Geeks Assemble! Fun Activities For Nerds in Reno Reopen

Christion McLeran and Sean O’Leary offer some Covid-safe suggestions to get people out of their basement to enjoy all some of the fun, nerdy activities that Reno has to offer.

The new Family Fun Center at the Atlantis casino.

For over a year now, we’ve all made a strong effort to social distance from one another in the hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19. We’ve sidelined many of the hobbies we love, traded crazy nights out for movie nights in, and had to hold off from seeing loved ones so that we wouldn’t spread a harmful and potentially deadly virus to them. With the vaccination efforts improving across the country and people starting to feel more hopeful that we’ve navigated some of our way out of these pandemic-riddled woods, the obvious question on most people’s minds is “when the hell can I go out and get back to being a nerd in public?” Well Reno, you’re in luck.

Many of the nerdy hotspots around Reno are set to open back up or expand their current operations now that it seems safe to begin doing so. This article will cover some of the best geeky activities you’ll be able to start doing again over the summer.

A podcast version of some of this information above. Listen above or find the Reynolds Hotbox where you get your podcasts.

The Reno-famous Press Start barcade is set to open its doors once again this summer in a brand new location after a nearly year long hiatus. If you’re unfamiliar with what a “barcade” is, Press Start is basically an adult arcade with pinball, cabinet video games like “Pac Man” and “Street Fighter”, air hockey, and pool, with a full bar of delicious beers and cocktails to help you separate yourself from your quarters that much quicker.

If you don’t believe me, Zach A. says on Yelp that: “This place is awesome. Alcohol, old and new school arcade games, all the pinball you could possibly desire, and a great billiards room in the back. I would recommend this place for dates, double dates, triple dates, and even a group hang!”

I spoke with the owner of Press Start, John Simpson, for an interview around this time last year when the pandemic was just starting to really hurt small businesses around Reno. He claimed at the time that his biggest fear from the pandemic was “not just from being closed, but from people not coming back out after the lockdown is over.” On April 6, a new move was announced on their Facebook: “Here it is folks, the home of Press Start Reno for the next decade!!! 600 S Center St, Midtown, Reno!”

If you’re a gamer ,during the pandemic, you’ve probably just been playing online at home against your friends and family. However with vaccines rolling out, there are other options that you now have available. One of those options is the Atlantis Family Fun Center and ESports lounge.

I used to think that the Circus Circus had the best arcade in Reno, but after visiting the Family Fun Center, I have to say this may be the best arcade in town. With wall to wall arcade games both modern and retro, pinball, and some carnival style games, there’s something for everyone. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking to kill an afternoon with their kids…or without.

The Atlantis also welcomes people of all ages to come and game at their new Esports lounge located in the back of the Family Fun Center. For just 10 dollars an hour, you can play many of your favorite computer games on their high-end gaming PCs or consoles while lounging in a very comfortable gaming chair.

Before the pandemic started, the lounge hosted weekly tournaments for people to play against each other. They have not been hosting them since the pandemic, but in an email we received, they are hoping to get them started back up again soon. When the tournaments do finally start again, all you’ll need to do is bring yourself, they have all of the consoles, controllers and monitors you need so you don’t have to worry about bringing anything of your own.

Bri S. on Facebook left the only review you need to see to know that Atlantis is the place to go for gaming. She says, “top notch customer service, ALWAYS!”, and we’d have to agree with her after our visit there. Top notch customer service and a great selection of games, what else could you need from a place like this?

If you’re anything like us, not being able to go to the movies (or choosing not to just to be safe) has been a depressing fact of life for the past year, but with movie theaters making a big push to get people’s butts in their seats, how much longer can you really resist? Especially when considering that some of the most hyped movies from last year like Black Widow, the Dune remake, and the new James Bond movie have been pushed back to this year, maybe it’s time you get out and experience the big screen again.

If you’re worried about what it may be like inside of a movie theater during a pandemic, for this article we decided to be human guinea pigs and answer that question ourselves. I (Christion) recently went and saw the movie Nobody (fantastic movie by the way) at my favorite theater, the Century Riverside 12 downtown and boy did it feel good to be back. To be honest, I think I prefer movie theaters a little more with social distancing rules in place. The theaters were extremely clean, lines were non-existent, you and the four other people that are going to be in the theater can basically sit wherever you want, and the snacks are cheaper!

If all of this hasn’t been enough to sell you on going back to the movies this summer, many of the theaters in Reno are screening classic movies like To Kill A Mockingbird, Footloose, The Wizard of Oz, and a lot of other great movies you may have never gotten the chance to see on the big screen while also being made available at discounted ticket prices. Just be aware that these movies come and go very quickly, so try and be on top of the ones you’d like to see.

Whatever hobbies you’ve been missing out on since the start of the pandemic, even if we missed them in this article, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the possibility of them returning or even emerging anew over the summer.

Reporting by Christion McLeran and Sean O’Leary for the Reynolds Sandbox

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