The room was filled with tables covered with cords, computers and snacks. Gamers gathered behind monitors to cheer on friends and teammates, their yells punctuating the soft buzz of voices and clicking.
A large cooler of free Monster Energy drinks sat in the middle of the room.
“A lot of people think that gaming is not a very social thing, and this is proof that’s not the case,” Sweeny said.
LAN War 28 began at noon March 28 and brought gamers together in Briscoe Quad for 24 hours to play, socialize and win prizes. About 180 people signed up for the biannual event, which had tournaments for the games “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” “League of Legends” and “Defense of the Ancients 2.”
“We’re all plugging into the same wired network,” said Mitchell Golden, a sophomore and officer in IU Gaming. “Everyone can connect to each other, it’s like a more personal version of ?Xbox Live.”
Golden attended his first LAN event his freshman year, he said, and he was blown away by the hundreds of gamers and positive environment. Golden said he liked being in a room with around 300 people who all like to do what he likes to do.
“This is a community for people who see their social life through a screen,” ?Golden said.
The event is open to gamers outside of IU. Sweeny said gamers have brought teammates from as far as California and Canada. People attend the event to compete against people they have been playing online for years, Sweeny said.
IU Gaming Officer of Communications Vivian Ge said she enjoys the atmosphere and watching the bonds that grow between players.
“Apart from these, there’s not a space that gamers can come together and play on a larger scale,” Ge said.
Ball State University senior Zach Town has been coming to IU LAN Wars since he was in high school. This is his third time coming to ?the event.
“There’s not really many in Indiana,” Town said. “We have our own LAN wars at our houses, but this is pretty cool.”
The event required about a month of planning, a few hours of setup and cost about $8,000. The cost is covered by IUSA funding, sponsors and the cost of admission. Gifts from sponsors worth thousands of dollars are raffled every few hours.
Connections at these events can make lasting friendships, Sweeny said.
“People will meet people here that they’ll play with for years,” Sweeny said.
Sweeny now brings his children to the event, and he said he loves watching the next generation of gamers mix with people who have been there from the beginning.
“I’ve been here all along and I love it,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for ?everyone.”