought at the local Fry's 5 minutes ago. The rest of his night is spent trying to figure out why the machine won't POST.
Forgets to bring random small parts of his system like his own fucking power strip, monitor cable or a CAT5 cable. Goes around in circles asking people if he can borrow a mouse pad or whatever he didn't bring this time.
Mr. Where's My Goddamn CD:
Near the end of the LAN party Mr. Where's My Goddamn CD rounds up his CDs that people had been copying, to find one missing. Spends the rest of his time there asking people where his CD is, and accusing people of stealing it, only to find it under his mouse pad or behind some empty cans of Mountain Dew as he packs up his system.
Mr. Stinky (a.k.a The Blob):
Mr. Stinky will often be relegated to the far corner of the room so as to offend as few people as possible. This creature shuns any form of personal hygiene and will often bring its own colostomy bag so that it can remain seated throughout the entire course of a 3 day LAN party. Mr. Stinky creates a permanent wall of noxious odors emanating from his armpits, mouth and ass, which surrounds him in a 6ft. radius. Players must make a successful roll against their olfactory senses, at 1/2 penalty, in order to move through the zone of stink. All players failing their rolls will begin to vomit violently and will most likely have to burn their clothes in order to rid them of the stench.
The Mighty Stephen Hawking:
He's the only one of your group that will tolerate all questions asked, no matter how stupid, and is occasionally asked for hardware and software advice because at one point he worked with computers. This has inflated his ego to the point that he thinks he can comment on every aspect of computing, believing himself to be the alpha and omega of all computer knowledge, so between games he chats about the geometry of his neighbors case being inadequate for the power user, and how he was able to improve the benchmark tests of his PC by over clocking his RAM. Then he tells everyone how much they need to upgrade to XP and dual boot with Slackware, because while XP offers the network usability he has so craved, he still finds it easiest to run servers in Linux. After that he makes sure to tell everyone when Athlon is planning to release their next generation processors, and how they pay for themselves by saving the time you wait for things to load. Then he extols the virtues of a good firewall, as there are many holes in your security. He then goes home and cries himself to sleep because nobody likes him and the only reason he was invited in the first place is because he the only one who has a hub with enough ports.
His mouse pad probably cost more than your entire rig. He has perfected every single obscure move in the one game that he spends all his time on; be it combined grenade-and-rocket-jumping in TFC, crashing into tiny remote turrets with a shrike in Tribes 2, or killing the entire team with only the knife in CS. This guy has a config file that's longer than the bible, and his game is tweaked beyond perfection. Even though he has the fastest computer on the entire LAN, his visual settings are all set to a minimum, in order to get two more FPS. Sadly, he sucks at every game other than the one that he specialized in.
The Dynamic Duo:
These two guys never, ever get separated. They demand that they're on one team in each and every game that's being played, even if it isn't a team game. Have the annoying habit of using the same model in DM games in order to avoid shooting each other.
While everyone else is playing Counterstrike, Q3 or UT, this guy tries to get others to play games that they never heard about. Action HL, Codename: Eagle and Battlezone 2 are apparently god's gift to gamers, and must be played and adored by every attendant of the LAN party. If everyone's lucky, there will be multiple exot's on a LAN, because then they'll hole up in a corner and stop bothering everyone because they are too busy playing unknown games and feeling 3l33t.
The Strategy buff:
This guy plays strategy games. You know, not the kind of strategy game like "Starcraft" or "Command & Conquer". He frowns upon these. His strategy games contain words like "General" "Panzer" or "Elite" in the title, are round-based, and come with a manual that weighs more than most people's computers. He spends most of the LAN party trying to get others to try Panzer Elite fighting simulator V2.0, with limited success.
Two friends no one else knows who come, have a few 100 gigs of warez/porn etc, yet they don't share anything, have the latest 3D card and a over clocked Athlon and yet they don't play anything. No one knows what the hell they are doing there.
Stranger In A Strange Land:
SIASL's(pronounced sai-ass-els) will join in a game going on and show a modicum of skill at it. However, upon obtaining the flag, bomb or hostage, said person will then take it on a five week tour of the entire goddamn map. Tribes 2 versions will often grab the flag and proceed to ski into a lake 20 kliks away, dry humping a piece of terrain that vaguely resembles Jacques Cousteau. Characteristics: Believes his false claim of "Dude, I was in the base the whole time, why didn't you return OUR flag?" will keep him from being beaten down. Often gets lost between the toilet and the sink and will shout for help from the bathroom.
Brings the latest, most expensive possible computer from Alienware.com, and shows it off, including the "Saucer Silver" monitor which randomly shoots laser beams around to make it look cooler, and his designer "Martian Red" case with the pulse glowing bright green alien head on it, to prove how hardcore it is. He'll brag about the fact that he spent 6 or 7 grand on it, and others will criticize him for spending a ridiculous amount on a flashy designer computer that would cost half as much if you bought it anywhere else, when deep down inside, you know you want one too. Characteristics: Refers to everything as specifically as possible, for example he won't say "my hard drive", he'll say "my 1.3TB Hard Drive", and say "My GeForce 3 Deluxe" rather than simply "My video card". He's the computer equivalent of a Riceboy.
Everything, literally EVERYTHING is "gay" to him. Someone shoots him: "That's so gay." He dies: "GAY!!!" Someone grabs the flag before he does: "OMG YOU FAG!!!" The worst is when something actually particularly lame happens to him, like he has the flag and is just about to return it, but gets lag a split second before and then gets sniped during that time, so the win doesn't register: "OH MY GOD... THAT WAS SO...FUCKING...GAY!!!!!!!!!" Then will rant incessantly on how incredible gay what just happened was. Characteristics: Everything is gay to him. You're gay, your computer is gay, the network is gay, the game is gay, and everything that happens in the game is utterly, horribly gay.
The Finally Got A Girlfriend:
Brings his girlfriend to the LAN party. Doesn't have a computer for her, he just wants her around so the other geeks will presumably hail him as a god/look upon him jealously. Unfortunately the rest of the geeks see through the charade and mock him behind his back. Characteristics: 90% of this persons deaths are due to being distracted by her whining about leaving. Will probably show up to next LAN party single again.
The Dream Crusher:
She enjoys Counter-Strike, Q3A, C&C:RA, Starcraft, Diablo, AOE II, UT, Anime, Action Movies, Star Trek, Star Wars. Is a math major, has a kickass computer, has no boyfriend and is really smart, funny and cute. Characteristics: Is a Lesbian. Fly away, nerd.
He will position his computer to get the best vantage point of everyone else’s computers. If ever looked at by someone else, he usually darts his head back to his own monitor to avoid being called a GAY FAGGITY CHEATER MCFAGMAN.
The guy who brings his own microwave or water heater or whatever and as soon as he plugs it in it will kill the power for the whole place (where he later in the darkness is very quick about hiding the machinery.
This guy always gets on my nerves, he is using every abbreviation and leet speak word irl, and would during gameplay randomly shout out stuff like "rotflol" and "ffs"
The CPL God:
The inevitable one guy who shows up at every LAN party, who obviously spends 24/7 playing these types of games, because he knows the exact curvature of the surface in Tribes to keep him going while never running out of jetpack, he knows every map in Quake by heart and knows how to get from his base to yours and back in 15 seconds or less, without being seen and without taking any damage. He also knows the exact spawn time and location of every weapon and item on the board. In CS, if he's a counter-terrorist, he knows the location of each hostage and the most efficient way to rescue them, or knows all the entry points for the opposing team if he's a terrorist. Characteristics: BINK BINK. You will die within 10 seconds of starting the fight. He will kill everyone on your team systematically. You'll look at the score and his score will at LEAST triple the closest person to him.
THE PORN KING:
Leeches porn all night long. Has monitor turned away from everyone. Often very quiet. After sitting for over 3 hours he "has to go to piss" for 15 minutes. Plays one or two games, then back to pron.
Shows up and manages to give Nimda to half the room, and slows the other half to a crawl with traffic from same. Characteristics: Has at least one drive completely shared, no firewall or anti-virus software. Disregards all advice to get the aforementioned. Reacts with complete surprise when he's told what he's caused, and even more when he's beaten and hung from the rafters with spare extension cords.
The clan usually consists of 3 or more hardcore clan players who exist for the sole purpose of playing their game of choice, usually CS. They have roger wilco running at all times, and have secret codes in place for all their schemes. They will probably not talk to you, as you might try to steal their tactics.
The [H]ardcase will show up to a LAN with a ridiculously modded case, and then proceed to bore everyone to death with his long-winded recitations of his system specs and various case mods. He will usually not play many games, preferring instead to tweak the voltage going into the cold cathode light that is backlighting his case's built in icemaker/espresso machine/vibrator mod.
The Little Shit:
How can we forget this character? He's the homeowner's little brother. ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY must play CS, even though the ENTIRE room has already played it for 10 straight hours and has moved on. Will bitch, whine, complain, moan, groan, cry, annoy, pester, hump you, tug your shirt for you to play CS with him, and then rinse and repeat about how you're raping him NOS-FUNNEY style. Of course, the _one_ lucky frag he gets he'll CROW with ecstasy, and call you names and remind you for the rest of the party how you suck and how he killed you in such a cool way and remember how he got that COOL COOL COOL kill on YOU??? When the parents come to take him away, he will (all together now) bitch, whine, complain, et cetera, et cetera, causing the entire room to wait for him to be dragged away. Be careful; they usually travel in herds.
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