Game Time LAN started in November 2014, as an initiative started at an NDIS provider. It went strongly for a steady 4.5 years. We have had many attendants, and we have some regulars that have stuck with us for most of it.
Game Time LAN is a LAN party - which is a computer gaming party where there are computers in a room networked together (Local Area Network/LAN) so people can play games together over the network. This can be an enjoyable social activity.
The LAN parties are a good opportunity for people with disabilities, who like games, to play games together with others in a safe social space. Gamers can meet new friends with similar interests.
We play a variety of free and cheap games, as seen in the Games section of this site. We have a few good favourites, but we're also always looking for new games to play too.
We try to play games that most of the people want to play. But everyone also tends to find their own favourite games and we try to pay different games.
We have support workers who are keen to continue providing their support - as they enjoy games and partake in them sometimes too.
The LANs have run from 11AM-5PM, with a lunch break, so nearly 6 hours of gaming and socialising. Some don't stay for the whole time, and that's fine.
We do not wish to disclose the location or dates, as we wish to keep the LANs private so we don't have unregistered people turning up.
Our aim at Game Time LAN is to provide an opportunity for NDIS participants to socialise whilst enjoying games. As well as opportunities to improve social skills, make friends and provide an activity that gets them away from the isolation of home / work / school.
Our previous NDIS provider went under a lot of change, and the vision of and enthusiasm for Game Time was lost. They did not want to promote the LAN. They also did things like charge for the whole time, even if a participant did not attend the whole time. And, removed the free included lunch. They played with the frequency of the LAN, making it perhaps a bit too often, meaning that more people would miss weekends. There used to be good numbers coming along, but in the later months, numbers dwindled.
We aim to improve on all fronts.
We aim to advertise and promote the LAN as much as possible, to get the word out so more people can come (obviosuly to a limit)
We aim to provide a very affordable fee, and only charge for how long a participant attends.
We definitely aim to bring back the free lunch. It didn't cost that much.
We now have a Discord server, web page, Minecraft server, mailing list and Facebook page. We also aim to be as supportive to participants as possible.