QuakeCon started life as an internet chat room with fans and developers.
The idea for QuakeCon originally came from an internet chat room between fans and developers who wanted to play iD Software games together.
As detailed in Retro Gamer issue 227, QuakeCon was born into an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) room in the early 1990s. Managed for fans, by fans, the iD Software-specific chat room was primarily used to discuss Doom and Quake during the early years. from the Internet. However, what many fans didn’t know at the time is that the developers at iD Software – such as John Romero and Christian Antkowoften – often hid in chat and sometimes even spoke with gamers.
“It blew people’s minds,” said David ‘Wino’ Miller, longtime fan and chatroom moderator. “Somehow it turned out that the developers were hanging around on this channel and it went from 100 to around 1,000 people just waiting to hear a developer step in and say something about the game. “
This is, according to the Retro Gamer story, how QuakeCon started out. Following the popularity of the IRC Room, it has been suggested that Quake fans host a Local Area Network (LAN) party – which, for those of you who are too young to remember what a LAN party is. , was just a face-to-face meeting to play games. online via dial up – this is how the first QuakeCon was born in 1996.
The very first QuakeCon was held at the La Quinta Inn in Garland, TX with approximately 40 attendees. Which is quite a jump considering the last in-person QuakeCon – held in 2019 – which had over 10,000 attendees. David, who, along with a few others, hosted the first event, recalls the history of Retro Gamer explaining, “I didn’t think a lot of hotels knew what we were asking for and what kind of power issues. we needed.”
According to David, “The network was not a fancy network. Before Ethernet became the norm, we had another one called BNC. The problem with this network is that when a person disconnects from it, everything goes down. The games would stop. The tournaments would die. This happened several times during the event. “
You can read more about the history of QuakeCon in Retro Gamer issue 227 – download the latest issue of Retro Gamer here.