@-party /at'par`tee/ /n./ [from the @-sign in an Internet
address] (alt. `@-sign party' /at'si:n par`tee/) A
semi-closed party thrown for hackers at a science-fiction
convention (esp. the annual World Science Fiction Convention or
"Worldcon"); one must have a network address to get in, or
at least be in company with someone who does. One of the most
reliable opportunities for hackers to meet face to face with people
who might otherwise be represented by mere phosphor dots on their
screens. Compare boink.
The first recorded @-party was held at the Westercon (a California
SF convention) over the July 4th weekend in 1980. It is not clear
exactly when the canonical @-party venue shifted to the Worldcon
but it had certainly become established by Constellation in 1983.
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