A LAN Gaming Center is a business where one
can use a computer connected over a LAN to
other computers, primarily for the purpose of playing multiplayer
computer games. Use of these computers or game consoles costs a fee, usually per hour or minute; sometimes one can have unmetered access with a pass for a day or month, etc. It may or may not serve as a
regular café as well, with food and drinks being served. Many game
centers have evolved in recent years to also include console gaming
(Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 2). Other
centers offer computer repair and consulting, custom
built computers (White box computer), web design, programming
classes or summer camps, and many other technology related
services. Centers are starting to offer PS3s, Wiis and
Xbox 360s that are playable in store.
LAN gaming centers can come in various sizes and styles, from the
very small (6-8 computers) to the very large (400+ computers). Most
have computer systems with higher-end hardware built specifically for
computer gaming. Customers can play games with (or against) in-house
opponents and most also include a high-speed Internet
connection to allow customers to play games with online opponents as
well (usually at the same time). Most also host a number of special
events such as tournaments and LAN parties, some
lasting throughout the night. Another typical feature is the ability to browse the Web and use instant messaging clients. Often these gaming centers allow customers the option of
renting out the whole or part of the store for private LAN parties. LAN
centers are typically decorated in such a way as to enhance the already
present gaming atmosphere, such as adding black-light lightbulbs and
gaming paraphernalia and posters around the center. A standard LAN
gaming center will have rows of computers next to each other with
highback leather computer chairs.
There are over 650 LAN centers in the US, while 90% of the LAN Centers
in the world are in China, the largest having over 1777
seats.It is common for a LAN gaming centers to sell the games that they had already installed for their in-house computers, most notably MMORPGs and many FPS games.
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