This article originally appeared on VICE Netherlands.
I used to consider myself quite the gamer, but now that I've been to the Reality—one of the Netherlands' biggest LAN parties—I know better. I was there to photograph the weekend's festivities, and realized that even in my most passionate gaming days, I would never have dragged my computer to the other end of the country—only to sit there and do exactly what I do at home. But these guys did—for 50 hours straight. That is a kind of dedication I never had.
It was exactly that dedication that I enjoyed watching while walking around the events hall in Assen, a little over a week ago. Most gamers had brought blankets, cool boxes, fans, and enough energy drinks to bring life to the Terracotta Army. The organizers had furnished a dorm room, so the attendees could get some rest, but the fiercest warriors at the Reality didn't step away from the screen to get some rest. They just nodded off in their chairs and woke up a few hours later—not very refreshed maybe but very close to their battlefield.