Gamers: emerging from the basement, hitting the bars

Drinking and cards mesh. Who knew?

Gone are the days when “playing pretend” was banished to your parents basement.

The nerds have gotten their revenge – they are now the cool kids. They’ve grown up, gotten jobs, and are ready to play.

That’s probably why Boston’s Game Over is going strong, and tomorrow kicking off its first weekly gathering at Good Life bar.

Formerly a bi-weekly event, Game Over started in July as a free gathering for people looking to down some drinks and have some some wholesome fun in the form of board, card and video games in a free event that its organizer describes as “a night for gamers, by gamers.”

Starting around 6 p.m., guests of all types trickle in as the game systems, lap tops, and card games are set up at the bar, in booths and at four tops. Some come in groups, others alone. But by 10 p.m., the party is pretty revved up, with Boston-area kids-at-heart bonding over a common hobby.

For Game Over founder, Scott Trano, it is no shock that the free event has a following.

“A lot of kids grew up being ridiculed for (gaming). They had to find a fellow nerd to discuss things like Dungeons and Dragons,” Trano said. “They don’t have to deal with that anymore. Now they’re older, have jobs, and they are living their lives with no one to judge them.”

The sentiment was shared across the board at that last Game Over, two weeks ago.

“There are so many different elements of gaming, and they’re all here. And, you know, vodka too,” said Adam Smith as he watched a girl nearby play Dance Dance Revolution. “We’ve come a long way from the 70s and 80s where gaming was a restricted kind of thing. Not just gaming, but nerdy stuff in general – the stigma is gone. Who hasn’t played Mario Kart when they got out of school?”

Weaving through the packed downstairs bar, it seemed everyone had, and it didn’t look like they had any intention of growing out of it.

“I figured I’d come check it out after work,” said Matt Bourque, a recent college graduate who came stag to Game Over. “Now that I’m back in the area full time I was looking to meet more people in the area… It’s nice to have somewhere that’s in Boston proper, and it’s in a relaxed social setting. In a game store, you’re more likely to meet other people who are straight up hard core gamers.”

Even the man who opened up his bar to the gamers gets the trend.

“I am truly a nerd at heart. I don’t play magic or anything but totally understand. I have been an avid comic book collector since I was a kid. I have a lot,” said Peter Fiumara, owner of Good Life, who threw in that his favorite comic book hero is Marvel’s Daredevil.

With college season unfolding, and word spreading about the geek friendly event, Trano said he expects Game Over to stay strong: “It’s a nerd kingdom, and its growing.”


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