Bit Tech spent a day at the UK's largest LAN, i29. What is it about these events that makes them so special to gamers, and how have they changed in the last 5 years? They despatched Ryan Garside, CS veteran, to find out.
"The first thing I noticed at i29 was the number of tents dotted around Newbury racecourse. Tired looking gamers were huddled around these mini-encampments on a frosty November morning, cooking sausages bought from the local Tescos on camping cookers. Had I had to sleep out in the freezing cold I wouldn't have been happy, but upon speaking to these guys I realised they were far more zealous than I ever was about the gaming experience. I asked one fellow: "Had a good nights sleep?" and he simply replied, "I didn't sleep, I'm just down here to check my stuff is alright." I had instantly stumbled upon what puts the 'i' in 'i29, insomnia."