Early last week, we posted that we'd be returning to the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in Burnaby, BC to spread the joy of PC DIY and gaming at the 2013 BCITSA Fall LAN party. With our friends from MEGATechNews and some great Road Show sponsors including GIGABYTE, ADATA Technology, Steelseries, Western Digital, BitFenix and be quiet!, we headed down to make sure students, faculty and guests, had a great time playing on the latest and greatest hardware and learning about how to get the most of their PC gaming experience. The event achieved its highest attendance ever which made it more fun than ever too!
Humble Beginnings and Passion for Playing Games
The BCITSA LAN parties put on by the BCIT Student Association and the BCIT Game Development Club have always put fun above all else. But in the last couple years, the events have seen phenomenal growth due to the passion of students and organizers to make them into more than just a casual get-together. And it seems they have done just that as the 2013 Fall LAN party broke all previous attendance records at the BCIT Burnaby, BC campus this past Friday.
Since Futurelooks was asked to come out and enhance the experience for students, we've seen the event grow from well under 100 attendees at last year's Fall event, to about 150 attendees at the event this past Spring, all the way to well over 225 attendees this past Friday. This level of growth is unprecedented for the area and has even out paced the growth of larger events like LANcouver, which caters to attendees from all over British Columbia and even the US, but hovers at around the 200 mark.
But unlike LANcouver, the BCITSA events are far more casual, concentrating on fun and glory rather than prize money. The casual nature plus the ability to use the computers from BCIT's many computer labs, makes it accessible and far more convenient than lugging your system to the event to setup.
We think it also helps that the students know that sponsors are interested in them. Even with a smaller amount of prizes compared to other events, gamers are genuinely thankful that there are prizes and that sponsors do care. That's what drives the Futurelooks Team to continue to attend these events and see them grow, while spreading the word about just how rewarding and fun building your own systems can be. Students are truly blown away by not only how easy it is to build, but also, the level of customization they have with today's hardware.
For the Futurelooks Team, it gives us a new perspective on what is truly important in the eyes of the Next Generation of Gamers. And of course, we take that feedback and apply to our reviews and content so that we continue to keep up with our readers and their needs.
Speaking of Prizes and Sponsors
Futurelooks helped giveaway a number of great prizes at this event from GIGABYTE, ADATA Technology, Steelseries and Western Digital. Futurelooks also threw in some prizes from their own war chest too. From USB flash drives from ADATA, to the top prize of a GIGABYTE Z77N-WiFi motherboard, every prize was received with the same level of enthusiasm and applause from fellow students. It's really a cool vibe that you don't see with the same level of intensity at some larger events. The expectation here is that everyone have a great time and this event provided it, even for ourselves. The prizes are really a bonus.
With every event, it seems that the level of knowledge, the quality of the questions, and the level of interest in PC DIY grows. And this is one of the reasons why Futurelooks continues to come and support this event. With our friends from MEGATechNews and some of the best community supporting sponsors, in tow. We really have a great time learning about what they think is important both in the products they choose to buy, and what they are passionate about when it comes to gaming.
What the "Future Looks" Like for the BCITSA LAN Party?
With the recent success of the Fall 2013 event, all eyes are on the Spring Event to surpass this number while finding some way to contain all the students, gamers and guests. It's really at the point that the organizers have to make the decision to go big (or stay in classrooms). Although the layout of the event is unique, and it's quite convenient to have all the school's equipment to use, it's becoming more difficult to be social with other attendees as the event grows outward, and has to spread across more rooms.
Overall though, the BCITSA Fall 2013 LAN party was a success and we look forward to the invitation to come back in Spring of 2014 with more prizes and of course, the latest hardware for gamers to experience.
For more photos, check out the gallery below (pics are random so refresh to get new ones), and don't forget to check out the coverage by our friends over at MEGATechNews with 100% more console and gadget action.