When you're about to settle in for four days of serious gaming, while crammed into a single room with a couple thousand of your peers, there are some unique concerns.
To stand out, you want your computer rig to look cool. And to stay connected, you want it to actually be cool.
At QuakeCon, the bring-your-own-computer gaming fest that celebrated its 17th anniversary earlier this month in Dallas, the results of those concerns were some of the coolest-looking computer setups you're likely to see.
Nearly 10,000 people attended the event to see the latest PC games from select companies, but also to witness the spectacle of 2,800 people playing computer games against one another in the same place.
Part of the allure is competing against opponents from six different continents (Paging gamers from Antarctica!) and potentially being able to see them face-to-face instead of just talk over voice chat.
The experience is unlike playing on your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 in the comfort of your home. These gamers are all in one big, chilly room and connected to each other by 63,400 feet of cable.
It's called the BYOC -- bring-your-own-computer -- room and is as much a showcase for players' modding skills as it is a place to play.
Sometimes the modifications are purely aesthetic; sometimes they're to increase the computer tower's effectiveness and, sometimes, they address both.
Here are some of the highlights from our visit to QuakeCon. Which ones are your favorites? Let us know in the comments.