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Gaming at a LAN-event: the social context of playing digital interactive games (DIGs)
Unformatted Document Text:  Gaming at a LAN event 4 Here, we aim at a specific contribution to the discussion about the positive or negative social implications of gaming. First, we focus deliberately on gaming in a social context, that is, a context where gamers join to play together. This is the first study we know of where participants in a LAN event were studied. At a LAN event, gamers link their PCs in a high speed Local Area Network (LAN) in order to play against each other in competitive ‘wars’. Second, we shift the focus from the social effects of gaming to the appeal of gaming in a social context. As such, the appeal of media entertainment is an under-researched area, most studies to date have been about the effects of particular entertainment fare, and game- research is no exception to this rule. The study reported here embraces a uses and gratifications perspective and conceptualizes the appeal of gaming in a motivational framework (McQuail, 1984; Zillmann & Vorderer, 2000). Our study was guided by two principal research questions. The first question was Who are the visitors of a LAN event? There is no research to date that offers a description of this particular class of gamers. Therefore, we set out to establish the demographic characteristics of the participants in a LAN event, in particular with respect to their age, gender, and social relations. In addition we gathered data about their gaming behavior, in particular with respect to the time spend on playing a DIG, the platform they played on (PC, or game console), and their preference(s) for (a) particular game(s). The second question was What motivates people to participate in a LAN event? More specifically we wanted to establish if any differences in motives were discernable between male and female gamers, between different age groups, and between particular groups of gamers. LAN event: gamers and games This project studies digital interactive games (DIGs) in a particular context of mediated entertainment. At a LAN event, state of the art information and communication technology is employed for entertainment purposes. Computers and servers are linked in a Local Area Network (LAN), that offers a high speed of communication. A quality LAN has no lags or latencies as encountered on the Internet. The consequences for the actual experience of gaming (game play) are far reaching: a LAN allows fast game play, because the response time of the server, and other computers is minimal. The LAN in its turn is often linked to the Internet (Wide Area Network, WAN). This high speed access makes LAN events an attractive setting for other activities than gaming, for example, downloading films and software from the Internet. LANs generally have a 100mBit connection, that is about 1800 times faster that a 56K modem connection, and still a hundred time faster than fast-ADSL (1mBit). LAN events run for 24 hours a day, mostly on weekends, or for a couple of days in a holiday. Some last as long as a week, as in the case of the Dutch large scale LAN event Campzone. Its first and second editions were organized in the summers of 2001 and 2002.

Authors: Jansz, Jeroen. and Martens, Lonneke.
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Gaming at a LAN event 4
Here, we aim at a specific contribution to the discussion about the positive or
negative social implications of gaming. First, we focus deliberately on gaming in a social
context, that is, a context where gamers join to play together. This is the first study we know
of where participants in a LAN event were studied. At a LAN event, gamers link their PCs in
a high speed Local Area Network (LAN) in order to play against each other in competitive
‘wars’. Second, we shift the focus from the social effects of gaming to the appeal of gaming
in a social context. As such, the appeal of media entertainment is an under-researched area,
most studies to date have been about the effects of particular entertainment fare, and game-
research is no exception to this rule. The study reported here embraces a uses and
gratifications perspective and conceptualizes the appeal of gaming in a motivational
framework (McQuail, 1984; Zillmann & Vorderer, 2000). Our study was guided by two
principal research questions.
The first question was Who are the visitors of a LAN event? There is no research to
date that offers a description of this particular class of gamers. Therefore, we set out to
establish the demographic characteristics of the participants in a LAN event, in particular with
respect to their age, gender, and social relations. In addition we gathered data about their
gaming behavior, in particular with respect to the time spend on playing a DIG, the platform
they played on (PC, or game console), and their preference(s) for (a) particular game(s).
The second question was What motivates people to participate in a LAN event? More
specifically we wanted to establish if any differences in motives were discernable between
male and female gamers, between different age groups, and between particular groups of
gamers.
LAN event: gamers and games
This project studies digital interactive games (DIGs) in a particular context of mediated
entertainment. At a LAN event, state of the art information and communication technology is
employed for entertainment purposes. Computers and servers are linked in a Local Area
Network (LAN), that offers a high speed of communication. A quality LAN has no lags or
latencies as encountered on the Internet. The consequences for the actual experience of
gaming (game play) are far reaching: a LAN allows fast game play, because the response time
of the server, and other computers is minimal. The LAN in its turn is often linked to the
Internet (Wide Area Network, WAN). This high speed access makes LAN events an attractive
setting for other activities than gaming, for example, downloading films and software from
the Internet. LANs generally have a 100mBit connection, that is about 1800 times faster that a
56K modem connection, and still a hundred time faster than fast-ADSL (1mBit).
LAN events run for 24 hours a day, mostly on weekends, or for a couple of days in a
holiday. Some last as long as a week, as in the case of the Dutch large scale LAN event
Campzone. Its first and second editions were organized in the summers of 2001 and 2002.


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