As we head to the annual New Year’s LAN party, I post my annual off-topic reminder. I moonlight in traffic safety when not living the glamorous life of a gaming blogger, and midnight to 4am on January 1 is the worst time of year for alcohol-involved crashes (July 4 is a worse day, but January 1 packs a lot into those 4 hours). Your tolerance is probably not as high as you think it is, nor is that something you can judge well after you lose count of drinks. Even if you are fine, that other guy isn’t.
- If you can, party somewhere you can spend the night.
- Failing that, a designated driver is a good thing. Plan ahead on that instead of seeing who is least drunk at 3am. Spending the night is still better, because of the other folks who do not have designated drivers. Alternately: taxi.
- Unless you are 100% sure of your state’s open container laws, keep any alcohol in the trunk. There will be extra police out, and you don’t want questions if you are stopped.
- On the planning ahead front, don’t forget a pillow, toiletries, and condoms. You may not be planning on using the last, but remember that bit about your judgement after the fourth tequila and how many early September birthdays you know.
On the gaming front, before heading to the LAN party:
- Patch your games.
- Save patches to a shared folder for those who did not.
- Update your drivers, but do not do that last; play for a bit to make sure the new drivers are fine before you arrive.
- DotA is a great LAN game, but avoid surprises when one person wants to switch over to Demigod, another to League of Legends, and a third to Heroes of Newerth.
Nothing slows down the gaming like having someone patch for an hour before every new game. Don’t be that guy.