Lux Arcana Getting Real
As well as having an online presence in a variety of games since our community was first formed over 7 years ago, we have started to host a number of successful ‘real life’ meet-ups both in the UK and abroad.
Our first get together was an afternoon in London, on a surprisingly warm and sunny day on 8 April 2011. Ten of us met up (one member flying in from Norway!) just after midday on a floating bar/boat called “The Tattershall Castle”, and spent the first few hours getting merrily un-sober on board. Following a tour by yours truly of some of the City of London’s legal quarter’s more notable watering holes, we ended up having a curry and then enjoying very late night drinks at a ‘burlesque bar’ (think ‘Moulin Rouge’), as it was the only late night bar in the area. Sore heads followed the next morning, but everyone who attended agreed it was a great success.
So, we organised another one!
The next bar-crawl
23 July 2011 saw another successful afternoon meet-up, starting again at the ‘Tattershall Castle’ but on this occasion taking in a tour of various pubs along the south-bank of the River Thames. We met for the first time together our two US Marines (who are now sadly posted to Afghanistan and Nicaragua, where a meet-up would be a little more difficult) plus one of their fiances, as well as our very own (former) professional wrestler! Dinner this time took the form of traditional Bavarian food and many pretzels in the ‘Katzenjammers Beer Hall’, in the shadow of the awesome ‘Shard’ skyscraper. We ended up again in the Burlesque bar!
Lux Arcana does Oktoberfest
Having taken so well to German food, we decided that our next meet-up should be an ‘Oktoberfest’, albeit that we ended up hosting the event on the afternoon of 15 October 2011, rather than in the traditional end of September Munich beer-drinking festival season. This time we had a truly international contingent, with 16 members attending from places as far away as Iceland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Norway (as well as the home-grown UK crowd). We started off at ‘Katzenjammers’ for lunch and then walked (in some cases sprinted) over London Bridge, had a less-than-sober arm-wrestling tournament in a pub near the Bank of England, wondered past the UK’s Central Criminal Court at the Old Bailey and ended up at an up-market curry-house for dinner. We were all then lucky enough to be invited by our two Marines back to their bar, where we spent the rest of the night playing table football, pool and drinking disgustingly sweet US sugar drinks (Gatorade anyone?) and cheap, cheap tasty beer.
Lux in Leuven
After yet another great event, we decided to return our international members the favour by hosting our next meet-up as a long weekend in the medieval Belgian city of Leuven from 16 to 20 February 2012. As well as taking in the sights, all in all we had 20 members attend a weekend of beers, bowling, pool, air-hockey, table football, more not really sober arm-wrestling, nightly clubbing until sunrise and one infamous incident involving a tub of moisturiser (don’t ask). Leuven turned out to be probably the perfect venue for us: a small city catering for a large a student population meant we even had a massive, free open-air ‘rave’ on our first night!
Voted by all who attended as our best meet-up to date, we decided that the ‘long weekend’ format gave us more time to have fun and made it easier for members travelling from afar to justify the journey. We were even lucky enough to have some of our members’ partners and family members joining us – family and close friends are always welcome!
Our most recent meet-up has just taken place, over a long weekend from 19 to 23 July in Brighton, UK. The weather did not let us down for our seaside stay, where 15 of our members from the UK and abroad braved the bouncers, fresh sea-air and paintballs. We all stayed in the same hotel on the seafront and spent a busy weekend of activities including:
- getting our gaming fix in the arcades on the famous Brighton Pier;
- shooting each other (and others) in an afternoon of paintballing (where it should be noted that my team won);
- watching an entertaining (friendly!) fight between our resident UK pro-wrestler and our Icelandic soon-to-be national kick-boxing champion (the UK won!) whilst we waited for our bus back to the hotel;
- an evening betting on the dogs at the local greyhound racing stadium;
- a wonderfully cheesy night at the ‘Oceana’ nightclub where we’d hired an area overlooking one of the dancefloors; and
- Sunday morning on the beach in the sun watching some of our members brave the freezing waters of the English Channel,
plus, as usual, lots of pubs and bars in between.
It was another great weekend meet-up!
So, as you can see, our Lux Arcana gaming community is not just about sitting behind PC screens or worrying about where the next great game is coming from. We’re a truly sociable bunch and encourage all of our members to attend our gatherings. Hopefully we’ll be seeing you on our next meet-up when we return to Leuven in early March 2013!