LAN parties originated from early single-player Unix games such as Larn, Hack, Rogue, and Hunt the Wumpus that kept scoreboards on a centralized server. At this point the majority of the people playing these games were university students who had access to such systems for schoolwork. Another early incarnation of network gaming was Xanth Software F/X's MIDI Maze. Programmed for the Atari ST, the game allowed up to 16 computers (though any number above four caused instability) to be linked together via the ST's MIDI ports and deathmatch games to be played over the makeshift network. With the release of Bungie's Pathways Into Darkness and id Software's Doom in 1993, the gameplay that MIDI Maze pioneered was perfected, with the latter allowing four players either to cooperate in the game's singleplayer campaign or to fight each other in a deathmatch game. As a result, network gaming (and consequently LAN parties) grew. The initial explosion for the LAN Party scene occurred with the release of Bungie's Marathon on the easily-networked Macintosh platform in 1994. By the time Id Software's Quake was released in 1996, the release of Windows 95 and many low-cost Ethernet cards had brought relatively easy ad-hoc networking to the Windows PC, further expanding the popularity of LAN Parties.
This article from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LAN_party