“My Big Fat Geek Wedding”
The following is a field report of my own LAN Party, thus laden with Editor’s Asides in brackets [shameless self promotion].
It is at this moment that all [most] is revealed. It is now that a two week hiatus from the proliferation of gamer culture within this forum is explained. The question has been asked:
“Why has XerxdeeJ been Away From Keyboard for so long?”
ANSWER: The benevolent editor of ‘Tied the Leader’ went and committed the Cardinal Sin of The Geeks. I got motherfuckin’ hitched, Yo. To a real live girl. Hell, a Woman even. As a gesture of solidarity to all Fellow Geeks, a bachelor’s sendoff was thrown in LAN Party format. The function served two purposes…
1. Congregate old friends and new friends-listers so they could shoot me in the back. Repeatedly.
2. Broadcast a message that [even within the loving confines of “Holy” Matrimony] this Geek would not go gently into that good night, but rage against the dying of the light. Ya dig?
The idea for this event was provoked by a write-up of a LAN Party hosted by the 2old2play cadre. Enthusiasm for an immediate continuation in the momentum of the LAN Party Movement swelled in the form of comments that resulted in actual attendance. Very quickly, it was decided by the usual LAN Party Conspirators to exploit my impending nuptials as reason enough to fill a Labor Day weekend with as many Geek-friendly activities as possible. To lend an official flair to our cover op, action thaxten was designated Best-Man.
In the weeks prior to the occasion, he circulated communiques to all interested parties in the form of an eVite to an event sardonically entitled “Operation DJ is Not Gay”. Even had I secretly harbored concern over the emotional response such a title could evoke from blog strangers during Supreme Court Justice selections, I was really only half [action would tell you not at all] in control of my own happening at this point.
For this is what you depend upon a Best Man to do.
The eVitees spanned a broad range of profiles – everything from old college buddies to Clan Members known by Gamertag alone. To justify the frequent flier miles being committed by out-of-towners to join the ranks, a planning process to stage a LAN Party had assimilated an entire extended weekend with promises of gaming, various forms of assorted debauchery, a dinner-outing befitting a Groom-To-Be, and even the potential for some harmless trap shooting [frisbees don’t scream after all] at a range with soft membership rules [Hell, even Canadians can do it… We don’t ask!].
On the day prior to the LAN Party, a man known to us only as Wayn0ka [fellow Overlord within the ranks of Clan NWA] arrived in Chicago’s downtown Loop District on the platform of the elevated train via Midway Airport. With a limited constituency of gamers who call Memphis home, the promise of some in-person competitive fragging was enough to put this Halo-phile on an airplane.
As a leap of faith in the Culture of Gaming, here was a stranger who was welcome in my home for no other reason than the fact that he committed enough hours in the Master Chief simulator to maintain a respectable rank in the mid-20s. My fiance, however, was far less than thrilled that an Xbox buddy was to be given room and board in our home.
“How do you know that this person is not crazy?” she had asked.
“Baby, this guy has watched my back a lot of times in fierce combat,” came my reply through an achingly straightened face. “And there is no better way than that to gauge the character of a man…”
“I probably shouldn’t be around for this. Should I?” she inquired. And so it was, that as the storm gathered, the Bride-To-Be was evacuated to an undisclosed location in the interests of safety and plausible deniability.
Now, Waynoka and I were strolling carefully toward each other on the platform as the train rolled on to its next station. Neither of us had seen the other without the Chief’s helmet – and no one wants to be caught asking the question “Are you the guy I play video games with?” to a stranger. It wasn’t until we had almost passed each other that the connection was made with a glance over the shoulder.
Yeah. You’re the guy. Only someone who plays that much HALO would keep a bead on their Six like that.
On the next day, the LAN party ensued. Like a Geekfantry Resupply Regiment, co-Conspirators Fock and action thaxten descended upon my humble abode with televisions, projectors, and yards of Ethernet. Every room [3 in total] that could support the pastime of Xbox System Link was transformed into a gaming station to accommodate four players. In all, we were enabled for 12 gamers to compete simultaneously.
Several waves came and went throughout the day in a haze of smoke and gunfire. Every third or fourth game was a Free For All Challenge Match. Slayer. Map Default [You wanna snipe? Go for a walk and acquire it, camp scout!]. The intent was to shuffle the deck – categorize the attendees of any given moment as n00bs [thanks for showing up fellas], account-holding rank-hounds [you know who you are], and everyone else in between [you been practicing, eh bitch?].
The three leaders of a challenge round were designated as Team Captains in each of the three rooms; lovingly named Red Base, Blue Base, and Green Base. To avoid the cruel scrutiny of playground team selection processes, the next tier of secondary leaders chose their captain. And finally, any n00bs left over were free to sit in wherever they felt most comfortable. From there, the three room captains led their teams in some 3-Way Team Slayer. To spare our more pedestrian guests the frustration of not knowing where to grab the flag or plant the bomb, objective games were kept to a minimum.
The rest of the story is best told in the pictures of those who attended.
That’s enough. Say thankya.