My Dream: The Nerd Bar Brendan Harvey November 20, 2011 Miscellaneous, Video Games Have you ever gone out to your local sports bar with a couple of staunch pals? You sit around, drinking a quality beer for the price of a six-pack as you and your friends joke about whatever topic has come to mind. It’s a great time. You’re having fun. But inevitably it happens. The conversation dwindles. Before long the group of you are sitting in a palpable silence. Eyes start to wander for anything of interest. You find yourself watching the highlight reel on whatever sports network is sprawled across the half-dozen LED flat screens that cover every blank spot on the wall. The thought quickly pops into your noggin. “Man. Sports are boring.” Don’t get me wrong. We here at AiPT welcome all walks of life. If you’re a sports nut, be that nut. We still love you. But call it a hunch when I theorize that a majority of you lovely people would rather have a controller in your hands than watch Team A play Team B in preseason. Enter the nerd bar. A quick Googlin’ shows that there already has been dabbling in the market that seems to be successful. The Mana Bar (Best name ever. Period.) in Australia is a proud chain of two that offers tasty beverages and multiple screens hosting different platforms for multiplayer fun. Different games every night and the ability to buy video games at the bar make me want to book a flight right now. Stateside—in Vegas, of course—We have Insert Coin(s) (silver medal in the name competition). With over 50 arcade machines to swallow your quarters and a comfortable lounge environment you wont even have to waste your money on Blackjack and strippers! I mean, you will anyway but that’s why you go. No judgment. These pioneers have the right idea, but what I’m thinking of is an entirely different animal. It goes back to that night at the bar watching two sports teams that aren’t even from here battle it out. What would I rather be watching? You guessed it. Live stream matches of all your favorite PvP games. Riveting. You could stream League of Legends, DOTA, Starcraft 2, Call of Duty, WoW Arenas or Street Fighter. The list goes on. People stream these games at all hours of the day! All you need to do is log on. It could be a gathering for championship tournaments or just a few screens dedicated to whoever is ruling the leader boards. I’d be much more interested in that whilst sipping on my $5 beverage, to say the least. And it doesn’t stop there. Other TVs could host the video games du’jour (a la Mana Bar) for a cultural interaction you can’t even get in a sports bar. Strangers start playing Tekken with other strangers but by the end of the night (and a few beers) they leave as friends. Doesn’t it just sound magical? Magical? MAGIC! There could be a designated area for tabletop games. With designated drink holders to avoid spillage onto your [insert funny reference to valuable Magic: The Gathering card here]. I consider myself a full-on nerd but this game terrifies me. I’ve been to bars that provide you with “Jenga” or “Guess Who” and you know what? It was fucking awesome. Move beyond that and have a Settlers of Catan collection. Have a few stacks of Munchkin cards that people can loan out for a few hours. Jesus Christ, remember Heroclix? Get some mother fucking Heroclix up in there. Thrown in some comfortable lounge chairs and projections of Episode V on the wall and I’ll say you have a Goddamned utopia on your hands. A nerd haven, if you will. Man-babies would flock to it. People would turn it into the final destination of their countrywide trek. Before I get too carried away, I know it’s a gamble. Arcades are all but a thing of the past and for what it’s worth you can just as easily sit on your couch and be brutally defeated by assholes you don’t know. I only dream fondly of a world without the shackles of popular culture. A world where my bartender happens to be dressed up like Misty even though no one told her to do that. I dream of a place where I would not be shunned for playing Dungeons and Dragons yet for some reason they can prattle on for hours about their fantasy football teams. Does this not sound like the most nerdy thing in existence? If I had the money it would be built already. But I don’t have the money, or the liquor license, or any of the valuable qualities one needs to run a stable and successful business. Perhaps one day I will. For now, I can only dream. Janelle McKiernan this would be the NIRVANA of bars. there could be theme nights, and special events! a place for us all to go after the midnight release of the newest title! or, I should say, to pregame said event. a place for our nerd brethren to congregate! and for you, my male counterparts – you may find out, that there are actually GIRL nerds too! damn, I wish I lived in Australia. should you open said bar, I want first crack at bartender. http://twitter.com/RussellEWhiting Russ Whiting I seriously want to help you make this endeavor a reality. For reals, friend. Janelle McKiernan I seriously want you to, as well. Can I work there? Pleasssse? Jbrusati This already exists: http://the-1up.com/main/ Denver Bar PGM Podcast Enter Barcade. Located in Brooklyn, Jersey City and Philadelphia. Not entirely nerd nirvana, but about as close as we get around here: http://www.perpetualgeekmachine.net/2011/10/a-trip-to-barcade-philadelphia/ daniel The (unrelated) blipsy barcade in LA is awesome in its own right! http://egypt.urnash.com Egypt Urnash There’s the AFK Tavern in the north edge of Seattle’s sprawl. http://www.afktavern.com/ http://twitter.com/reverendsin Reverend Sin AFK Tavern in Everett, WA exists. http://www.afktavern.com/ Joeblow Cafe Mox at Card Kingdom peoples – it’s the bar for playing Magic. Sheer If you’re going to have table-top games like MtG, I’d recommend a special table for it – with a high top layer of glass that drinks and such can go on, and a lower, protected level that the cards go on. That means that you need to reach under the glass part to play, but they’re nice and protected if anyone brings rare cards. As long as the gap between glass and main table is big enough, this shouldn’t be a problem. fobi My friend, as far as watching streams of competitive esports, there is BarCraft. http://www.reddit.com/r/barcraft Darren We have something similar in Manchester (UK), called TV21. They have a TV/film theme with numerous signed photos of (a lot of sci-fi) actors on the wall, plus huge film props, some of which I think are booths on the inside. Bryanlmclennan I can tell everyone how awesome The Mana Bar is. The drinks are great and the atmosphere is awesome. Only small bars so they can only comfortably fit up to about 20 people but it stops it getting too loud and rowdy http://www.sequence-omega.net Anthony Check out Insert Coin(s) in Las Vegas. http://www.facebook.com/people/Christian-Lafont/100000873505839 Christian Lafont They exist. I go to AFK Tavern twice a month. I usually don’t play games there, but the food and drink is fantastic. I have yet to be disappointed by anything they serve. Dorkydez Insert Coin in Las Vegas NV http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=734830205 Michael Pursell This sounds like the local comic book store, but with beer…..I love it.