Melbourne is one of the most exciting places to be a nerd these days. No longer do lovers of anime, manga, video games, fantasy, sci fi, tabletop gaming, and more have to hide their nerdery – there are plenty of groups to join, conventions to go to, and shops to browse. I've collected just a few of my favourite nerdy activities and shops for you – some are old favourites, and some are new.
Of course, these aren't all the nerdy things you can do in Melbourne - just my favourites. If there's anything you think needs to be added, why not leave a comment?
Become a Zombie
The zombie of the most terrifying and exciting figures in the media. Luckily, Melbourne has heaps of opportunities to fight this dreaded foe - or maybe, even join the horde yourself.
However, if just shuffling down a street in zombie gear is too passive for your liking, why not get involved with Humans vs Zombies? Humans vs Zombies describes itself as 'a game of tag, with an insane twist!' Starting off as a human, the game - which takes place all over Melbourne, meaning you can never let your guard down - requires players to protect themselves from the zombie horde for a week. At the end of the week, all humans and recently turned zombies rock up at a designated public park to do battle. Smaller skirmishes are also planned during the year, usually taking up just a day.
Participate in the two biggest Melbourne celebrations of geekdom
The two big conventions of any nerd's year. Manifest is more specifically for anime, manga, and video game fans (though there is a sizeable amount of general 'nerd' merchandise available), while Supanova is a more general pop culture festival. Both are great chances to hang out with your friends and meet like-minded people.
Go drinking - with video games!
The Mana Bar opened its first venue in Brisbane in 2010, and became so successful that plans for new venues in other capital cities were soon made. The second Mana Bar to open its door was in our very own Melbourne. Located at 336 Brunswick Street, the Mana Bar is the perfect place to relax, unwind - and play a few video games with your mates! Even if you don't have anyone to go with you, there's no harm in asking to join a game about to start - you might make some cool new friends.
It doesn't cost anything to get in, so why not spoil yourself with one of Mana Bar's nifty cocktails? My favourites are the Princess Peach and the Ocarina of Lime.
Read a book - or get your Tarot cards read
Notions Unlimited Bookshop is an all-new haven for fans of speculative fiction. Located in Chelsea, Notions Unlimited houses a great variety of manga, horror, paranormal romance, fantasy, sci fi, board games, Tarot cards - and more! Keep updated via their Facebook page for more information on witing groups, tabletop gaming groups, special offers and more!
Buy ALL the things!
Without a doubt, if there's one place to get all your nerd needs filled in one go, it's Minotaur. Located in Elizabeth Street, Minotaur is Nerd Mecca. From Superman to Doctor Who, Terry Pratchett to Dragon Ball Z, even if you have just the passing interest in anything nerd-related, you will find yourself broke very quickly.
My favourite section is the Doctor Who wall. From soft toy Daleks to Doctor Who shot glasses to ride-in Daleks for your 3-year-old, going to Minotaur is like finding a treasure trove of things you didn't even realise you desperately needed.