The heyday of PC gaming is long gone. But recently I have reacquainted myself with its chief surviving remnant, Steam. It hasn’t changed much since I last played. I also randomly came across some technical articles recently, like this about how to get broadcast packets to travel over a VPN for gaming. Presumably this is for games that use IPX or some other simple LAN gaming protocol.
Then it hit me. Setting up LANs with VPN access intentionally for the purpose of playing multi-player games could be a great way to restore PC gaming. On a LAN you can provide all sorts of services very easily, and since a VPN is the only way in you can provide those services to only a select group of people rather than the whole world. It also makes everything easier by putting a single, yet very strong, security mechanism in front of all the services. No need for separate authentications or anything.
Why would this bring PC gaming back to life? Well, there are a lot of PC games out there that still work just fine. The problem has to do with lack of players, lack of quality players, or abundance of crappy players or cheaters. If someone were to setup a VPN dedicated to quality online gaming it would create a close community of quality PC gaming folk who could get their awesome game on without worrying about all the shitcockers. Not only could you lock up some game servers in the VPN, but you could also lock up some other stuff in there too. How about multiple game servers for different games, forums, IRC, informative web pages, a web server running web based games just for the LAN, etc. This type of community could allow the quality folk out there, like me and hopefully you, to get our PC gaming groove on free of all the craptasticness out there.
Imagine if there was a CS server out there that nobody could get to except for a large enough group of quality players. Imagine a place where there are servers for games that nobody plays anymore. Most of all, imagine a place where there are no shitcockers. They can’t get in, and if they do they are banned forever with no chance of getting back in. Incorporate the VPN into the LAN parties and you’ve got some even better times.