Game on

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo The AGP LAN party at the Clovis Civic Center Saturday was scheduled from noon Saturday to noon Sunday. The gamers who attended brought their systems including televisions, laptops, earpieces, microphones, and desktop computers.

By Gabriel Monte: Freedom New Mexico

Clovis gamers connected their computers Saturday to a Local Area Network at the Clovis Civic Center for a 24-hour gaming tournament hosted by Clovis-based gaming group agpLAN.

About a dozen cases of energy drinks donated by Allsup’s were stacked in a corner — a stash event organizer Jonathan Apodaca said would come in handy later in the night.

About 50 gamers gathered in the Center for the tournament, known in gamer circles as a LAN party.

“A LAN party is basically a lot of people that are into computers and into video games,” he said. “A lot of the guys built their own computers and they show it off because they’ve got a lot of high-end stuff. They put a lot of time and effort into building their machines.”

Apocada said the last LAN party the gaming group held was about three years ago. He said Saturday’s event was a test to see how many gamers in Clovis are still interested in the events.

“I love it. Any time a group of guys can get together and play on a machine, play a game, it’s a lot of fun and it makes it worthwhile,” said Gerald Killmer, who spent about four years replacing the parts of his computer to keep up with newer models.

Apodaca said gamers have a choice of playing games played on consoles or personal computers.

“This is a BYOC, Bring Your Own Computer, event,” he said. “They network up and play over the network.”

The gamers play over a network server their computers are physically connected to instead of playing over the Internet. Apocada said game play over a local network is much faster.

“Even with the broadband connections today, you’re still going to get a little bit of lag time,” said Apocada, who runs the agpLAN Web site. “Here in the network, you have a ping (response) time of three or four milliseconds max, and that makes a big difference.”

He said the network could potentially connect about 80 computers but only about 40 to 50 gamers could connect to the server because of the size of the room.

Apocada said tournament winners receive half a case of energy drinks. But victory tastes the sweetest.

“A lot of guys are happy with bragging rights,” he said. “They want to show everybody they’re the best in the game they play. Nothing’s better than bragging rights.”