We are amidst the fourth industrial revolution and technology has literally been progressing at the speed of light. What leaves people awestruck today, vanishes without a trace tomorrow. In the words of Clyde Desouza – ‘Technology is not evolving anymore, technology is evolution.’
LAN or Local Area Network gaming or LAN party as it was generally referred to, was a wonderful means of entertainment among the tech savvy youngsters of yesteryears. It drove them crazy as it was an absolutely revolutionary way of enjoying with friends. However, it would not be out of place to say that the once hugely popular LAN gaming is becoming an outdated concept in the contemporary gaming world.
A LAN party is an event where any number of people, preferably at least six, come together with their gaming PCs to play computer games in the same physical space. It is a pretty good way to spend ample time with your buddies, relish games, savour snacks and gossip to your heart’s content. People have been indulging in LAN games such as Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Cod 2, Atomic Bomberman, Blur, Soldat, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, Dungeon Siege II, Red Alert 2, Unreal Tournament 3, Torchlight II, SWAT 4 and FlatOut 2 etc.
Observing people’s physically reaction to every kill or becoming frustrated when you tread ahead of them in the scoreboards, is a real delight. However, with the dawn of multiplayer online games, LAN gaming has gone on the back burner and it is perceived that soon enough, it might fade into oblivion.
It was quite a sought after modern means of entertainment at a time when the speed of internet was very slow, and it was too expensive to afford, or it was actually unavailable at many places. At that time, kids and the youth used to revel in the wonderful thrill that LAN gaming offered. One of them would host a LAN party and make all sorts of required paraphernalia arrangements. The rest would gather at the host’s place bringing along with them their gaming PC’s or consoles and all would play the same game together on individual systems. It used to be a very well-planned event which would continue for long hours – sometimes throughout the night for up to 12-16 hours. It was an amazing feeling to play in the same room.
On one hand, LAN gaming could be an awesome experience with one’s comrades; but on the other hand, it could be an exasperating exercise in the event of computer or any other hardware failure or software installation issues. The last game around that permits a true LAN connection is Counter-Strike: GO, and even that is done by means of console commands. It is quite unlikely that many casual players even know it is an option.
With the advent of online games, reasonably priced affordable smartphones and inexpensive and unlimited high-speed internet, who would prefer to opt for the cumbersome and uphill task of setting up a LAN party? As such, LAN gaming is most likely on the path to becoming a relic from the days of skill-based arena shooters such as Quake and Unreal Tournament.
Hence, it can be said that in all probability, LAN gaming is on the verge of extinction. It is difficult to find games that offer LAN modes, for almost every available multiplayer game on the market offers a progression system that needs a constant connection to the home servers. So even if players gather in the same room to play, they need to loop in their servers and matchmaking services for the game to work.
To put it in simple words, we can say that just like smartphones made dumbphones obsolete, the very same way, the evolution of multiplayer online games has led to the vanishing of LAN gaming. There are umpteen online games that are really convenient and sheer fun to play. There is no need at all for extensive hardware setup. What you require is just a smart gadget and a 3G/4G internet connection. These two have become indispensable in today’s time and almost all and sundry own them or have access to them. This implies that everybody can dive in the exciting online entertainment just anywhere and anytime.
The point is that online games offer all the advantages associated with LAN gaming, sans any of its complexities and drawbacks. The merits of the former are garnering them a universal appeal with individuals of all ages lapping them up. Some examples of these games are 8 Ball Pool, Fortnite, League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Overwatch, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, Rainbow Six Siege, Arma 3, Titanfall 2, Unreal Tournament, Rocket League, Diablo 3, Overcooked, Towerfall Ascension and Worms etc.
Besides the above-mentioned online games, there is another highly engaging genre of online games – that of online card games. As an instance, we have rummy online – the tech savvy avatar of rummy, a traditional game of cards. It has taken the world by storm, with the young and the old, all indulging in the simple but high adrenaline rush game. The elderly generally have their rummy circle of friends, and as such, they also love the online version of their favourite game.
When LAN gaming came, it found immense favour with the tech savvy fun loving people, especially the youngsters. However, it has almost disappeared now-a-days because people can now have similar or even greater fun with online games and that too without encountering the hassles associated with the former. It is a part and parcel of evolution in technology. As we get newer and better products, it is but natural for us to bid adieu to the previous ones.