Las Vegas attracts all kinds of folks every year. Some come for the gambling, others the nightlife and shows. Some, on the other hand, come for the opportunities to geek out!
That’s right. Nestled between the seemingly endless casinos, nightclubs, and concert halls, there is a whole lot to do that’ll more than satisfy your inner nerd. Since this side of Sin City is often overlooked, we thought we’d share some of the best places to meet like-minded folks all across the shrine to hedonism that is Las Vegas.
The Nerd is an absolute must-visit for all geeks who find themselves in Las Vegas. Co-founder Nick Fotheringham says the idea behind this nightspot was to create the ultimate “anti-club atmosphere.” That means elitism is left at the door – there are no celebrities out front whilst you struggle for a glimpse of stardom from behind a velvet rope. When The Nerd does bring in celebrities, they’re ones you’ll care about and they’re there to meet their fans. Think Comic Book convention that serves drinks!
Adorning the walls of The Nerd is various film, comic, and pro wrestling memorabilia. All of this further adds to the low-key, unpretentious vibes created by the owners. Guests are invited to enjoy bowling, billiards, and video games. There are also discounts for those attending in cosplay!
If you’re of a geeky disposition or just like a laid-back, non-pretentious place to escape the excitement of the strip, you can find The Nerd at 450 Fremont Street. It’s open from 7pm until 3am every day.
Of course, Vegas is famous for its slot machines. It’s almost impossible to visit the city without running into one. However, gaming in Sin City needn’t require you pour stacks of cash into a one-armed bandit. One of the best ways for us geeks to unwind in Vegas is a trip to one of the many video games arcades.
There are loads to choose from too. There’s the Game Nest Arcade with its sea of classic titles, the Fremont Arcade which is conveniently located right next to the anti-club The Nerd, and the Press Start Gaming Center with its rammed schedule of gaming tournaments. These aren’t the only arcades in the city but they’re certainly some of the best. Each offers a slightly different take on the classic video games arcade theme. You’ll find a hugely impressive array of cabinets, consoles, and rhythm games spread out across the city in these meccas to gaming past and present. Most of the machines in the popular Vegas arcades are set to free play so an entry free will get you as much gaming action as you can handle!
A Gamer’s Paradise
If you’re looking for a suitably geeky souvenir from your time in Las Vegas, A Gamer’s Paradise might be just where to find it. It’s probably the city’s most well-stocked video game shop. You’ll discover endless shelves of classic titles for just about every system you can imagine.
If you’re looking for a particularly rare bit of kit, you’re highly likely to find it amongst the extensive catalogue of hardware. What’s more, the staff are committed to tracking down items they don’t stock too. If a particular title has eluded you and you have a trip to Vegas planned, give them a call. They might be able to get it in by the time you arrive!
A Gamer’s Paradise also offers a repair service for a plethora of different consoles. If your Atari 2600, Commodore 64, or Amiga 500 has a fault, bring it to the store. The staff are absolute masters and are confident they’ll be able to fix even the most obscure systems!
The Pinball Hall of Fame
Fancy yourself as a bit of a pinball wizard? Head down to the Pinball Hall of Fame at 1610 E. Tropicana. It’s part museum, part pinball arcade that spreads out over a massive 10,000 square feet. The idea behind the Pinball Hall of Fame is simple – to showcase the largest pinball machine collection on the planet (well, that’s open to the public, anyway).
Of course, the fun doesn’t come from looking at pinball machines, it’s all about playing them. That’s why every single title in the Pinball Hall of Fame is setup for the public to enjoy. If you’ve got a rare old favourite, it’s the ideal place to get reacquainted.
What makes the Pinball Hall of Fame truly special – particularly for Vegas – is the lack of profit seeking there. The focus is on the games themselves. That’s why they’re so meticulously restored. Components are replaced when the game would play better thanks to a new part, rather than when they strictly need it. What’s more, all additional profits after the staff take a wage and the machines are looking and playing their best are donated to charity.
Money hasn’t been wasted creating a grandiose space to showcase the collection either. There’s a distinctly low-key thrift-store feel to the joint. It’s unpretentious and welcoming – just like it should be!
In fact, the owner Tim commented about the Pinball Hall of Fame’s mission a couple of years ago:
“The minute we start becoming professional, it’s all gonna be about the dollars and it’s not gonna be about the games… There’s no real economic reason for this to exist, or capitalism would’ve already built it.”
Get Your Geek on in the Casinos!
Finally, of course, a trip to Vegas would hardly be complete without setting foot in one of the many iconic casinos of the city. To us geeks, the idea of sitting at a blackjack table might not be the most riveting but don’t switch off just yet!
Hidden amongst the sea of slot machines found in every corner of the city of Vegas are many incredible homages to some of the movies best loved by those of us with a nerdy disposition.
Many test their skills online for free before they arrive. That’s not strictly necessary though. The best thing about slots is how accessible they are even to new players. Unlike most of the games we’re used to playing, skill isn’t strictly necessary. This means there’s more opportunity for gamers to enjoy the often-breath-taking visuals on impressive casino representations of Star Wars, Godzilla, Superman, Jaws, and Ghostbusters.
Of course, casinos are known for switching up their slot offerings frequently. Therefore, us providing a list of machines and the venue you’ll find each of them in is rather pointless. You’ll have to head out onto the floor for yourself and see what you can find!