This past weekend marked the twelfth anniversary of a gaming event started by a group of die hard Quake players in suburban Dallas, Texas. Evolving and growing rapidly since its grass roots founding, Quakecon has become the largest LAN gaming event in the United States, with over 3000 gamers attending, some from places as far as Japan, Iraq, and Finland. Put on by id Software with their main sponsor NVIDIA, this year’s Quakecon was filled with gaming tournaments, vendor exhibitors, and new gaming announcements, but the heart of the event was the bring-your-own-computer area, or the BYOC.
Although the event officially got underway Thursday morning, die-hard BYOC gamers were in line as early as Wednesday afternoon to ensure that they would be among the first to put their gaming rigs in the BYOC area. In the hours preceding the opening of Quakecon, the line itself had to be moved into an enormous overflow area because over eight hundred people had lined up to get in the BYOC. However, while in line, many attendees used the opportunity to meet new gamers from all over the world, exchange hardware and overclocking tips, and a few even played card games.
One of the most impressive things about Quakecon is that it is completely free to the public and staffed completely by volunteers. From the 24 hour registration team, to the security and network operations center, everyone that works at Quakecon volunteers their time and energy to make the event work. That is truly impressive when you take a look at the 3,000 computer BYOC area, all of which was set up over two very long days of cable crimping, powerstrip taping, and table moving. When all the dust had cleared and as Quakecon was coming to a close, Quakecon officials told us that over 2000 computers were present in the BYOC throughout the event.