8 great places to get your geek on in Orlando

You always hear that Orlando has something for everyone. There's tons of outdoorsy stuff to do, it's a huge hub for sports fans, college and pro, there's Universal Orlando and Disney World for tourists and families and there are tons of diversions for the partying set. Where does that leave the indoorsy types, those who feel more comfortable in front of a humming video game console than on rollercoasters, kayaks or in the bleachers?

Don't worry, geeks, we've got your back! In case you're looking for a nice dark place to play your new 3DS, or a spot where you can really connect with your fellow comic-book lovers and gamers, we've compiled a list of a few of our favorite places where people would never judge you out for extolling the virtues of playing League of Legends.

 1. A Comic Shop

A Comic Shop, near Full Sail in Winter Park, via orlandobuzz.com

There’s A Comic Shop, where you can wander around for hours asking Oral or Aaron what the deal is with an artist’s decision to make a villain look soft instead of tough in the latest issue. (Voted Best Comic Book Store by the Orlando Weekly.)

2. Acme, Living Dead and Coliseum of Comics

Silver Surfer collectible @ Acme Superstore, via edbot5000.blogspot.com

Acme, Living Dead Comics, Coliseum of Comics and – surprisingly enough – The Hobby Spot all have what you need to get caught up on the latest in the Saga series. If you’ve got a thing for Wonder Girl or Jeffrey Brown, or if Marvel or Indie books turn you on, there are plenty of comic shops in Orlando where you can fill your worthless robot brains, and these are some of our faves. (The Hobby Spot took the place of the thrift store across from Sci-Fi City on Colonial Drive/SR 50. Don’t be discouraged by the dust in the front room, the goods are in the back!)

3. Bikkuri Sushi's N3rd Nite

N3rd Nite @ Bikkuri Sushi, via theorlandoan.com

Bikkuri Sushi hosts a monthly N3rd Nite event where cosplayers come dressed in their best Cloud or Super Mario outfit and dance the night away to MCs rapping about whether it’s better to be a white or black mage. (Here’s a link to our coverage of the event.)

4. Envy Labs

via Shannon Scheidell

At Envy Labs, you can learn to code in CSS or program your own SQL server, if that’s your thing. This month there is a Tech on Tap event special, where four esteemed guests share their knowledge of the mobile app industry. (Read our article on Indienomicon.)

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5. Hard Knocks

Hard Knocks gaming lounge, via Flickrhivemind.net

Hard Knocks is the only open LAN location that I know of where you don’t have to sign your name in blood and swear an oath to Lord Rothgar in order to camp out and play for hours. They have a row of computers where people of all ages can party on the same team or go love wolf, while your hear the sound of guns go off right behind you

Sounds from the laser tag arena add to the effect of gaming on their PS4s.

6. Bart

Outside of Bart on Mills/50, via thedropp.com

BART is a Bar/Arcade/Gallery where all of the arcade games are free to play, with the exception of Mortal Kombat. Set your craft beer in notches built into the side of old-school arcade games and jostle that joystick around, consume all the fruity goodies your little Pac Man can, beat your high score and stake your claim to geek fame. (Read our grand opening article here.)

7. Player 1

Player 1 arcade, via thefeistyfoodist.com

Miss playing Atari, NES or Sega Dreamcast? The past has been transported into the present at Player 1, where your inner child doesn’t die, it just sort of transforms into an awkward gaming-obsessed adult. At Player 1, every Friday is survival day, which means you get to watch your favorite horror films while taking out some zombies in Left4Dead. (Click here to read our article on Player One)

8. Student Union / Tech Commons @ UCF

Flickr user and UCF student “Johnny” tagged this photo as “Finals week #UCF xbox halo sesh tech commons”

I saw a herd of geek boys hovering around a 10-inch VGA TV in UCF’s Student Union the other day. Mashing away at the controller, trying to get the right combos to annihilate their opponents, they were playing Nintendo 64 right there in the food court. There are outlets aplenty for those who need like to a little social nostalgia while taking a break from studying for exams.

And then there's ... Sci-Fi City

Building your own mini-world for a tabletop game? Sci-Fi City has you covered. via Sci-Fi City

There are also weekly Magic tourneys for the unwashed masses at Sci-Fi City on Colonial. So what are you waiting for, pick a place and get your geek on!


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