Multiplay has been running thrice yearly LAN gaming events to give us cooped up geeks something to do over the long summer months, as well as offer the opportunity for 50 hours of non-stop uninterrupted gaming and this summer's event, i34 looks to be the biggest ever.
kicks off tomorrow (or this evening if you've chosen to turn up early), and is basically guaranteed to shatter the UK LAN party attendance record, with almost two thousand gamers making the trip to the i-series' new venue at Stoneleigh park, Coventry. While this is still a ways off of the enormous attendance figures of similar events like Dreamhack in Scandinavia, it does show the UK PC online gaming scene is continuing to grow.
However, this time Multiplay have also chosen to build on the expanding trade show aspect of the event, and are running "M-festival
," a trade show/exhibition alongside the i-series LAN party, with dozens of booths from some of the biggest names in PC hardware and software showcasing the latest games and technologies.
In attendance will be industry leaders such as EA, Ubisoft, Foxconn, MSI, Intel, Samsung and many others, showing off all their latest kit and games, including Spore
, Mirror's Edge
and Far Cry 2
The event is completely open to the public too - you can just turn up and pay on the door, which is a great chance for those who bemoan the lack of any major public industry events in the UK.
i34 is also playing host to the UK leg of the World Cyber Games, with gamers competing to qualify for the chance to represent the UK at the WCG grand finals in Cologne Germany - although hopefully they won't have such a lame theme song
will be attendance for the entire weekend, chatting with the event sponsors, organisers and maybe even a celebrity or two, as well as keeping our eyes open for any unique or interesting case mods on display. We're also keen to give some love to any of our forum regulars in attendance, so be sure to drop by seat Q-16 and claim yourself some bit-tech
goodies (first come, first served) or give us a game of Zombie Fluxx
if you want.
Are you going to i34? Or do you not see the point of LAN gaming now we all have broadband? Thinking of going along for the exhibition? Let us know in the forums