If you’ve been living under a rock lately (aka your parent’s home), geeks are the new black. Glasses are cool again (even if you don’t need them), and bow ties are hip (even when the invite specifies a tie). So we’ve put together the complete guide to being a geek in Melbourne, for #nerdpower purveyors everywhere.
Onward to the nerdery! (Don't correct my grammar, guys.)
What To Do For Geeks
If your ideal Friday night involves being locked into a room with arguments over relative intelligence and endless puzzles, Trapt is the perfect place for you. With four varying levels of escape rooms in this underground, heritage-listed site, your crew will have 45 minutes to break out of your personal hell (or heaven?). Ruined friendships will not be reimbursed.
EB Games, CBD
With a dedicated upstairs level for all things Nintendo, Pokemon and Wii, this is a haven for local gamers. Expect Nintendo-themed events like trivia nights, a Mario 64 tournament (that’s the old AF console if you’re not aware) and of course, Pokemon battles.
A mega store of anime, movies, fantasy art and other (ahem) non-PG products, Minotaur is the all-in-one store for themed merchandise, action figurines and classic comics. BYO Captain America hoodie.
Critical Hit, CBD
If you’ve ever needed to find a limited edition collector box of legendary Pokemon cards and super-intricate fighter figurines… this store has it. And they won’t judge you either.
Brown and Bunting, Northcote
Skip the e-reader and head down to Brown and Bunting. Stocking a wide range of meticulously restored second hand books, this Northcote bookstore sells their neatly organised range of classics at extremely competitive prices. It means your wallet is more than likely in serious danger.
School Of Life, CBD
You know that one friend that is having serious trouble developing any form of emotional intelligence… or feelings? Send (drag) them to the School Of Life! Running courses like “How To Find Fulfilling Work” and “How To Master The Art Of Relationships”, it’s time for you to slap some maturity into your buddy. Not literally.
NGV Talks and Discussions, CBD
The National Gallery of Victoria is always running heaps of informative, cultural talks. Discussion topics include contemporary and currently displayed art, politics and activism. Most talks run completely free to the public, so there’s no excuse not to indulge your inner art geek.
Cat Café, CBD
So you’re a cat lady and everyone knows it? Embrace your furry side and head down to Queen Street’s Cat Café. Packed with fluffy, long-tailed creatures who would love your currently unused pats, your newest soft-footed friend awaits!
Melbourne International Games Week
The second MIGW will be held from the 31st of October until the 6th of November this year! Popular events from last year included a Microsoft More Personal Computing Hackathon (we don’t know), an Education in Games Summit and a PAX AUS expo.
Learn To Code
Supanova Pop Culture Expo
One of Melbourne’s biggest pop culture festivals, Supanova comes to Melbourne for one weekend every year! Featuring special guests, cosplay and some of the best exhibitors of the year, the 2016 Supanova Festival may over, but there’s always next year. Or Sydney in June.
Melbourne Geek Night, CBD
And if all else fails, Thirst Studios is hosting this Melbourne Geek Night on 20 June.
Where To Eat For Geeks
8Bit, CBD and Footscray
Burgers are on like Donkey Kong at Melbourne’s two 8Bit venues. Recently levelling up from its Footscray home into the CBD, 8Bit features neon, pixelated furnishing and a line of customers that re-spawn as fast as Mario. Burger options include the Golden Axe with crispy fried chicken, cheese, sriracha mayo and slaw.
Shujinko’s communal bar bench is lined with power points, so you never have to separate from your best electronic friend. Displays of miniature anime figurines sit behind protective glass for your admiration/comparison. Order a serve of dipping noodles (Tsukemen) for a slice of Tokyo in Melbourne.
Thousand Pound Bend, CBD
A hub of eclectic events, the next Melbourne Silicon Beach meet up will be held at local favourite Thousand Pound Bend. Between Slice Girls pizza, kick-ass chilli hot chocolate and sticky wings, chat to some of the most up-and-coming talent in the tech industry. Try not to talk around a mouthful, please.
Where To Drink For Geeks
Beta Bar, Hawthorn
Melbourne’s first pop-up gaming event space, Beta Bar has previously hosted Mario Kart competitions (no BYO controllers because this is the big leagues), Cosplay Balls and a special Beta Bar Singles Night. You can keep an eye on all the upcoming geeky events here.
Nestled in a basement off Flinders Lane, expect vintage games at Bartronica like a four-person, fully functioning Ninetendo 64 (glorious pixels and all), Time Crisis 2 and a generous range of pinball machines—for those of us who aren’t graced with any kind of electronic gaming skillz. Cocktails are appropriately themed like the Mario-Mai-Tai with Beenleigh White Rum, Cointreau, almond, coconut and lime. The next geeky event? This Pokemon Trivia Night. Geeks out!
Pixel Alley, Fitzroy
If you want a damn good Pacman Bubble Tea and cocktails served in Mario-esque mugs, head down to Fitzroy’s Pixel Alley. With over 100 classic games crammed into one joyous space, grab a handful of $1 game tokens and a beer-on-tap to hack your way to a good night.
Forgotten Worlds, Collingwood
Melbourne won't soon forget this particular gaming world. A slim bar on Johnston Street, you don’t have to choose between Mortal Kombat II and Street Fighter II at Forgotten Worlds. Grab some dirt-cheap pub grub (think nachos and cheese-y burgers) in this auburn-coloured gaming bar, and make sure you have a designated food-holding person.
Board Games And Beer at GABS, CBD
Kaiju! Beer and Nieuw Amsterdam have brewed something special for this year’s Good Australasian Beer Spectacular (GABS). The inaugural Beer and Boardgames event will feature a geek-inspired one-time only brew and, as expected, all the board games ever. Tipsy Monopoly players may or may not be a danger to friendships everywhere.
Loop Bar, CBD
For all your geeky needs, Loop Bar runs a rotating calendar of events not limited to a Datelicious workshop, the Melbourne Amateur Film Club and an actual Geek Night. Grab an $8 tomato, bocconcini and pesto pizza, lusciously coloured Portello Fizz cocktail (much pink) and settle in for all the geek-filled functions your heart desires.
Need more things to do? Check out The Best Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In Melbourne!
Image credit: Gareth Sobey at Bartronica for The Urban List