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A Conversation with Wesley Upchurch about LAN Gaming Centers
Wesley Upchurch

A Conversation with Wesley Upchurch about LAN Gaming Centers

Wesley Upchurch

Wesley Upchurch

Today we talk to Wesley Upchurch of Gunther’s Games about LAN gaming centers. Wesley Upchurch is excited about this new technology.

Information Nation: I’m sure you had plenty of options to consider when you were initially setting up Gunther’s Games.

Wesley Upchurch: Yes, we had several game plans to choose from. It was the idea of a LAN gaming center that really spiked my curiosity, though.

Information Nation: At this point we’re wondering what a LAN gaming center is.

Wesley Upchurch: LAN connections mean that gamers have the option of getting in on multiplayer games. Most have all the newer home video gaming systems and titles.

Information Nation: What kinds of home systems?

Wesley Upchurch: Playstation 2, Xbox 360, even Wii systems are popular. They can be set up with anywhere from 8 to 400 players.

Information Nation: That connection could even bring in players from other towns or countries, right?

Wesley Upchurch: Yes, we’d love to be able to have that sort of capacity. It’s something for us to shoot for.

Information Nation: Where did LAN gaming centers start?

Wesley Upchurch: They got their start at Eastern Michigan University, at a place called Savage Gecko.

Information Nation: How long ago was that?

Wesley Upchurch: I think it was about 2006 or so. Kids were playing students from other colleges; they set up the first intercollegiate LAN tournament that way.

Information Nation: All with newer games, correct?

Wesley Upchurch: Yes, definitely. Call of Duty and Modern Warfare 3 are the most popular games, overall.

Information Nation: Why is that?

Wesley Upchurch: The playing field of those games is perfect for multiplayer engagement, really.

Information Nation: What about LAN gaming centers in other countries?

Wesley Upchurch: They love the LAN concept in Korea. They have centers they call “PC bangs,” for school-age kids to play with other kids.

Information Nation: That sounds like a pretty fun time.

Wesley Upchurch: Yes, they make them really fun and inviting. “PC bangs” centers usually sell soft drinks, noodles and other snacks for kids that are playing there.

Information Nation: Has the economy hurt your prospects?

Wesley Upchurch: I’d have to say I’ve really seen a lot of businesses take a hit. Gas prices and food prices are still high, but I think there may be an upside to that for us.

Information Nation: How do you figure?

Wesley Upchurch: If gas is high, people are likely to come here for fun, in a safe, inexpensive setting. We expect to just charge a flat hourly rate for gamers, and offer “buddy passes” for two players.

Information Nation: What are your rules?

Wesley Upchurch: Common sense, really. No screaming, no obnoxious behavior, no downloading anything, keep your game volume down, and ask permission before you come into a game. And if you’re not playing, you can’t stay. Other than that – just have fun!