Gamers united for charity and fun at UOIT and Durham College’s eighth LAN War, a party where people bring their desktop computers and connect them to compete in video game tournaments. Some of the computers are so large students used dollies to roll them into the lecture hall.
The bi-annual event was hosted in a large lecture theatre in UOIT’s UB building where doors opened Friday night at 10 and didn’t close until Sunday afternoon around 2.
According to Tony Tran, one of the founders of the event, the LAN War started as a challenge to match a Singapore university which held an event with 200 people for 48 consecutive hours.
“What ended up happening was we ended up with a large gaming event on campus and it’s been a huge LAN party that happens twice every year,” Tran said.
This year’s first event was spearheaded by current LAN War president Jonathan Yang, a fourth year commerce student at UOIT, who says it takes three months of planning and organization.
“We try to bring out something we as a team are proud to put our name on,” Yang said.
LAN War organizers plan out which games will be played, tournaments, scheduling, sponsorships, and prizes all by volunteer work. This year’s event made approximately 4,000 dollars after operating costs.
The event’s proceeds will go to charity after Yang has meetings with the Student Association. Sick Kids hospital has received donations from LAN War in the past, they received 1,000 dollars from LAN War last March.
“We’re non-profit,” Yang said, “we wanted to create a community where gamers support other gamers and there’s gamers that are in Sick Kids hospital and they have to spend Christmas away from their families.”
Although money made by the event goes to charity Tran says it’s also about having fun and letting off some steam at a stressful time of the year for many students as finals and exams approach.
Yang also says that this LAN party is one of the biggest in the GTA and that it’s only open to UOIT and Durham College students.
Tickets sold out on November 19 and approximately 250 people, with as many computers and other gaming devices, filled the lecture theatre. Some of the games played include League of Legends, Dota 2, Star Craft 2, Minecraft, and Counter Strike.
Prizes included plushies, copies of the new Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and even two PlayStation 4 Destiny bundles.
“It gets a little heated because people get really, really competitive but it’s all in good fun,” Yang said, “this is the eighth event and it’s been a thrill to run and be a part of every year.”
Tran, a UOIT graduate, keeps coming back to LAN War because of the community.
“It feels like I have a legacy at this university,” Tran said, “it feels like I’m still going to this university, I’m still a part of it somehow and it’s a nice touch. Every time I come back it’s almost like a family reunion.”
Yang has a less nostalgic feeling, but also expresses the value that the LAN War community brings to the campus.
“This is our way to create a community where gamers on campus aren’t restricted, where they might not see people on an everyday basis,” Yang said, “restrictions like majors, years, or even campus like how they go to Durham College and we go to UOIT, but this gives them a chance to come together. To come out and play.”