I cannot say enough good things about Arsenal Game Room and Cafe in Fountain Square. Troy (the owner) is friendly and extremely welcoming to new faces, as were the clientele. A fantastic group of D&D-ers allowed us to tag along and watch their game, chatting and including us in the conversation. During my drive home, I reflected on the refreshing atmosphere at Arsenal, trying to put my finger on what was different. The inclusion and geeky welcoming atmosphere is what every nerd-centered establishment strives for- why are they different? And then it came to me. Most places strive for the atmosphere Arsenal has- very few actually achieve it. (For the record, Downtown Comics here in Indianapolis is fantastic as well. They have locations all over town, definitely check them out! My favourite is their main store on Monument Circle.)
My awkward experiences with geek-centered stores began in early college. My then-boyfriend and I wandered in to the campus comic store, looking for some new HeroClix and decided to spend some time browsing. As I was sifting through some boxes of old comics, the employee and a group of college age men got my attention and asked if I needed help finding the My Little Pony comics. Really?! Needless to say I left and never returned. They lost out on four years of profiting from my expendable income and I went back to buying online. After many years (and a few more bad experiences) I grew more confident and became the sassy spitfire before you today, unintimidated by those who wished to keep me out of their nerd kingdoms.
So many of you are probably thinking “Hey Claire, get to the damn point!” by now. Here it is: We nerds have finally come into our own. Thanks to books, movies, Johnny Galecki, and our own intelligence, we are in charge now. We can influence society. We can make measurable change in the world. Not to say we didn’t before, but now more people are paying attention. we should not waste this precious influence on “A real nerd likes this book or that movie or can recite Pi to 10000 digits.” Real nerds don’t care what kind of nerd you are. We’re just glad you have decided to join us for this fabulous, geeky life. Don’t know as much as I do about nerdy TV? I’ll share my knowledge. And maybe you can catch me up on video games I have missed.
Be like Troy and the fabulous atmosphere he has created at Arsenal. Share the love. Share the geekyness. There’s room for everyone.