JopLAN holds Black Friday Party to get away from Black Friday

Event brings gamers together

While many people were out fighting the crowds and the traffic, some folks were just getting away from it all. A group called “JopLAN” hosted a Black Friday party at Central Christian Center. But, it’s not your typical party.

This is a Black Friday Party. Specifically, a “LAN” party, which isn’t your typical party. It’s a collection of gamers, be it on a P.C. or a console, all coming together, in person. Ben McNelly, Event Organizer says “People are use to playing online, on the internet, this brings the network all in one building and it’s a more community centered thing where you can see the people you’re playing with.”

Ben McNelly says it’s been going on for 15 years, and he’s seen gamers come and go, and some come back with their kids as they get older.

One gamer, Anthony Trujillo, has been coming for the past seven years. Trujillo says “It was like a safety haven for gamers, because you’re not sitting here in a big room full of nothing but try-hards, or mean people on the internet, you’re sitting here with people that have the same interest or not, and just, just getting along and not having arguments every five seconds.”

For him, it’s about the new connections and friends he’s made over the years that keeps him coming back. “It was more about what games are you playing? What are you interested in? Do we have any similarities? Do we have differences? It was more about the communication aspect rather than just being out here and just playing a video game.”

Trujillo says playing in person, offers some unique challenges. “When you’re playing in person with somebody, poker face is the biggest thing, I know it sounds weird it sounds like a thing, but it really is, poker face is your biggest thing because if you can sit there and hold the biggest grin when you’re in the tightest situations, it’ll throw your enemy off completely, like, what am I missing?”

But the best aspect of it all, is family. “But I know for sure like three or four people in here I can look at and go, that’s my family, I’ve known them for that long I feel like they’re family to me.”

McNelly says they try to have LAN parties every three months, but the Black Friday Party is their biggest of the year.

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