CedarLUG LAN Party
The Cedar Falls Public Library co-hosted a Minecraft LAN Party on February 22 with the Cedar Valley Linux Users Group (CedarLUG). There was a large turnout, and included many non-UNI people as well as UNI students. Dr. Paul Gray (Computer Science) helped organize and run the event.
The CedarLUG is an organization for the Cedar Valley region and the University of Northern Iowa campus. The group consists of both college students and community members that hold a common interest in the GNU/Linux operating system.
A LAN (Local Area Network) party is a place where people with common interests gather to game. PC gaming is usually a solitary thing, because people interact with others online, but at a LAN party, everyone can see and interact with the people around them while gaming on the computer.
Gray offered further explanation, “These days, when people are playing computer games, chances are they're playing other people using the network. A LAN party offers these players a high-speed network that really helps the gaming experience by providing a very responsive network for gameplay.”
The CedarLUG has now hosted three successful LAN parties. Everyone is invited to the LAN parties. Other members will even help set up computer systems if a person doesn’t have a cutting-edge computing system or doesn’t feel like hauling a computer to the event. The CedarLUG LAN parties support games that require lots of player interaction. All games are freely available.
Gray said of hosting the parties, “A well-hosted LAN party supports a solid network infrastructure and game server. This is what CedarLUG brings to the table that's often missing from normal online game play. Our LAN party infrastructure consists of a lot of gear—both for the network and the server infrastructure. The goal is to make the network communication between players as fast as possible. This involves a lot of attention to the server and network infrastructure. Once that is in place, then the hosting duties fall back on the more familiar aspects of hosting any gathering: communicating invitations, making the environment accessible and the all important food choices.”