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Thursday May 5, 2005 6:43 pm

How To: Throw A PSP WiFi LAN Party


The is one heck of a little game system that promises almost Star Trek-like wireless multi-player gaming. You can have a Wireless LAN gaming session with friends without having to carry a desktop PC, string Ethernet all over some dank basement, or worry about some loser running an aim-bot. But alas one of the problems of many PSP gamers is that not that many of one’s friends have invested their two hundred and fifty bucks for a PSP of their very own. How cool would it be to throw your own public PSP wireless LAN party?

With some planning and fliers you could throw the nerd gaming event of the season.

First find a good place to have the LAN party. I would suggest a espresso cafe because they have places to sit with power outlets and they have drinks and restrooms. Also they are all over the freaking place. I bet that there is not one place in the western world with a Starbucks or Coffee Clone more than ten miles away. Just look for a place with parking and is centrally located around town. If you have a cyber-cafe or gaming center than it is a no brainer.

First of all ask the manager and explain that you would like to have a small get together of nerds who want to play PSP together. Let them know that you plan on ordering drinks and they will most likely not have a problem with it. Give yourself about three weeks to plan before the party to get the word out. Give the manager a call a day before the party so you can remind them in case they forgot.

Another idea is to have the LAN party at a local public library. As long as you ask the librarians in advance, bring headphones and keep it calm a library would be a great place for a PSP Lanfest. They are also smoke-free and welcome all ages.

Next you need to get the word out to potential PSP gamers. Write up a brief flier with the details of what, where, when and why. I would put an email address as a point of contact and point out that this is not an official function of the cafe. Then you might print out a couple copies and ask if you can put it up at your local game store that stocks PSP loot and at the cafe. You then might call the newspaper and ask if you can get a shout out in the community calender or the technology section of the paper. Who knows they might just run it if it is a slow news day.

Then there is this little thing called the Internet. I used to be able to endorse Meetup, but since they are now charging a monthly fee for meetups, it probably isn’t worth worth it for a PSP party. If you end up making your own page to promote it make sure you submit it to standard search engines. A Craigslist post for your town would be ideal as well.

I would plan on about three hours or so for a party so people could play off one PSP battery charge and I would plan it on a weeknight from 6:00 to 9:00. Make a list of suggested games and you might want to bring an extra battery pack or AC adapter in case some one forgets to charge their PSP. You might bring a white board so if you set up a ornament you will have something to write the brackets on. Spice it up with a few cheap prizes, and you are good to go. You can use some old PSOne games or Pocky sticks as a tournament prize. If you have a laptop with a Memory Stick Duo reader bring it so you can trade and transfer PSP save files. A CD full of MP4 videos and MP3s for the PSP would make a pretty cool party favor. If you make a sign up sheet you could collect email addresses for future PSP LAN party announcements.

Since the death of the arcade there has been a void of public community gaming in the same room. I have not tried to throw one of these yet but it could be pretty cool to get together once a month with total strangers in your community to throw the smack down on the PSP.

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