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.
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.