One Nation Under a LAN: Dreamhack 2008

It’s become a welcome fixture in my life. Occasionally Warhammer’s Paul Barnett gives me a call and has a rant about whatever’s on his mind, like a kind of personal twittering service. Yesterday he rang as he limped away from Summer Dreamhack 2008, the long-running Swedish LAN event. Over 10,000 gamers in the perpetual daylight of the far north, dragging beds and PCs to the middle of nowhere… to game. It sounded awesome, and some more details and videos follow…

The way he described it brings to mind the earlier subcultural free-festivals – bound together by a shared love and philosophy. Sleep on the floor. Game all day. Corporate presence virtually absent. Bloodstreams of pure Jolt. Bags just left over in an area, but no real security presence and no real crime either. Paul’s blogged about it over at MySpace Example quote: “The whole thing has a sort of free musical festival vibe. No one is looking for trouble, no one is causing any fuss, no one is doing anything but wanting to play LAN games. The halls are full of crazy music, that moves from thumping dance to the Gameboy tetris song (and on hearing that you are expected to clap and stand up).” He describes to me how their Warhammer presentation was called off due to many people, so they ended up going and doing it with him standing on a Bridge with a microphone speaking to the gathered hordes.

He mentions he’s going to stick up some of his own videos later, but for now, here’s a couple…

General overview, in Swedish, but with Barnett having a good ol rant, including footage of him on a bridge, lobbing T-shirts at the crowd. Best quote: “A Cathedral to the Joy of Computer Games”

And a time-accelerated footage of the LAN event setting up. Apparently from 2007, despite being labelled otherwise, but still gets a sense of the size of the thing.

It sounds insane. It sounds like a place we probably should go to at the next one, in the perpetual night of the November sounds ideal.


  1. Radiant says:

    That room must honk.

  2. WCAYPAHWAT says:


  3. Morris says:

    So many people… :O

    Oh well, Assembly 2008 is not far away (Thursday 31st of July to Sunday 3rd of August)

  4. Riotpoll says:

    awsome, but my joy is currently reserved for this:
    link to

  5. AbyssUK says:

    hmm pw=presspreview impressive data protection there

  6. Butler` says:

    The UK equivalent, Multiplay’s iseries, is kicking off with a new 2000 capacity venue near Coventry on August 8th. It’s better than Dreamhack by default, mainly because it’s not full of Swedes.

    I’ll be there shouting abuse toward the CSS section.

    link to

  7. Ging says:

    I’m still scared that they’ve hit 34 in the i series now, I remember working as staff for 3 – 5!

  8. Kieron Gillen says:

    Riotpoll: As a matter of interest, where did you get that from?


  9. rob says:

    Butler, you leave cascading style sheets out of this.

  10. Joe Joesephson says:

    Dreamhack is better than whatever it is you’re pushing. They have airsoft and ICE WALL CLIMBING. Not to mention the f*cking go-karts, etc.

  11. Butler` says:

    Joe Joesephson:

    link to

  12. Riotpoll says:

    KG: My friend linked it to me on xfire, and he found it here: link to on the steam forum

  13. Kieron Gillen says:

    Thanks, Riot. Wondering, because it’s not public and we’ve agreed to not blog about it until later. Which is a bit annoying, obv.


  14. Dreamhacker says:

    There’s a bathhouse next to Dreamhack. ‘Nuff said.

  15. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @ KG: Eurogamer inadvertantly posted a news story with it in earlier (in fact it’s still in their RSS feed), although I believe it was hastily taken down when they noticed their boob. Don’t know if that was the source of the leak though.

  16. Steven Hutton says:

    It’s official. Games are the new Rock and Roll.

  17. Legandir says:

    Eurogamer put the link up. Its been taken down since then but a lot of people saw it already

  18. Hartner_X says:

    Where there and just loves it! Played some WAR, not that impressed :( But got a t-shirt from them, so can thank for that :P

    The Far Cry 2 demonstration on Big Screen was really impressive.
    After EVEing (mostly) for 72 hours (with 5 hours sleep total), you get a bit tired, got a good nights sleep afterward :)

    Will be back next year!

  19. jamie says:

    oh my god! a funkadelic reference in a RPS article!! hell yeah!