This weekend UCSB gamers will unite to battle terrorists, orcs and the undead.

UCSB’s Computer Gaming Club is holding its second local area network (LAN) party this Saturday, with a registration meeting today at 5 p.m. in the UCen Harbor Room. The club expects to draw a crowd of 50-75 gaming enthusiasts to the party, where they will enjoy popular computer games as well as snacks and a raffle provided by the club.

Glenn Wyatt, co-chair of the Computer Gaming Club and a third-year business economics major, said he expected some people would stay the whole nine hours of the event, though most would probably stay three or four hours or drop by after dinner. Wyatt said participants should bring their own personal computers to the event, where they’ll be networked together on a peer-to-peer system, in which every computer “talks” to every other computer, allowing everyone to join in the same game.

“The main games being played will be Counterstrike and Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne,'” Wyatt said. “But people can bring in whatever games they want to play. We want this to be an alternative to the usual social scene on Saturday nights.”

Josh Lee, vice chair of the club and a third-year biology major, said the club hopes to draw a diverse crowd to the party.

“We want a wide variety of people; females, males, hardcore gamers and novices,” Lee said. “We want to bring people who share common interests together.”

Lee said the more people who register, the better the raffle prizes will be. Prizes will include pre-ordered copies of Half-Life 2, which will not be released until March. Other prizes may include an LCD monitor, depending on the number of people that attend. Wyatt also said the event’s corporate sponsor, Bawls Energy Drink, may contribute a case of its product as another prize.

Some see the event as a change of pace from the often isolated world of a video gamer.

“It’s a social event where you’re eating and playing games with other people. It’s better than sitting alone at home,” Wyatt said.

One campus gamer disagreed.

“It might have been cool in high school, but in college it’s kind of ridiculous,” second-year biopsychology major Roy Clark said. “I guess it’s a socializing event, but it doesn’t form any social skills.”

Others see the LAN party in a more positive light.

“I’d have to find a way to haul my friggin’ computer over there, but I’d go,” second-year computer science major Glenn Jahnke said. “The environment is enjoyable.”

The Computer Gaming Club became an official UCSB organization in Spring of 2003.

“Last year [the first LAN party] was really well received, with at least 22 people attending,” Wyatt said. “The purpose of the club is to organize the gaming community on campus. We knew it was pretty big, but not very organized.”

Other sponsors of the event include the Tropicana Student Organization, the Office of Student Life, AS Finance Board, ResNet, the Residence Halls Association and the Office of the Chancellor.

The registration meeting is mandatory for anyone who wants to attend the LAN party. The $5 registration fee will pay for food, drinks, and raffle prizes. The party will take place Saturday from 1 to 10 p.m. in the Santa Rosa Formal Lounge.