I’ve often been asked exactly what is a game center anyway?
Well to quote Wikipedia:
A LAN gaming center is a business where one can use a computer connected over a LAN to other computers, primarily for the purpose of playing multiplayercomputer games. Some LAN gaming centers offer game consoles only and no computers. Use of these computers or game consoles costs a fee, usually per hour or minute; sometimes one can have unmetered access with a pass for a day or month, etc. It may or may not serve as a regular café as well, with food and drinks being served. Many game centers have evolved in recent years to also include console gaming (Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation 2). Other centers offer computer repair and consulting, custom built computers, web design, programming classes or summer camps, and many other technology related services. Centers are starting to offer PS3s, Wiis and Xbox 360s that are playable in store.
LAN gaming centers can come in various sizes and styles, from the very small (6-8 computers) to the very large (400+ computers). Most have computer systems with higher-end hardware built specifically for computer gaming. Customers can play games with (or against) in-house opponents and most also include a high-speedInternet connection to allow customers to play games with online opponents as well (usually at the same time). Most also host a number of special events such as tournaments and LAN parties, some lasting throughout the night. Another typical feature is the ability to browse the Web and use instant messaging clients. Often these gaming centers allow customers the option of renting out the whole or part of the store for private LAN parties.
- Why lack of StarCraft 2 LAN play still matters (arstechnica.com)