FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — Collin Allen and Jared Medart grew up playing video games before the internet opened up the gaming realm to online play. They’re co-founders of “Afterlife LAN,” a Northwest Arkansas gaming club that meshes old and new social playing techniques.
A Facebook group associated with the club has 318 members, and members post information about new games, software, technology, and news. Several times a year, the group throws a local area network (LAN) party, where gamers bring their hardware and play overnight like Allen and Medart did when they were kids.
Allen said entire families take part in the LAN parties, which have taken place in places as large as the Springdale Jones Center and is scheduled for a fall party at the tech center in the University of Arkansas Union.
Medart said people come in from Little Rock, Tulsa, Springfield and Kansas City.
The events are an homage to an era when gamers who wanted to play with their friends had to move their bulky hardware to a commonplace, often their parents’ garage, and make a whole party out of it. These modern meetings combine the camaraderie of those previous get-togethers with the online capabilities of today’s video games.
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