It’s 8am in the morning. You’re waiting in line alongside a couple hundred others. The grand doors open leading into a hall that fit a thousand, maybe more. The stadium is stretched with lights fitted into every corner, a DJ booth stands on a podium above the rest of the floor, and a majestic stage housed centre court for the oncoming shows to come.
For the next 4 days, this is your abode. You live, you breathe, and you sleep in a dream space.
A dream that hacks away at the reality of everyday life.
This is DREAMHACK – The World’s Largest Digital Festival.
Held in Jönköping, Sweden twice annually, the DreamHack expo holds the record for being the world’s largest and most successful gathering of its kind.
If you’re still confused, let me set things straight. DreamHack is the world’s largest…
Depending on whom you say these two words to, responses are usually reciprocated with either a gasp of excitement, or a groan of annoyance. The latter more likely expressed by that token girlfriend you store away in the closet when such an event occurs.
Unless you’ve been desperately avoiding any form of lifestyle change in the last 20 years, the term LAN Party shouldn’t be unfamiliar to the ears.
Other common expressions include network parties, multiplayer events or the infamous nerd herd gathering – all equivalent in definition.
The DreamHack Winter commences on the 24th November 2011 over 4 days. In this time period, performances happen left right and center.
In one corner, we have the DJ Vizay mixing down a dubstep track.
In the other, we have BreakyCPK shoutcasting the HoN match-up between two top-tier teams.
Out back, we have the DreamExpo where you will find many of the largest and most innovative company’s showing off the latest hardware, gadgets and games.
And last but not least, central to the entire event is over ten thousand attendees set up side-by-side, with computers personal to each individual.
To give you a rough estimate of what to expect – In 2010, DreamHack Winter housed a record-breaking number of 12,754 computers and 13,608 visitors!
Now say, “Gawd Dayum!”
The DreamHack expo also hosts a tech fair offering demo and gaming competitions within and outside the premises. Seminars and lectures are held in conjunction whilst the giving the opportunity to view and try new technologies not yet available to the public. And when the glare of LED lights starts taking its toll, a few meters away are arenas that house thrilling activities such as bungee jumping, laser tag and go-kart racing.
As a fan, the above descriptor is only the icing on the cake.
Just as one driven by pure admiration would attend the Olympics to watch Usain Bolt break that 10s barrier in the 100 meters, gamers worldwide attend DreamHack to pay tribute to their idols, supporting their favourite gamer when they reach the respective number one spot and claim the championship title – not only for the SEK 200,000 ($30,000 USD) prize, but also the bragging rights that come associated with within the title.
Major e-sporting titles include Heroes of Newerth, StarCraft 2, Quake Live, Street Fighter, League of Legends, Dota 2 and Counter Strike.
Images courtesy of ajgnet
I’ve never written myself a bucket list. So as of this moment, I’m creating a blog category labelled *drumroll…* Bucket List (gasp!) that I will slowly fill with the names of the pokemon I never caught lifelong dreams and goals!
And of things that make up my bucket list, the DreamHack festival is one that easily fits itself inside, coming close to the thought of attending a FIFA World Cup Finals match and meeting communitychannel’s Natalie in person!
A year ago, DreamHack didn’t exist in my vocabulary. As of today, it will be the first of many things I will need to do/attend before I die.