LAN party /lan par'tee/
An event to which several users bring their boxes and hook them up to a common LAN (Local Area Network), often for the purpose of playing multiplayer computer games, especially action games such as Quake or Unreal Tournament. This is also a good venue for people to show-off their fancy new hardware. Such events can get pretty large, several hundred people attend the annual QuakeCon in Texas. The theoretical rationale behind LAN parties is that playing over the Internet often introduces too much lag in the playing experience - but just as important is the special quality of trash-talking each other across the room while playing, and the instinctive social ritual of consuming vast amounts of food and drink together.