By Johan Svedberg, Web Content Developer for Evil Geniuses
Never has it been easier to sit at home and play games online. With VOIP-clients, you can communicate with friends from all over the world. There is no longer a need to physically move either yourself or your computer in order to interact with people while gaming. And while I enjoy a LAN-party with friends from time to time, I wasn’t really sure DreamHack was for me.
I attended my first DreamHack last summer. It pretty much blew my mind. I’ve been to my fair share of big festivals, concerts and other big events, and nothing has come close to the experience of walking inside one of the computer-halls at DreamHack for the first time. It wasn’t anything like I had imagined; I wasn’t greeted by the stench of sweat, teens watching porn, or even an especially loud environment. All my prejudice washed away in an instant.
At first I got overwhelmed by the sheer size of the event, but I quickly learned how to navigate the crowded halls. Computers, exhibitions and people as far as the eye could see. It was the eSports-area that captured my interest, as it’s a wonderful mix of players and fans. There is something going on everywhere, and you could easily just hang around there for the entire weekend. Nowhere else can you get this close to your idols, and really get to feel the passion many of the players have for their respective games.
Everywhere I went, people were having fun, with new friends and old friends alike, playing games, competing in different on-stage activities and just messing around. That’s something I think most people fail to understand – ultimately, it’s not about the games, it’s not about the computers, or even the eSports – It’s about the people!
Robert Ohlen and his companions have created something special, and somewhere in the process managed to make a huge event, with tens of thousands of visitors, feel like just another LAN with your friends in someone’s living room. That’s the feeling I take with me from DreamHack, the feeling of intimacy, friendship and community. That’s why DreamHack still is relevant.