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As we sat in the sun on this beautiful Sunday the 13th in Wieze, a small town in Belgium, we exchanged on this last play-day of the Frag-o-matic Tournament many thoughts and ideas about gamers, people in common, the development of the game-scene and the challenges and opportunities in the future. We continued the interview after a short coffee break.

Q: how about the name Frag-o-Matic (FoM) by the way?

(Koen, with a big smile:) a "Frag" is a killing, a common used term at the time we played those first person shooters like Death Match often. Your score was often counted by the number of Frags you had. "o-Matic" is derived from "automatic", and well,  so we combined it and the name Frag-o-Matic was born.

Q: back to IT. Bruno, you mentioned already internet as the main problem for the future.

(Bruno:) Yes, after the problems of Frag-o-Matic 16.0 (Huge delays and many hick-ups, ed.) we invested in some extra game-servers. We do not want to experience those kind of troubles ever again. And in the end gamers want only 2 things: a responsive internet connection and a well functioning game-server. It is "killing" when disturbing hick-ups or delays have a negative influence on your killings :-). We have also additional ways to reduce these risks as much as possible: We prioritize the competing games over non-critical internet traffic. Up till now we manage quite well to provide stable in-game ping times using this method.

An opinion fully confirmed by us: Yes, after we experienced the problems at the previous Frag-o-Matic, we really hoped it would be better this time. And our teams are pleased: it is excellent. Our compliments to Bruno & Koen!

As we share enthusiastic our ideas on LAN events and cooperation between Dutchies and the Belgians, we're already arrived at the last set of questions.

Q: Organizing a LAN is quite a job. Is it correct to say that you have to cooperate with many parties?

(Bruno:) Yes and No. Many things are done by ourselves. Of course we have to rent space (the Oktoberhallen) and extra power resources; we need sufficient internet lines and capacity; we have to fulfill all demands from the Fire Brigade and Police (emergency exits, safety measures), we must provide the necessary facilities like toilets, kitchen, room to sleep and we have to rent or buy stuff like a professional fryer for the kitchen. But in fact almost all the work is done by our own volunteers. Everyone can add his value, we can always use some extra help. So, gamers & game-friends, feel free to join our crew and to strive to an even better tournament next year! We already have a mixed team of Belgian and Dutch people.

As Koen promotes the tournament it is Bruno who adds enthusiast: And you know: we experience that also people with handicaps function very well in our team and do their part of the job in a great way.

Q: What about other LAN's Is there any form of cooperation?

(Koen:) Sure, We personally like the long-term cooperation with 2 smaller LAN-event organizations: ZanziLan at Vosselaar and BWF (SDG: Belgian Webgaming Forever) at Edegem. The cooperation with these events is ongoing for several years. We regularly help other LAN-Events too, usually with FoM equipment that we lent out. These are smaller events but we help each other in the benefit of the game-community. For the rest of Belgium we do not really know if there are any other organizations cooperating. I expect your next question is about the Flemings and the Walloons  :-) Yes, there is not really much cooperation and interest between us. It is however not strange the Walloons - as French is their native tongue - join events in France. Like we, the Flemish people focus on Dutch spoken Events. It is a pity, but understandable.

Q: If we look at the future: how do you see the media cope with this new and booming branch?

(Koen:) Well, television will never be able to present gaming in the current technical situation. People are passively looking at a screen. As where game addicts look at Twitch or Geek at the internet , chat via skype or TeamSpeak and check at facts on teams or visit websites from ESL or popular teams, all at the same time. Unless TV switches to split screen or dual screen TV I see no future.

(Bruno:) From my point of view, based on my professional experience at my current employer, I do see big changes coming. Dual screen with interactive media on the second screen will become more and more popular and increase the possibilities to bring gaming also to the TV screen.

Q: And the future of Frag-o-Matic?

(Koen smiling:) We will be here for a long, long time.

(Bruno:) The technical and physical limitations will force us to continue with the Oktoberhallen as best place to be for a LAN party with app. 1,000 gamers. And we want to improve our quality of performance - as well technically as in organizing -to bring Frag-o-Matic to a next level. Internet, but also our media-performance both ask special attention. Also the way we manage the organization needs to develop a bit further. We want to be sure that, when we make the next step, we can take care of all what is needed to deliver a  satisfactory product. A pragmatic way of organizing and a clear communication are topics we think we can still improve.

With this last question we ended our interview as we thanked Koen and Bruno for their cooperative and open approach. We - SDG - were pleased to share thoughts and opinions on the scene we all love very much: Gaming.

Link to Frag-0-Matic 

Link to E-Events

 

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