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How Do I Prevent Lan Party Theft?

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the have-it-at-the-neighbors'-place dept.

PC Games (Games) 758

DragonTHC writes "I'm thinking about hosting a lan party open to the public. I'm aiming for approximately 60 people to attend. I can handle all the logistics of operation. The only thing I can't wrap my head around is: how do I prevent theft at the lan party? Do I hire security guards? Do I need security cameras? I don't know the people who will attend, and I don't know if they're trustworthy enough to not steal other people's equipment. What do I do?"

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Insurance? (5, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680431)

Suppose somebody gets hurt? Are you ready to handle a big personal liability lawsuit?

I would NOT do what you are describing.

Re:Insurance? (4, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680623)

Solution: hold the party in your parent's basement.

Re:Insurance? (1)

Linux_ho (205887) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680667)

Surely the OP's homeowners insurance would cover any liability he might have if someone should come down with an acute case of carpal tunnel.

Re:Insurance? (5, Interesting)

Kiffer (206134) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680709)

Suppose somebody gets hurt? Are you ready to handle a big personal liability lawsuit?

I would NOT do what you are describing.

That's really disappointing ... I've seen this argument stop lots of events from happening...
Public Liability insurance is not expensive for this sort of affair...
if you hold the event in a hotel or other such place then most straight forward issues could be covered by the hotels insurance...

Also, 20178 is pretty low... so your probably old enough to have actual assets worth suing over, where as students and younger people aren't as big a target.
No assets, no point suing.

Re:Insurance? (5, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680717)


Suppose somebody gets hurt? Are you ready to handle a big personal liability lawsuit?


Oh please. If you're constantly worried about being sued you might as well just never get out of bed in the morning.

The reality here is this is a LAN party, not a frat-boy keg party. The risks are low.

If you're really concerned about it, most homeowners policies have a personal liability coverage in them.

Re:Insurance? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680981)

What about equipment damage? All around I would never allow 60 people I didn't know into my house, for any reason.

Re:Insurance? (1)

Jinjuku (762364) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680747)

Have them sign a waiver of liability... Duh...

Re:Insurance? (1)

Scotteh (885130) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680767)

Have attendees sign a waiver?

Re:Insurance? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680849)

Suppose somebody gets hurt? Are you ready to handle a big personal liability lawsuit?

I would NOT do what you are describing.

Not even trying to be funny but honestly, in no other country than USA would this be among the first things people think. I can't imagine that anyone in Finland would ever sue some organizer if they get hurt... Aside from it being clearly organizer's fault, such as letting toxic gas (not just farts) into the room. I mean... what? How do people even hurt themselves in lan parties?

I'm not saying the parent didn't have a valid point. If this is in USA and people really do raise law suits as easily as the rest of the world claims they do... Sure, get some sort of insurance.

But to thieving issue... Just tell people "Hey, if you have no friend here to watch your belongings and can't keep them safe yourself when sleeping, etc., you can leave the small valuables to me for a receipt.

Can't imagine this being an issue, though. I've been on countless lan parties from a dozen people to five thousand people (Assembly 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008), often without knowing anyone and always leaving laptops and often more (still packaged graphics cards, etc.) and such on the tables. Nobody has ever stolen anything from me nor have I heard that anyone else has lost anything in any of the events I've been in...

Have some trust in people. I know some would say "Yeah, you'll regret that trust when someone demands you two grands for that equipment someone stole from him" but seriously, guys:

If you can't have enough faith in humanity to throw a lan party because you fear for all the items that could be stolen, accidents that could happen, insurances, law suits... Your attitude to life sucks.

Re:Insurance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680907)

Suppose somebody gets hurt? Are you ready to handle a big personal liability lawsuit?

I would NOT do what you are describing.

That's right! Also don't invite anyone that you don't absolutely know and trust to your wedding/party/whatever.

And don't go out at all. What if you did something and somebody got hurt?

Best to just stay in bed this year.

Re:Insurance? (1)

neomagi (576884) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680917)

sad that liability is the first consideration that typically comes to mind. my suggestion is to have it in a country other than the US, that way you can have a good time. I am a US Citizen, but I detest how litigated everything has become with no one taking responsibility of her/his actions.

Re:Insurance? (3, Insightful)

JustKidding (591117) | more than 6 years ago | (#24681033)

It sort of depends on where he lives.

Some people here actually don't live in the I'll-sue-your-pants-off US of A.

How many people at the party do you know? (3, Interesting)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680435)

Delegate "security" to a dozen or so people you do know.

Re:How many people at the party do you know? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680537)

And then make sure all of those people are licensed and bonded, because if a fight breaks out, guess who's going to be civilly (and possibly criminally) liable? Hint: it won't be the judgment-proof "bouncers".

Re:How many people at the party do you know? (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680569)

Better yet, don't invite people you don't know. It's that simple. If you don't know someone well enough to trust them not to walk off with your stuff, you shouldn't be inviting them into your house. I sopose you could hire a gaurd, or delegate security, or any number of any other things; the question is, do you really want to have to do that in your own house?

Re:How many people at the party do you know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680991)

I guess it's safe to say he isn't inviting 60 people into his house. Nevertheless, as the organizer of the party, he probably wants it to be a success, and that means he has to make it unlikely that some of the 60 strangers' stuff gets stolen.

The most important personal precaution probably is to have everybody sign a liability disclaimer, not just for theft but also for injuries, unless gross negligence on his part is the cause. Then of course, don't be grossly negligent. He should talk to a friend with a law degree to find out what that means.

Regarding the theft issue: Don't have more entrances/exits than you (and people you really really trust) can supervise. Have predetermined times for setup and breakup. People leaving the venue with hardware outside of those times must "log out" first. Tell participants to be extra watchful during setup and breakup, but generally everybody needs to watch their own stuff at all times.

Re:How many people at the party do you know? (5, Funny)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680785)

Invite Hells Angels they have a long track record of providing security http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altamont_Free_Concert [wikipedia.org]

Re:How many people at the party do you know? (1)

TJamieson (218336) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680903)

I'm not sure whether to call this Funny or Insightful; perhaps a little of both. Kudos to pilgrim23 for the Altamont mention!

Related, have everyone sign a release.. (5, Insightful)

DragonPup (302885) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680437)

...stating you are not responsible for lost/stolen/damaged equipment.

Re:Related, have everyone sign a release.. (1)

penguinbrat (711309) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680541)

That would probably be a good thing, considering that if you *do* try and provide security you'd prolly be liable for what ever does happen... IANAL though :-)

Re:Related, have everyone sign a release.. (4, Informative)

Blorgo (19032) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680559)

Also have all equip signed in/out, that's all - nothing leaves without a cross-check to make sure it was checked in by the same guy. If you make it look like you are expecting theft, people will steal. If you put everyone on notice that you have an honor system and this signin is just to prevent mixups for identical-looking equipment, you'll have happier party-goers.

The disclaimer should be nothing too onerous, but with plenty of disclaimers - "YOU agree that YOU are responsible for everything that happens to YOUR equipment while it's here, including theft, spillage, power surges, lightning strikes, or other acts of man or God."

Re:Related, have everyone sign a release.. (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 6 years ago | (#24681051)

I'd also add to that, things like hubs etc should be out in the open and like the tag said duct tapped or something. That way if it goes missing you might know quicker. if it's hidden under a table it could go missing very easily. Also when my guild does lan parties we try to find a place that specializes in LAN parties. That they might have things like routers switches might be more secured.

Re:Related, have everyone sign a release.. (1)

billlava (1270394) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680771)

That might encourage people to steal. It makes it so the one person they might know or have a connection to (the host) will have no repercussions for lost property!

Hire a guard, in cosplay (5, Funny)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680439)

Hire a security guard, but if you want to intimidate lanparty geeks you need to have him dressed up as Arthas or something. Make sure the "steel is real" when selecting a weapon to go with the costume, geeks can tell 440stainless vs polished aluminum a mile away.

Re:Hire a guard, in cosplay (5, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680741)

geeks can tell 440stainless vs polished aluminum a mile away.

Or they could use something nerds are really afraid of, girls.

Stuff doesn;t get stolen (2, Insightful)

eth0-event (1278692) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680451)

As long as you only have paying visitors and computer geeks nothing will get stolen, all of them have their own equipment to think about, no-one want to risk being kicked out with their "rig" being thrown at their head. On campzone (a 1700 person outdoor lan) im more than comfortable to leave the tent and visit a nearby pool or restaurant. Only a few small items like sponsor flags, and a mobile phone have ever been stolen.

FIRST POST!!@1! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680455)

FIRST POST!!@1!

Re:FIRST POST!!@1! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680503)

I'm trying to come up with words to describe how epic this fail is...

Nothing (5, Insightful)

antirelic (1030688) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680461)

Your better off not trying to do anything to secure anything short of your own equipment. Just post a sign at the door that states that there is "no security" and that every individual is completely responsible for their own property.

Re:Nothing (3, Interesting)

needs2bfree (1256494) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680879)

I regularly run LAN parties at my school and very few things ever go missing. I might come home from one short a network cable, but its not a big deal to me. I wouldn't worry too much about pricey things unless your supplying it. Its kinda obvious if someone is walking away with 2 monitors when they came in with one. People will generally look after their own possessions. What i would worry about is the venue. If you leave a big mess after, you're responsible for it.

The question should be. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680463)

How can you steal from them without them finding out?

Re:The question should be. (5, Funny)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680871)

> How can you steal from them without them finding out?

1. Make everyone sign "The host can keep any stuff that is left behind" contract before entering.
2. Yell "oh my god, are those girls naked out there"
3. When everyone is out, close the door
4. Profit

That is actually not stealing, because you made them sign. If you want to steal, skip #1.

RE: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680473)

Cowboy Neal.

DNF (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680477)

You may want to just wait until Duke Nukem Forever comes out. I heard it on Slashdot the other day it won't be long now...

Re:DNF (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680549)

It's 11 years closer to coming out than it used to be...

Re:DNF (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680679)

No, it has been 11 years since its announcement.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure it's any closer.

Handcuff them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680483)

Handcuff them to the table, and when they want to leave, you can escort them out.

Tag everything ! (1)

bonekeeper (1294622) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680485)

Go crazy and stick a RFID tag on everything, from cables and mousepads to GPUs and go big brother style ! =) Or, just make sure to remember all the participants to watch their equipment, so it becomes their responsibility and not yours, as it always is.

Re:Tag everything ! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680563)

Make photocopies of everyone's drivers liscenses. Knowing that you are not anonymous anymore is going to be a huge deterrent.

a huge porn server (5, Funny)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680499)

Stick one of those on the network, and people will be too busy downloading that to bother about stealing stuff.

Re:a huge porn server (1)

fractic (1178341) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680551)

I fully endorse this idea! Between brackets: where exactly is this LAN party?

Re:a huge porn server (4, Funny)

MortenMW (968289) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680629)

Downloading music is stealing! I guess that applies to porn as well, unless you license it under the GPL or something. But GPL-porn would probably be made by the same people that release software under the GPL......

nooooo! (5, Funny)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680735)

But GPL-porn would probably be made by the same people that release software under the GPL......

Must...burn...imagination....

LOCK TEH FSKING DOORS!!11 (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680501)

It'll be an old-fashioned Lan party lock-in. Just think: the Bloods and Crips will finally be forced to make peace with each other after decades of bloody street warfare. By morning, all will hug and gang violence will be relegated to the history books.

Nah. Just kidding; hire bikers with sawed-off pool cues and at the slightest provocation, start fracturing mandibles. And, in greater numbers, too.

(Or you could just let in people you know and trust. Who are those, you may ask? Hint: only the people you haven't met yet.)

=Smidge=

No you can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680505)

I can handle all the logistics of operation. The only thing I can't wrap my head around is: how do I prevent theft at the lan party?

Since security is part of "the logistics of operation", I'd say you can't handle all of them.

Don't make it "open to the public." (1)

Huntr (951770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680509)

If you're that worried about security, make it invite only, then only invite people you trust. Simple.

Parties in general (1)

Merc248 (1026032) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680511)

You can't expect to prevent theft at all in any kind of party.

So be sure to either invite only your friends, or make everyone responsible for their own stuff, like every other party out there.

Re:Parties in general (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680653)

You can't expect to prevent theft at all in any kind of party.

Hell, if it's a really good party you should wake up 2 weeks later naked in an alley in Tijuana.

video capture, check id's (4, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680519)

Post signs saying you will record video. And do it (assuming you have a large rectangular space, 4 cameras to get a 360 degree view should be easy to set up, and relatively cheap). Record video capturing the face and ID of each person attending, at a bottlenecked entrance. If you have a venue with a parking lot, notify everyone that there will be videotaping of the parking lot, and again, do it. If you have the budget, hire a professional to do the ID checking. This should pretty much make any theft a non issue to prosecute. Be sure to post a disclaimer that you're not responsible for items lost/stolen though.

kensington cable locks (1)

spirit_fingers (777604) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680521)

Most computers and many monitors have Kensington cable lock slots. They won't deter the professional thief (nothing short of a security guard will), but they will give the casual thief some pause, and that's your main worry.

Make sure the cable is looped around something that is relatively solid and unmovable.

Arthurio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680523)

Don't worry about theft. You can't ensure that there's none. Just don't give the people any false sense of security. Let them keep an eye on their own things. Let it be known that everyone is responsible for their own equipment.

Duct tape the equipment (0)

Sonic McTails (700139) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680527)

Just duct tape everything down, so it can't be removed without a lot of effort.

I tagged the article "lotsofducttape"

Re:Duct tape the equipment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680723)

including the mouse

Webcams + ZoneMinder ? (1)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680531)

Do just like any other 'public' place would do - put up cameras and have them record however much space you can get away with. Let the people know, too. That will take care of half of them, the other half will (hopefully) be able to be reviewed.

Or, you could just walk around with a fully automatic AK-47 airsoft rifle. Hell, do that anyway. Nothing like sniping an unsuspecting gamer from the top of the stairs. And getting it on camera. =p

Theft happens. (2, Insightful)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680535)

Businesses have an accounting factor called "inventory shrinkage" which really just amounts to "theft". People will steal from time to time, not many actually do it, but some do, and so thefts will happen. You can increase security to discourage it, but you can never make a full guarantee.

Thus, you can increase security in practical ways, but eventually increasing security stops being practical and can even fail to increase actual security. After that, resign to the fact that theft happens. You may increase ticket prices to compensate for the expected loss of a router or two. If it doesn't happen, consider it a credit to the next lan party's theft compensation.

Re:Theft happens. (1)

Bazar (778572) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680649)

Inventory Shrinkage accounts for more then just theft.

Its simply writing off missing or damaged goods that aren't worth accounting for on an individual basis. Did some get inventory get broken while in storage, or damaged by staff.

Small thefts can be included in the costs, but its not just an alternate name for thievery.

Easy (2, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680545)

Just place machine gun nests at strategic locations and make sure to have plenty of dogs, preferably Rottweilers.

Seriously though, this does this question have anything to do with technology? Do the same things as you do when you throw a regular party, i.e. trust people who come not to steal stuff and to keep track of their own stuff. Or ask couple of friends to keep an eye on things if you are really paranoid

A neuro tranciever. (0)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680557)

Require all participants to wear a neurotranciever. The Borg may find it efficient for communication but it can also serve the purpose of monitoring everyone simultaneously. Just remember, thought crime isn't illegal yet.

Dogs. (1)

keatonj (940527) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680573)

If it's overnight, don't let people leave during the evening hours (with equipment). Tagging items is possible, but your only good chance is to have "easy to peel off" stickers, which would allow easy fraud... Making sure everyone is on their toes for their own stuff is a mighty good tactic. If everyone is constantly vigilant about their own stuff, theft will go down (using your audience as security guards). You'll need at least a few security people if your going have 60 people. That's a fair few people, and all it takes is two of them to get pissed off, and you could have chaos on your hands. With just a few people that inspect everyone leaving, you could prevent a whole heap of theft. One of your strongest paths will either be the classic fear mongering, or strict entry/exit requirements. One LAN I went to had "cards" that everyone got, and on them labeled our gear (we had to pre-register).. and you weren't allowed out with gear, unless it was on your card. And when you left, they crossed it off.

Venue matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680593)

Host it at a local hotel conference room or banquet room. Rent it.

DRM (5, Funny)

CyberVenom (697959) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680601)

Everyone knows that DRM is really the only answer for preventing theft in today's high-tech society.

Re:DRM (1)

krkhan (1071096) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680783)

Or better, just install Vista on all of the systems. It won't be fool proof but no real geek would try to steal any part of a system that's running Vista. For the non-geeks, you can just try simply labeling your entire systems as Intellectual Property (TM).

Host it somewhere else. (2, Interesting)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680603)

Find an internet cafe' and see if you can rent it out. Most cafe's will let you for a fee.

Have everyone pitch in a few bucks and you should be fine.

Theres a place that lets you do that here in Dallas.

Waiver! (0, Redundant)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680607)

Draft a legally binding waiver and require all participants to sign it without modification. Plus insurance (as the other poster said). Plus take reasonable security measures.

Been there... (1)

eth1 (94901) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680627)

Some friends of mine did this ~10 years ago, and I helped out a bit.

Either you (or possibly your venue) will need insurance.
You might need to hire a police officer (check laws for this one).

We had a checkpoint at the door. We had an engraving pen there, and all CPUs and monitors were *required* to have your driver's license number engraved on them to be brought in, and we didn't allow any equipment to leave without checking. All other equipment (kb/mouse/headphones/etc.) was "at your own risk." We also offered to engrave anything else they had if they wanted us to, but didn't require a check to remove it.

Re:Been there... (2, Informative)

eth1 (94901) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680711)

Oh, forgot one other biggie!

We had to hire a generator rental company to provide power. We couldn't find any place that enough juice to one room to run 50 PCs. (at least, not without seriously violating code)

Re:Been there... (1)

zulater (635326) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680873)

Engraving things is a bit much. Quakecon does it well. You let them know the items you will bring or tell them at the door. They give you a list of your stuff with your name and an id (drivers license number etc) and you must have that paper to check out. Get detailed, enermax black and grey case, xxx mouse, xxx 17"lcd etc.

Owner's responsibility (0, Redundant)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680639)

First off, make sure that everyone knows they're responsible for their own equipment and not to leave it unattended. Period. Put in cameras, bouncers, whatever you want to minimize the chances of theft, but don't rely on them. I know it sounds like a cop out, but a party situation just has too many variables to control effectively.

Easy: Keep it small (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680647)

I've done quite a few LAN parties now; big & small. They started with me and my flatmate housing 8 mates in our living room, battling out various incarnations of war. Then slowly it grew into many more people until finally it got too big; too dispersed, and the original spirit of the gaming sessions was lost to clusters of people doing their own thing; with little cohesion in the group.

Now, when we do LAN parties, it's 8 people max, and people everyone knows well. 8-way battles with mates + pizza & vodka + drinking games == some of the best nights I've ever had.

To each their own. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680657)

Make sure the people coming know that they are responsible for their equipment. I for one never leave my gear unattended. Either me or one of my friends is around are stuff at all times.

Also you'll need to make it apparent that ANY theft what-so-ever will result in the police being called.

Otherwise it's from my experience at most LAN parties people keep an eye on each others gear.

Seriously?... (0, Troll)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680663)

This is news on Slashdot? Seriously? Really? Wow... Must be a slow day...

Give away some free tickets or goodies (1)

Meshugga (581651) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680693)

for chaps who are willing to do a little security duty.

Their job would be to control the entry at the signon and the exit while the party. They should write down serial numbers and names (ids) of all equipmen brought to the party which is bigger than what fits in a pocket, i.e. desktops, laptops, switches, tfts etc.

Make it clear that anything smaller is to be carried with the owner and that there is no guarantee that the aforementioned security measure is sufficient or can even prevent theft.

And of course, provide holes in desks where people can fixate their kensington locks.

This is plenty for opportunity thieves, you can't do anything against organized actions which wouldnt make regular people uncomfortable anyway (like cameras, too much security standing around, police, body searches, etc)

Why are you worried? (1)

ogrius (186951) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680697)

A poster above suggested a waiver... which never hurts.

But to me it would depend on the space you are using.

A lan party local to me uses one big room with all the users in it. Then if you restrict access to the area to only people playing plus have limited ways in or out it gets rather difficult to sneak stuff out.

Plus for the most part people will be near their computers, playing them. It is some what common sense to ask you neighbour to watch your stuff when you take a washroom break or something.

As for security guards I think they would be useless unless being used to keep the site closed to playing/paying people only. A security guard is not going to know that Jim Bob has two computer cases in that rubbermaid he is carrying. The security guard gives the illusion of security, not real security.

personal experience (1)

comp21llc (895374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680699)

I can tell you from personal experience that you will have little to anything to worry about with regards to theft of another's belonging... depending on the size of your town, most of the gamers will all know each other, in fact, there will probably only be 2-3 major groups of friends that will come... On the other hand, while you're not worried about theft of property, I can relay to you a personal story here: My computer repair shop in SE Missouri used to have LAN parties ALL the time... at least every month or two... the biggest problem we found? We would accidentally leave sales information (companies we were going to contact, sales leads, etc)... apprently, we had several individuals who were coming over, going through that information when no one was looking and then telling their employer or their their friends who owned a competeing computer repair business... It's hard to walk out with physical items that don't belong to you, but it's very easy to walk out with information...

Not your problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680725)

Just tell people to keep an eye on their shit

Nudity solves the problem (1)

Gerocrack (979018) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680749)

Have a naked lan party! Nudity leaves the participants with nowhere to hide stolen items... well, almost nowhere.

Re:Nudity solves the problem (2, Funny)

ogrius (186951) | more than 6 years ago | (#24681027)

Yeah and then you get someone who "proves" they can hide items... Don't go there. :)

Chuckee Cheese has the same problem... (1)

Wugger (17867) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680775)

...only they have to worry about people stealing *children*, so count yourself lucky. :) So do hospital post-natal wards, for that matter.

On the way in, they put a uniquely ID'ed bracelet on the kids and the parents. There's only one way out, and on the way out a staffer checks that kids match parents. It's a nice way to reduce the amount of security needed.

security is an illusion (1)

mbaGeek (1219224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680777)

"I don't know if they're trustworthy enough to not steal other people's equipment."

they aren't - good locks make people honest

the important thing with any type of "physical security" is that it be highly visible - i.e. one guard standing at the entrance will probably just irritate people (and not prevent any theft)

even if you hire a security guard and use security cameras (but that is probably overkill) it won't prevent someone who is motivated from stealing something

whatever level of security you decide to use - make sure people understand that you are not responsible for "items lost or stolen" and that they should not leave small/valuable items unattended

and of course IANAL ;-) so I don't know what level of implied liability you are taking on...

Make an example out of someone (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680787)

Use the old caning [wikipedia.org] rod on one of the gimps and claim that he stole a 32meg jump drive from you. That will keep them all honest.

Disclaimer (1)

rgbe (310525) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680799)

I have organised and been to many LAN parties, although none as big as yours. I have never had anything reported as being stolen. Geeks are geeks and generally will not leave their PC for too long. I would trust the people who come, but make them aware that everyone is responsible for their own gear/lives. If you are really concerned have them sign a disclaimer.

this may be just me but... (1)

m2bord (781676) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680811)

i wouldn't have anyone over to my house who may steal from me in the first place. if you can't trust your friends not to steal from you, then maybe it's time for new friends.

secondly..i have a moderately sized home (3000 sq ft) and i wouldn't dream of having 60 people over unless it was an emergency.

I can help you out (1)

Geste (527302) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680831)

I can help you out. When are you thinking of having it? What's the street address?

As far as security goes - (3, Funny)

Recovering Hater (833107) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680859)

- You should hire the Hells Angels and pay them with beer. Make sure you announce it nationwide and let everyone know that event is free. Then you let someone film a doc about it. Oh, and make sure you have everyone stand out in the hot sun all afternoon before it kicks off. And don't forget to make it easy for everyone to have easy access to drugs an alcohol.

General Liability (1)

jchawk (127686) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680885)

Why are you worried about other peoples property, just state as part of the sign up that you can't be held responsible.

Hold the event at a licensed event center or hall. Doing this should ensure that you don't have to worry about someone getting hurt. If something happens they sue the event location (who has insurance). Talk to the venue about what they are willing to cover in case something happens. Also have a disclaimer on your tickets / sign-up sheets that explain you are to be held harmless in the event of an accident.

If you are still worried about getting sued for someone getting hurt seek Event Liability Insurance you can track down numerous places that sell it by googling for "Event Liability Insurance". Or even easier call your normal insurance rep and see if they can recommend someone. Most good car / home / renter insurance reps can get you to someone who can help.

I'm not a lawyer but if you follow these tips and do some 5th grade math you ought to be able to have fun at your event and make a couple of bucks for your time!

The Hells Angels (0, Troll)

grolaw (670747) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680921)

Didn't work out too well for the 'Stones.

You, sir, need a business entity of your own, such as a LLC - to do this deal. You need to rent space (hotel ballrooms at older hotels are great venues - rooms to rent, bathrooms aplenty, their own security and restaurant or something like room/ballroom service available) and delegate security.

Depending upon what state you are located in, you might want to impose a "no concealed carry" on the participants and their guests. Unless you like the idea of some fool with a pocket rocket deciding to trade the virtual for the real. Ever see what a .357 can do to a telephone pole? A .44? Both rounds will shoot right through an engine block. Imagine a row of gamers at a long table - how many can YOU take out with one round?

You also need liability insurance. You will be asked for a waiver when booking the site.

Oh yeah, medical emergency numbers and hospital locations are absolutely necessary.

The Watchmen (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680929)

It's quite simple. When you sit down. Ask the guy to your right and to your left to watch your shit. As long as one of them is honest then your stuff won't get stolen.

I would implement a simple SQL server and a still camera.

As someone checks in take a picture of their driver's license, case and their monitor.
When they leave with gear type in their name and check the photo. Then hook a webcam to the computer and point it at the LAN party. Tracking 60 people in a room is pathetically easy.

Then just lie and say the parking lot is under surveilance.

simple. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680931)

every person entering has their gear tagged by you. anyone leaving must match the tag of the stuff no EXCEPTIONS. no bags allowed people will be frisked.

Really simple. people not wanting a tag will be refused entry.

It's not rocket science.

I say post a sign, if your stuff get's stolen, it's YOUR FAULT, you being here means you agree to this.. and let your patrons deal with it.

Make an example.... (1)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680935)

Simple. Wait for someone to actually steal something then make an example of them. Piking their head at the door should do nicely. Although there might be some local ordinances against it, possibly some heath codes too. Might want to consult a lawyer or a constable just in case.

why lan party in the first place? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680937)

You don't need to haul your computer around accross town just to play online games. LAN parties are of the pre-broadband era.

Hire a bouncer! (1)

OodlesOfGerbils (1022689) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680947)

Get one of your more burly friends to serve as a security guard. Pay them in whatever way you see fit, but do make sure you pay them.

Didn't see much of a theft problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680971)

At the LAN parties I went to, I didn't see much of a theft problem. The LAN party's equipment, I don't even know where it was.. the tables all had an ethernet cable stringing up to plug into, but switches etc? Who knows. As for other people's stuff, just make it their responsibility. At the one I was at people were so busy gaming, they wouldn't have a chance to go stealing.

Downtime (1)

Kelz (611260) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680979)

After, say, 2AM: No equipment of any sort goes in or out. Have someone awake (its a lan party ffs, people will be awake) and vigilant towards anyone walking out the door with any equipment.

For liability: make everyone sign a no-liability form.

funny, I thought he meant... (1)

sjs132 (631745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24680983)

When I first saw the headline, I thought he meant how to stop people from stealing the SOFTWARE and files that are available on other peoples computers... I guess I'm just stupid, because I've never seen hardware walk at a LanParty, but we usually know each other, or at least everyone knows the host. That is usually the deterrant. But, Just me I guess....

Worst. Article. Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24680993)

Slow news day at slashdot?

Here's some pointers :-) (4, Informative)

mxs (42717) | more than 6 years ago | (#24681005)

Having organized parties as large as 2000 people, there is one thing that will pretty much be true with a party of every size : You cannot possibly guarantee that there won't be any theft at all and maintain a decent party atmosphere (let alone keep inside the budget).

You should, under no circumstances, assume liability over your guests' equipment. They need to know they are responsible for their own stuff, and that you will not be held accountable if somebody steals it. If they cannot watch their equipment for the duration of the party, then that is not your fault.
You can, of course, offer a "lockbox"-service -- i.e. offer to keep their hardware secured in a cage or some such which is guarded 24/7; This is pretty much the same model as wardrobe at theaters. You take their bags/hardware, issue them a ticket, and do not release the bags/hardware without that ticket. Make sure you inform yourself on what liability you are taking on (if any), possibly restrict it to a maximum value, and consider insuring yourself against theft thereof. If you do this, make absolutely sure that the station is manned 24/7 (we usually do this near the reception area). Think about policies and procedures for when somebody loses their ticket (they will.)

If you provide the network/power infrastructure (and you usually do), think a bit about how to secure it. If you rent your equipment, inquire about theft insurance. It may well be worth it, depending on what your equipment costs. The most probable time switches, routers, etc. get stolen is when everybody is packing up (at the end of the party) -- it's chaos at that point. Keep an eye on your stuff. We usually devise a monitoring system; if your switches are managed, you can keep pinging them once a second from a central station. If they don't reply two or more times, an alarm goes off (loud, obnoxious, flashy alarm, with the equipment name, number and mapped location on the screen, in red). Make sure you have people in place who can follow up on that stuff, fast. If there is only one exit, it may be easier to check for your "bigger" stuff; smaller stuff is easy to hide in bags, and searching bags is not only really, really timeconsuming, but also kills party atmosphere, potentially lands you in legal hot waters, etc.

Do not assume that people will leave via the designated exit/entrance area. You will most likely HAVE to have a secondary fire exit (or more, depending on the size of the venue). These cannot be blocked or barred. When people leave at the end, they may also use these. Equipment near there is rather high risk. Have people there.

Security "guards" (i.e. guys hired for that specific purpose) are nice for FEELING secure, but they don't actually do much. LAN-party goers don't usually end up in fistfights, and you don't want guards roughing up your guests. It doesn't, of course, hurt when some of your organizing team (you do have a team, right ?) look impressive in person :>

Security cameras don't usually have high resolutions and are easily avoided. You can make pretty nifty time-compressions of them though for the after-party videos.

If you want, you can devise a ticketing/sticker system for high-value items of your guests ... I.e. when they check in, give them 3-4 stickers for their equipment and a token to be kept secure (an armband, a badge, that sort of stuff). They affix their stickers to their equipment, and on checkout, you check the stickers against the badge. If you go this road, do keep an eye on speed. Wireless handheld barcode scanners can help. If this process is too slow, your team and your guests will grow frustrated at checkout and eventually not bother with it anymore.

You mention that you do not know the people who are coming. Do you also not know who is coming ? If not, make it a requirement to sign up on your website. Throw in some nifty stuff for that (seat selection, etc.), and people will do it. That way at least you'll have some personal information to identify people with.
If you do have an incident, this information will be tremendously helpful.

Check your local laws w.r.t. your liability for what people do at your party/venue. Police raids happen very, very rarely, but they do happen, especially if there is enough indication. Think about this before you set up a free-for-all FTP server with lots of free space. Not after. Also read up on laws regarding pornography and child pornography; in some countries, you will need to check ID or make sure minors cannot access certain types of games/content, especially if you assume guardianship of them for the duration of the event (which is sometimes REQUIRED if you have minors attending). As for CP, yes, there are utter fucktards that not only "collect" that stuff but also bring it to lanparties and share it on, say, DirectConnect. Make sure what your obligations are if you are alerted to that fact, and what your policies are. Some jurisdictions require you to alert the police in these cases.
The last part is a bit of a bummer, but it helps to know what your legal obligations are ;-)

Security by Chucky Cheese (1)

theCat (36907) | more than 6 years ago | (#24681023)

Use a UV-readable marker to mark peoples' arms with a sekret sign (of the beast!) and a random number, and then mark their equipment same-wise. Then, nobody gets out with a boxen who 1) isn't marked on the arm with the sekret sign + number, and 2) has equipage marked the same.

Isn't perfect, but tis l33tful.

Tazer guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24681025)

Lots and lots of tazer guns. Preferably two per person so they can duel wield them.

ask those people to monitor (1)

deconvolution (715827) | more than 6 years ago | (#24681035)

Instead of hiring those securities. Why not just ask the attendee to be as the security guards based on some simple rules?

For example, in your case, you can randomly divided 60 people into 20 groups with 3 people in each group. One group will check around the whole party about certain interval, say 10 mins, and then switch to the next group. So every player will have get up and take the security responsibilities in every 190 mins (about 3 hours). It is also a good way to force them have a short break to move their fat legs. Also you can make a similar rule based on match results.

Keep the location secret ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24681039)

.. and get security through obscurity!

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