Quakecon 2002 - Day 1
A few weeks back, we brought you coverage of a medium-sized LAN Party called Ultra Unreal. It was a good way of getting our feet wet before covering what some call the Mecca of Network Gaming Events. People traveled from around the world to QuakeCon 2002, flying in from as far away as Japan, Russia, Holland, New Jersey, and Ohio - a total distance of 18,582 miles. Quakecon attracts the best of the best in the online gaming world, and they come to play, have fun, and of course take a shot at the $100,000 that's at stake. Id Software's continued commitment to Quakecon is perhaps best thought of not only as a way of thanking their supporters, but as a real chance to see the progress that these folks have made in the playing of the games. Even with Quakecon's exceptional size, many of the developers of the software and mods are very accessable. This gives gamers (their fans) the opportunity to interact with them, which of course leads to some very interesting developments.
In addition to all of the fun, of course, business must also get done. A variety of sponsors are here to support LAN gaming and have a chance to reach some of the consumers who are the most difficult to nail down. Gamers as a whole tend to be tough on the companies that manufacture their products. For four days, these sponsors take the time to talk to the gamers and introduce them to their products. What is unique about this is that they are reaching a vast audience that certainly can help to make or break products. The importance of the gamer market is often overlooked, with many people believing the notion that gamers are not professionals. In reality, though, they have regular day jobs and many of them are involved in making buying decisions. As you might guess, companies pull out all of the stops to make sure that the consumer gamers know about their products. While it is still a somewhat relaxed atmosphere, the soft sell is on - and believe me, these consumers know it.