Penny Arcade Lanwerx Trip Report

Senor Barborito 10/16/2003  

To all of you from every gamer:
we finally understand your pain.
I went to the Penny-Arcade get-together at Lanwerx in Bellevue today. For future historians, that would be the 'first' one. I say first because in a move that stands a fair shake of eclipsing the Holocaust as the worst thing a couple of humans have ever inflicted upon a culture, Tycho and Gabe have decided at the time of this article being written to make this a regular event. Indeed, of such magnitude was this event that I daresay it provided not only a reflecting pool for our collective past as gamers, but charted the course of our future as human-fucking-beings.


Thanks to my arriving at 11AM when it started, I actually managed to shake hands with Tycho and chat with him for about 10 minutes regarding MMORPGs. He was reasonably insightful and quite friendly, if rotund.


The rest of the time, outside of a few cool people on my Battlefield 1942 team I was just trying to cope with being trapped in that small of a space with 100 ugly, incredibly smelly people. Never, not once in over twenty years of virtually nonstop gaming have I hated this hobby so much. It has nothing to do with the games frequently being completely pointless in any greater sense, or perhaps shipped dangerously1 broken, or maybe just poorly designed to begin with. Those failings are mostly balanced out by the good (although Morrowind, for instance, would probably fall under 'shipped broken') this industry graces us with while the mainstream gaming press studiously ignores it.

No, this problem was one of basic hygiene, and it was deadly fucking serious.

If you are a gamer, do the following:

da Vinci stands vindicated?
John the Baptist - the cleaner Messiah for gamers.
1) Shave every goddamned morning and cut your hair/fingernails short. Trade in those glasses for contacts if you possibly can. Trust me.
2) Shower every morning as well - why do you need to be told this?
3) When you shower, always shampoo and soap down your entire body including your well-used and purple anal crevice. For God's sake you shouldn't need to be told this with most of you seemingly advancing past 25, but judging from the LAN party I was just at the scent of which would best be described as 'raw human sewage', >70% of gamers still haven't figured this out on your own. Use more deodorant than you think is necessary, and do not use 'musk' - you've got enough of that naturally.
4) If you find yourself with even a bit of pudge anywhere on your body (can you grip or see any flab on your stomach?), start doing as many situps and pushups as you can before that shower (so the sweat gets washed off) and before you go to bed every goddamned day. How many? Do as many of each as you can until you literally cannot do another one no matter how hard you try.
5) Eat less - I don't care who you are or if you're on hunger strike or if you look like Calista Flockhart in her skeletal phase. You are eating too much right now, I promise you.

Lastly, but most certainly not least:


If the people at that convention had followed these simple rules not only would I be happier not having to look at/smell the most horribly deformed and putrid 'people' I have ever interacted with - and this includes the street bums I used to serve meals to at the mission as a kid - but most of them could probably also score a girlfriend of some kind, which clearly none of them ever had. That kid in college who lived three doors down and did nothing but play Diablo online all day, showering perhaps once every two or three weeks at most till you couldn't bear to walk past his room? The very same one whose door you taped a bar of soap to, then laid down a path of little duct-tape arrows on the hall floor leading towards the showers with your equally angered roommate? I had that kid on my floor (and did that to him) - he didn't smell as bad as some of the people at Lanwerx.

Jesus Christ I swear to God today was enough to put me off LAN parties forever. I can't count the number of times I literally nearly threw up just from someone walking past me at more than 6 feet away. What the hell? What the fucking hell? Did these people not have parents? I mean, I can understand a few, but the overwhelming majority of the populace there was giving off an unbearable fucking stench and looking like they'd just come from an incest convention held in an all-you-can-eat pork-only restaurant. The pictures in my head they inspired really gave new and terrifying meaning to the phrase 'family dining.'

Eventually, I couldn't take the noise and the stink. I'd been in the equivalent of solitary confinement with my fiancee gone for the week on a business trip. The shock of 100+ crowded, reeking Morlocks just drove me out. In a testament to my own failings as a human being I won a shirt in my fiancee's size from some PA trivia contest, and I wasn't playing in the Soul Calibur 2 tourney so there wasn't much left for me.

I was left with one clear conclusion from this 'event':

We all thought our destruction of the environment would eventually kill our species, and we were wrong. The polar caps melting just means more beachfront property. Alternatively a new ice age just means we can safely restart slavery (easy there, I'm talking white slavery) as our northern neighbors - desperate from the loss of their precious Tim Hortons' - come running into our happy and waiting forced labor camps. Surely our clever mammal brains could outwit any other problems of a similar nature.

But this problem was something we were never prepared for - something far worse. Fools all of us, we should have listened to the dire proclamations of the hygiene companies as they strove in vain to combat this insidious threat that springs from deep within us all! Only now does the nature of our fate as a species become clear . . .

Humanity’s final hour.
As the Internet and gaming continue to increase in popularity, as MMORPGs progress in their transformation to eCrack, we are doomed to die a horrible choking death, drowning in our vomit at the scent of each other, stuffing our nostrils full of raw Glade plugins and finally clawing out our own noses in ceaseless agony.

To my fellow gamers everywhere:


Senor Barborito