Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


A world of user names and swords: meet the FAU LAN club

Last semester, UP readers may recall a column in the opinions section about gamers in the computer lab. The column made these people out to be just a loud group of boys playing games while others desperately tried to study in the pandemonium of the University Center computer lab. What the column failed to mention was that this was the LPLS club and that the upstairs University Center computer lab is in their possession Fridays and Saturdays.

LPLS stands for Lan Protocol Learning Society. Most of the time, though, they are just known as the LAN club or even as “the gamers.” On Fridays and Saturdays this club meets to play computer games such as Diablo II, Counterstrike, Warcraft 3, Ragnarok, Unreal Tournament and Quick 3.

“I have seen [an increase] since summer,” member Syed Khalil says. “We do not advertise, but the number of people we have is increasing week by week.”

Officially this club has around 40 people, but as many as 55 people have been seen in attendance over the two days the members play. The club offers FAU students a place to network and make friends while having a good time doing something they enjoy.

The gamers are well aware of the stereotypes that go along with game players.

“Probably someone with no life, no friends who have nothing better to do on Friday nights,” says Dan Polimeni, secretary of LPLS, when asked what people think a stereotypical gamer would be. Actually, though, Polimeni described gamers as hardworking people that like to hang around and have fun. So when that UP column came out, the club members were a little upset.

“I feel it was libel towards the group,” Polimeni says, “and it was run without any research. Apparently the writer might have been using the lab when we had a meeting. The lab is funded by Student Government as a lab to have fun, which is not a study lab.”

Now, there are signs in the lab telling students the LAN club hours and what goes on during those hours.

The LAN club does not just give FAU students a place to hang around and play games, though. The officers of the club, President Max Leynov, Vice President Karen Ginsberg, Treasurer Ahyan Turgut, and Secretary Polimeni, have also been busy planning a LAN event. Originally, they event was to take place Feb. 28, but due to a scheduling situation it has been postponed.

The event, which is expected to draw 100 people, will be held in the Live Oak Pavilion and whomever is involved will bring his or her computer for the day and play games. According to Polimeni, the event could easily cost $500.

At this year’s Student Government budget hearing, the club requested $1400 for basic funding. When broken down the money will go towards tournament prizes, events like the one to be held in the Live Oak Pavilion and food for meetings. For this current academic year the club was not funded because it was formed over the summer, after the budget hearings.

When walking by the lab, you will most likely see a large group of students crowded around computers or sometimes a game system such as a Nintendo Gamecube being projected onto one of the walls so everyone can watch the action. One striking thing, though, is the amounts of girls — or to better word it, lack of girls.

The LAN club only has around five girls among its 30-plus members. Leynov says that this is representative of the actual gaming community.

“There should be more of them,” Leynov says.

LAN member Jessica Roberts agrees. “[Girls] think it’s like a bunch of forty-year-old fat guys,” she says.

According the Leynov the most common game that girls will play in the club is the Korean game Ragnarok.

“You pick up all the loot and sell it for money,” Roberts says of Ragnarok. “It’s a good capitalist game.” The point of the game, like many Role Playing Games, or RPG’s, is to defeat different bosses, monsters, villains, enemies, etc., and gain levels. With each level gained, your character gains more power.

Some may scoff at the idea that LAN club is a social club, but upon entering one realizes how social it can actually be. Most of the players band together into parties and move as a group. While their alter egos fight in the game, the gamer is conferring with his/her teammates on the proper action to take to win.

To get involved with the LAN club, visit the Boca campus’ second floor University Center computer lab on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon.

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