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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...

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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"

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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.

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