Let me start off by saying I had no idea what to expect out of game night, considering it was hosted at a bar (Venoms back room bar and grill) that’s infamous for hosting metal shows on a weekly basis.
Arriving at Venoms, I met my newly hired intern and longtime friend Cody Eddins. Cody helps me cover events and holds his own online interactive D&D campaign called Epic Interactions. He and I have a long history over the years of playing video games daily till we lose track of time. As per usual we exchanged sarcastic insults to each other before heading inside. As soon as we entered the doors we were greeted by Anthony Marra (the man that put the whole event together with his company Nocturnal Productions and Frank Wood, who used to host a gamer night at another place called Insomniacs).
Anthony is a good friend of mine who is also a lead vocalist in the metal band, Made From Stars. His vision for game night was to see a revival of the gamer community in his area and bring all his gamer friends together under one roof. Although our friendship is still pretty fresh we both have bonded through the mutual love of metal, Cons, games, and comic book heroes. His company, Nocturnal Productions, is based around art and entertainment, mainly music, concerts, and night life. They specialize in working with bands to help promote them, help with booking, merchandizing, and graphic design. I thoroughly enjoy all of their clothing and wire wrapped crystals that they make from hand (I had put in a little help making necklaces).
Anthony led Cody and I over to where all of the game consoles were hooked up, and holy shit was it a sight. A row of 6 flat screen TVs, each hooked up to a different gaming system. They had Nintendo 64, PlayStation 3, NES, Sega, and my own personal PlayStation 4. When we first walked in there was only abut 11 people but later grew to be what seemed like 50. As soon as we got my PlayStation hooked up, Anthony walked over with a couple games, the first one I noticed was Injustice 2 and I grabbed that shit so fast The Flash would have been impressed. We popped that sucker in and went to work. I personally was so excited about Injustice 2 not only because it just came out but because it was tradition to play Injustice every year at Phoenix Comic Con with the TOTC crew. After moving to Florida (AKA Gods blind spot) back in late October, and with Comic Con going on back in Arizona, I was feeling extremely homesick and really missed my nerd herd. So, this made me feel a little less left out and almost like I was back home. After unlocking a few maps, I decided to let Cody have a go so I could grab us a couple of beers. I headed to the bar and asked the oh so lovely bartender Sam for a couple bottles of Yuengling and went back to my spot where Cody was waiting patiently to kick my ass in a quick round. After I got my ass handed to me, I ventured over to see what other games I could get into. They had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Mario, Super Smash Bros, Mortal Combat, Call of Duty, and of course Injustice 2.
For most of the night everyone in the bar took turns rotating between consoles until it was time for the beer pong competition. Cody and I grabbed a pitcher of Shocktop and greeted our opponents who were a lovely couple that ultimately ended up beating us and moving forward for the cash prize. The round lasted about half an hour because all of us, except Cody, sucked at beer pong but somehow, we lost anyway. It was still a fun time nonetheless and Cody ended up leaving right after that and I stayed to see the rest of the night through, even though it was only about an hour.
I really gotta say game night turned out fantastically and I am very much looking forward to the next one. It was good to see so many people nerding out together and bonding through the art of gaming. I could tell people definitely enjoyed their nights as well, so well I basically had to pry some guy off of my PlayStation when it was time to wrap it all up. Anthony and Nocturnal Productions did a great job bringing out everyone’s inner nerd and I hope one day in the near future TOTC can collaborate with them to do something truly incredible for the nerd community.