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LAN Center

LAN Center – is a dedicated space crafted for the gaming community, offering a hub where enthusiasts can gather for multiplayer video game sessions. Equipped with a range of computers, these venues provide a convenient and budget-friendly option for those who prefer not to invest in high-end gaming hardware. Although they are widespread globally, LAN Centers have especially thrived in Asia, transforming into genuine social hubs for gamers in search of both camaraderie and competitive gaming.

Definition

A LAN Center, an abbreviated form for also known as a LAN Café, is a space wherein individuals can converge to access and participate in video games within a shared, networked environment. These centers are characterized by a multitude of computers, rather than exclusively high-end gaming PCs, providing an affordable avenue for extended gaming sessions.

History

LAN Centers emerged in the late 1990s as the internet and multiplayer gaming began to gain popularity.[1] They provided an affordable alternative to owning high-end gaming PCs, fostering communities and offering a competitive environment for gamers. While their numbers declined in the early 2010s with the rise of affordable home internet and online matchmaking,[2] LAN Centers have experienced a resurgence in recent years, fueled by the growth of esports and competitive gaming.

Case studies

  1. Growth in Asia: The ascendancy of LAN Centers is evident in Asia, where the gaming culture has undergone unprecedented expansion. Nations such as South Korea, China, and Japan have long embraced the paradigm of LAN Centers, characterized by their accessibility through a multitude of computers. Each region of LAN Center also has a distinctive identity. LAN Centers in Korea, also known as PC Bang, are characterized by their use of high-end gaming computers; meanwhile, LAN Centers in Southeast Asia are distinctive for their utilization of a substantial number of computers, rather than exclusive reliance on high-end gaming equipment. These establishments are demarcated by their commitment to affordability and accessibility, suiting the region where comparatively fewer people have personal computers at home.
  2. Role in Esports Development: LAN Centers have emerged as catalysts in the cultivation of esports talent, emphasizing accessibility through the provision of numerous computers. Numerous professional gamers trace their formative experiences back to LAN Centers, where skills were honed, and participatory endeavors in local competitions were commonplace. This grassroots approach to esports, rooted in accessible computing resources, has substantively contributed to the overall proliferation and legitimization of competitive gaming as a recognized and esteemed sport.[3]

Miscellaneous

  1. The terms “LAN Center,” “LAN Café,” “Net Café” and “Esports Arena” are often used interchangeably.
  2. The specific focus and amenities offered by LAN Centers can vary depending on location, target audience, and market trends.
  3. Some LAN Centers cater to specific game genres, such as League of Legends or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.[4]

[1] “The First PC Bang, ‘Electronic Café’,” Cyber Internet History Museum (24 September 2009) <https://web.archive.org/web/20140714232114/http://i-museum.kisa.or.kr/sub02/08/read.jsp?pno=&bce_serial=12#> accessed 15 January 2024

[2] Newley Purnell, ‘Internet cafes in the developing world find out what happens when everyone gets a smartphone’ Quartz News (20 November 2013) <https://qz.com/148734/internet-cafes-in-the-developing-world-find-out-what-happens-when-everyone-gets-a-smartphone> accessed 15 January 2024.

[3] YapzOr, ‘Liquipedia’ (30 August 2023) <https://liquipedia.net/dota2/YapzOr> accessed 15 January 2024.

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[4] Gamemetrics, ‘Most played games in PC Bangs’ (June 2015) <http://www.gametrics.com/GameTricsUpFiles/NewsTitleFiles/2015051801.JPG> accessed 15 January 2024

Author

  • Yudistira Adipratama

    Yudistira Adipratama is the Managing Partner of K-CASE Lawyer, the first esports dedicated law firm in Indonesia. K-CASE Lawyer has worked with and provided legal consultation to various esports stakeholders in Indonesia, including game publishers, esports clubs, event organizers, streamers, game associations, government, and universities. Yudistira holds a key position in the policy-making process of the esports parent organization in Indonesia. He was involved in the drafting of Law No. 11 of 2022 on Sports, which recognizes esports as a competitive sport for the first time in Indonesian history. Yudistira is also the drafter of PBESI Regulation No. 034/PB-ESI/B/VI/2021 on the Implementation of Esports Activities in Indonesia, a policy that regulates the implementation of the esports industry ecosystem in Indonesia. His expertise in law and the esports industry also led him to be involved in the drafting of Presidential Regulation No. 19 of 2024 on the Acceleration of the Development of the National Game Industry. In addition to esports, Yudistira also has a deep understanding of sports law and actively serves as a speaker representing Indonesia at various high-level international conferences attended by representatives of the International Olympic Committee. Under his leadership, K-CASE Lawyer has supported Indonesia’s participation in various international multi-sports events, such as the 19th Asian Games in 2022, the 2023 SEA Games, and the 14th IESF World Esports Championships.

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