LAN got pwnd
Tuesday May 25, 2010
Like an Amiga, LAN gaming is on the brink of extinction. Most Multiplayable PC games of today require an internet connection to run. The masses that play Modern Warfare 2, or any title via Steam, are aware of this. So what’s the problem? Buy broadband, chillax.
Titles such as StarCraft and Counter-Strike continue to exist on LAN gamers’ hard drives because their low system requirements enable LAN gamers to set up quick and easy matches—less fuss, more fun (check out my essential five). Both of these original games cater for the internet and local area networks. With the commercialisation of Counter-Strike and the sequelisation of StarCraft, notice how the option to ‘LAN’ has disappeared?
The ‘LAN generation’ are adapting to the online scene out of necessity to enjoy new releases. For some, the transition from direct cable to modem has been beneficial in that they can play from home and enjoy the benefits of a global community without leaving the house/dungeon. For others, however, a social pastime is ceasing to exist as a result.
The process of hard-wiring PCs together via a switch or router is something of a tradition among LAN gamers. No internet, no subscriptions just meandering wires and a lot of noise. Screaming ‘stop n00b tubing’ to the laughing sod behind you makes multiplayer gaming a better social experience—at least until someone reaches for that totally legal rubber band gun and exacts their vengeance.
DRM (digital rights management) is probably the biggest driving force in killing the ‘LAN’ option. The online restrictions imposed by Command & Conquer 4, for example, hamper the game’s longevity and flexibility that its predecessors possessed.
So the next time you log into the StarCraft 2 beta or wait for your FPS of choice to load (like AVP), consider how your gaming experience has changed.