(How to open blocked ports to play steam games at the end of the post)

I was really excited about the residence that I chose in Lyon, because the website said that it would have unlimited adsl internet. I was really looking forward to playing euro TF2 gathers with an amazing ping. When I arrived, though, the internet wasn’t working at all! The first night was very difficult sans internet.

I’m proud to say that I am almost certain that I was the only person to arrive with their own cat5/ethernet cord! You definitely learn a lot from going to LAN parties! When the internet finally did work, Steam still wouldn’t load for me. A week later, it miraculously let me login and use steam friends, which was nice, because I really missed all of my gaming friends. I wanted to say hello to them over ventrilo, but I wasn’t able to reach any servers- the American one I used to frequent or even the European one used for gathers. I went to a couple of websites to check which ports I had open, and the only was essentially 80, which is used for surfing the web.

I got the phone number of the network admin, and he answered my first phone call and gave me his email address, but it didn’t work at all when I tried to contact him to ask him to open a few ports for my MAC address. I tried to call him again to clarify his email address, but he started ignoring my calls, which left me without many options.

When I first arrived I tried connecting to my canadian university’s vpn through the Cisco vpn client, but the port to run that program was blocked, too. One of my friends told me about the VPN service Perfect Privacy, but it was a bit too pricey for my tastes.

I did some searching, and I came across Strong VPN and it has been really great. I checked out a couple of cheaper VPN services, but they would take days to answer my questions, whereas I would receive a response from Strong VPN within minutes. I am paying $45 for 3 months (no set-up fee special). I have been able to play TF2 again, and it felt absolutely amazing to play it for the first time in almost 2 weeks; I definitely felt a surge of adrenaline pumping through my veins; it’s funny how you lose that sensation when you play it everyday. I have to play with a ping of 100 which is not ideal, but it’s better than no gaming at all. I am happy to be getting better download speeds for torrents when running the VPN.

Summary:
I would definitely recommend paying for a VPN service if you are also a gamer or geek who wants ultimate internet freedom; there are tons of VPN companies out there, so check around, and see which one offers servers located near you 🙂

Battle Royale LAN Party

January 12, 2009

I haven’t been blogging so much lately, because I have been spending most of my spare time helping to organize a huge LAN party that is taking place from January 24-25, 2009 in Ottawa, Ontario at Carleton University. I can barely believe how soon it will be taking place! I will not be able to attend, because I will already be in France, but I have been trying my best to help make this LAN a huge success.

I was able to get Bawls, the energy drink for gamers to sponsor the event with 200 free drinks. Steam is also donating us 100 free temporary accounts for those do not own Valve games, and want to try them out and/or participate in the Valve game tournaments.

My friend, Renegade, from Pwnage.TV will also be making the trip up to Ottawa to do shoutcasting for the various tournaments!

I wish so much that I could be there, because LAN parties are always fun, and I know this one will be truly great. Please spread the word to your Canadian gamer friends ^^

Battle Royale Site

Frag Movie

January 9, 2009

Frag Movie was first screened in April, 2008, and it documents the journey that many people take in becoming pro gamers. I was personally always intrigued as to how people were able to support themselves on such a career, where only the best see any money.

The film outlines the basics of this, including the necessity of finding sponsors and attending big tournaments, which are also sponsored. You really get to see the nasty underbelly of pro gaming, and how kids are signing contracts without any business savvy, and many end up getting taken of by big sponsors who are essentially holding them hostage while they await the funds they need for food and shelter.

The documentary features many pro gamers including Rafik “LoSt-CaUzE” Bryant and Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel. It is interesting to hear about how they got into pro gaming, and had to struggle against their parents’ will in order to accomplish and achieve their dreams. For those big into TF2- you will see a short clip of iDemise’s Carnage somewhere in there, too, from 2005. I laughed so hard, as soon as I recognized him, and the clip itself is INSANELY hilarious- I will say no further to spoil it ^^

The trailer:

Frag Movie Website