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The computer parties are of great interest to me; therefore I chose to write about them in my assignment.
In my assignment I will explain what a computer party is, what can we do in a computer party and why is it important to us.
Moreover I will talk about the history of one of the biggest computer party¡± The Gathering¡± and about the hard working people who organize it to give the youth a fun and friendly environment to meet new people, learn and socialize.
What is a computer party?
A computer party is a vibrant and remarkable gathering of people to share and enjoy their interests for computer activities.
Two or three friends can have a spontaneous computer party for the weekend by making a network between their computers at home.
A computer party can be as big as The Gathering with more than 5000 participants and in such a big event medical staff will be there for those who forget to sleep or eat during this big social event.
What can we do in a computer party?
Computer parties offer various tournaments with competitions.
People can play games or download movies and music in a computer party.
The winning participants in competitions would be awarded and prizes can be computer hardware or graphic cards or even complete computers.
In computer parties you can chat and surf the Internet as well as meeting people and making new friends.
Computer parties are significantly helping to make a media because they are big social events.
What is a LAN party and how big can it be?
Local Area Network means a network between computers.
LAN party is a computer party that can be held in someone¡¯s house or in large venues and it is almost everywhere in the world.
Computer parties are allover Norway and have a capacity from 5000 people down to only two people.
Norway is one of the leading countries in arranging computer parties.
Denmark, Finland and Sweden organize awesome computer parties as well.
The Gathering (TG)
The Gathering is the second largest professionally organized computer party in the world (after Swedish Dreamhack).
TG is held in Vikingskipet Olympic Arena in Hamar, Norway.
The duration of this entertaining event is five days during Easter holidays and TG attracts more than 5000 people mostly young people.
Moreover TG offers the participants lots of competitions, places to sleep, showers, catering and hired security to make this enjoyable event safer.
The organization Kreativ Aktiv Norsk Dataungdom (KANDU) is responsible for hosting The Gathering in Norway.
The Gathering is a huge event
LAN Party: The Gathering in Norway
The Gathering 2004: The World's Largest Computer Party
The history of The Gathering
The Gathering has been around for more than 10 years.
The First TG was arranged in 1992 in Skedsmohallen at Lillestr¨ªm.
In 1992 about eleven hundred people participated in The Gathering.
In 1993 The Gathering grew to fourteen hundred participants.
In 1994 about eighteen hundred visitors participated in The Gathering.
Vikingskipet Olympic Arena was built earlier for the Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics. It was a good party location providing lots of space and good parking opportunities. In 1996 the first TG in Vikingskipet attracted 2500 people. Since 1997 all TG tickets have been sold out every year and in 2005 TG attracted more than 5000 visitors.
As the official party radio NordicRadio will cover this year¡¯s TG event live.
NordicRadio will entertain the visitors with music, competitions and interviews.
The difference between big and small computer parties
I mentioned earlier that computer parties vary in size from just two or three friends making a temporary network in their house or like The Gathering where more than 5000 people participate.
In a small Local Area Network (LAN) party few friends share computer informations as well as sharing the Internet connection.
They can play games against each other or download movies and music files.
Big computer parties usually have many activities and competitions.
The most important fact about big computer parties is the social aspect of them.
In big computer parties you have the opportunity to meet lots of people, make new friends and learn more about computers.
Although it is strictly forbidden by the computer party rules to deal with illegal software, it is easy to find such illegal stuff flourishing in big computer parties.
Who can participate in a computer party?
Different users of computers can participate in a computer party; there is no age limit.
The participants are:
1- The creative users of computers who spend most of their time in front of the computer.
They have high technical knowledge about computers.
Constantly the creative users try new programs and operative systems.
They battle in many types of competitions, demonstrations, coding, graphics, games and hardware- modification.
2- The practical users who use the computer for practical things only and never use it for fun.
They have only little technical knowledge.
3- The nerds who use most of their time chatting or surfing the Internet.
Most of the nerds are teenagers and have high technical knowledge.
4- Gaming clans
They are groups of gamers from all over the world playing games over the Internet.
The main reason for their participation is to play games and win prizes.
A talented gamer can make a lot of money winning contests in a computer party.
Girl¡¯s attendance is between 10 and 15% in computer parties.
Most of the girls are social and like to talk a lot, therefore they like chatting in the computer parties. Girls spend their time on computers to do either schoolwork or chat. Few girls have high technical knowledge.
The crew differ from one party to another depending on how big the computer party is.
All crewmembers arrive one day before the exact date of the computer party and stay one day after to help in cleaning up afterwards.
Crewmembers are volunteers but they have to pay for their party tickets in the first year only.
And new crewmembers have to pay for the party ticket in case they do a bad job.
The TG crew is about 200 volunteers every year.
The crew is split into groups and each group has a chief who is responsible to have meetings with the crew to organise everything in advance.
The crew groups are
1- Tech crew
This group take care of the work with the Network and Servers.
They are experienced people who really know what to do.
Tech crew work eight hours and have eight ours of spare time.
Some of them work their own shifts only and some work even more.
2- Information crew
The information crew has their own desk and they are responsible for taking calls from parents and others.
They are responsible also for giving the required information to the participants.
3- Game crew
This group take care of the gaming part of the computer party.
They handle the prices and the information about the games in the party.
4- First-aid crew
The first-aid crew are always needed.
Some people hardly get any sleep during the computer party and some even forget to eat or drink.
The first-aid crew are supposed to look after everyone and make sure that everyone gets enough food and sleep.
5- Canteen crew
This group take care of the food and sales.
The cook is in charge of keeping the canteen in order as well as cooking for the crew.
6- Security crew
Security crew must be adults, strong and tough.
Security is extremely important.
The advantages of being a crewmember
You learn a lot from being a crewmember. For example you learn how to set up a network when you work with the tech crew.
To apply for a crew you need to fill a crew application. You can log on the party¡¯s website and fill your details like your name, address, age, your qualifications and your interests.
You need to fill what type of crew you want to work for and why you are applying for it.
You have to wait from one week up to two months to hear from the administrators after filling a crew application.
The crews coast money and you will be chosen if the administrators think that your qualifications are needed. You will receive an e-mail telling you weather your application has been accepted or rejected.
Most of the computer parties chose former crewmembers first, because they know what to do.
The administrators start working two to three months before the party.
They plan the whole party, have meetings and work with financial support.
The administrators work before, during and after the computer party.
The head administrator is in charge of making the recommendation letters for the crew.
Tickets can be purchased via the Internet or by phone and can be picked up at local post office.
A company related to the postal service in Norway sells the TG tickets.
This company is called Billettservice.
In 2004 a new queuing system and new hardware was installed regarding the tickets sale.
In 2005 the queuing system was changed.
The checklist of the things you need to bring:
The negative sides of the computer parties
Computer parties indirectly encourage kids to sit infront of computers for long hours either to brake high scores in games or to compete in other things like graphic designs.
Lots of participants in computer parties forget to eat or drink fluids and get dehydrated, some even forget to sleep and get bad headaches from sitting in front of their computers for hours even after the party.
Kids will keep practicing for the next computer party and this will cause wasting hours daily in front of computers instead of studying. Moreover sitting infront of computers for long hours is not healthy and cause headaches.
Arranging a computer party
You need at least four months to arrange a good computer party.
You must think of a location for the party to accommodate the participants with lots of parking spaces.
It is recommended that you find a location owned by the council, because it is much cheaper.
The location must contain a big hall, rooms for sleeping, showers and enough toilets.
You need crewmembers depending on how big is your party.
Dividing your crew into groups is necessary as well as providing food and beverages for everyone.
Well-organized computer parties require a fair amount of planning and preparation.
Computer parties compete against each other
There are hundreds of computer parties in the world. The computer partys environment is competitive and a new computer party can cause an economic disaster for an existing computer party nearby.
The organizers of a computer party have to make the party environment full of excitement for their customers otherwise their customers will find somewhere else to go. Every computer party is unique
The computer parties in Norway and in the United States
The Gathering is an international arrangement and it is a very big and unique computer party in Norway.
In the United States there are gaming Local Area Networks but not as big as in Norway.
The main cause for that is people¡¯s interest for computers in the USA is lower than the Norwegian¡¯s interests for computers.
In my assignment I have written about the computer parties and the history of The Gathering party. Moreover, I have written about the importance of the computer parties for the youth and for everyone. The computer party can be as a big event like The Gathering or as small as the Local Area Network (LAN) party which can be held spontaneously between two friends at home.
In my assignment I told the story of the hard working people like the administrators and the crewmembers that volunteer to make the computer party thrilling and successful.
My point of view
After surfing the Internet and logging on different websites I learned that computer parties are very important social events.
Computer parties are difficult to organize from my point of view, but I believe that they are important for the learning process of the youth.
In my opinion, a computer party is not only a social event but also an interesting experience where you learn more about computers, games, hardware and different things.
Writing about The Gathering was so exciting to me, because I like computers very much and surfing the Internet is one of my best interests.
I can see myself as one of the participants in The Gathering next year.
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