Denver Comic Con is over for 2017, but the opportunity to geek out with other nerds over virtual reality, gaming and cosplay is just beginning. Player 2, a Denver startup, has been putting on events at bars around the city since January, giving people places where they can gather over beers to play board and video games.
"We want to bring interpersonal experience back to this stuff," says Player 2 owner Shadoe Konicek, recalling the community gaming fostered when he was young. These days, he notes, much of the gaming culture has "lost connections."
To help reinvigorate the social aspect of gaming, Konicek started Player 2, which brings a library of board games, a VR station with a full HTC Vivesetup, and plenty of video games to participating bars. There, in the classic arcade spirit, you can buy tokens to use toward games or VR.
A Player 2 event at Platt Park Brewing Company in April. / Player 2 / Facebook
By September, Konicek hopes that Player 2 will be able to open its own private space, which will be run as a sort of clubhouse; customers will bring their own refreshments to enjoy while they game and experience a full VR station. He's confident the concept will fill a niche, and thinks it could expand to other locations, too; to help get the first one off the ground, Player 2 will run a small crowdsourcing campaign in August, offering early memberships.
In the meantime, Player 2 will be holding a "Nerd's Night Out" on Monday, July 10, at Platt Park Brewing Company, where it has held previous events. Anyone who shows up in cosplay gets their first beer for free, and players can compete in various challenges to win more beer or gift cards: Defeat the fabled samurai in the VR game Death Dojo, for example, and you could get a $25 gift certificate to Platt Park.
"We do this so people can feel comfortable," concludes Konicek. "The point is it's okay to be adult and still like these things."