At a LAN party, many private computers are connected on a Local Area Network (LAN). Therefore, many players can play together. LAN parties first started in 1987 with a MIDI interface. Such gaming meetings were uncommon at the time as many people did not own a personal computer. Today, however, LAN parties are becoming more and more popular as access to them has become very easy. First person shooter games (FPS) are very popular at LAN parties although the events themselves are actually very peaceful!
Public LAN parties are organized as an official gaming event which usually takes place over a weekend. Entry to these events is not free as costs for energy, networks, catering and other provisions must be covered. These events can range in size with anywhere from 50 users to many thousand participants. Since these events can be so large, many precautions must be taken, including legal provisions and other basic provisions such as enough emergency exits or first aid stations.
Private LAN parties are usually gaming parties organized amongst friends in a private or rented location with personal equipment. Many times, at such events, underage players play games which they are actually not allowed to be playing due to age restrictions. In addition, data will sometimes be exchanged illegally, since transmission through LAN networks is easy and effortless. Players can chat together directly in the game to discuss the best gaming practices or just to exchange a few words!