Nerdvana offers gaming spot for all ages, interests

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
A group of locals play a Friday night Pokemon game at Nerdvana. Front row, from left: Joe Reeves, 9, of Washburn, and Ellis Hobbs, 9, of Cassville. Middle row: Jessica Reeves and Gatlan Stockton, 8, of Cassville. Back: James Balash. Nerdvana is a gaming space to meet new friends and play what people like. Jordan Privett/jprivett@cassville-democrat.com

LGS co-owners want safe place to grow and expand gamers interests

The co-owners of the new Local Gaming Store (LGS), Nerdvana, have known each other for nearly 17 years, as they went to high school together.

Chris Kief and Chris Shilling had the idea for a local game store for a while. In fact, Kief held game tournaments at his house before they started the business, but would quickly run out of room during events.

Wyatt Hollingsworth, left, 8, of Cassville, and Alex Patrick, 6, of Cassville, play each other in a one-on-one game of Pokemon Friday at Nerdvana, the new local gaming store. Jordan Privett/jprivett@cassville-democrat.com

Shilling said Nerdvana offers any kind of board gaming, table top gaming and collective card gaming.

“We don’t care what kind of games people like to play, this is the place they can come to do it,” Kief said. “We have the space for players and everyone is welcome.”

Nerdvana offers family games, like Monopoly, Uno and Jenga, and there is no charge for the public to come in, grab a board game and play with their families. Nerdvana’s income comes from cover charges for Magic and Pokemon tournaments, also, from special events they hold at the store.

“If a family just wants to come in and play a game, that’s fine” Kief said. “We say as long as there is a table open, come on in and play.”

Nerdvava opened March 2018.

“We offer internet, computers and TVs, and we are a buy, sell and trade store,” Shilling said. “We think this opens the community a bit more.”

Kief said when Nerdvana first started, they thought about an arcade, but decided to set up a pool and ping pong table in the spare room.

“Just as soon as we have the time to move things around and get it set up, we are looking into getting old vintage games like N64, Atari and things like that,” Kief said. “Everyone wants Goldeneye 007 here.”

Nerdvana is getting involved with the high schools and gaming clubs, as guest speakers from the community trying to speak to the students as local gamers in the community.

“We are a central location where the community can come together to have a safe place to play,” Shilling said. “We want to open the doors for people who don’t have a place to play games and have fun. That’s what we are about.”

Shilling said as for inexperienced guests, the co-owners and other patrons are happy to teach new players the games that are offered.

“We do a lot of events that cater toward new players,” he said. “For instance, people who want to learn Dungeons and Dragons, we will walk them through specific aspects of the game. We have events like open houses that teach players to play a new game, or when there is a new set (card set) for games like Pokemon or Magic, that’s basically to bring in new players and to teach them how to play.”

According to Shilling, Fridays and Saturdays are Nerdvana’s biggest nights. The last couple of Magic events, which are on Saturdays, had every table being used.

“This kind of culture has always been kind of in a negative light, as far as being thought to be nerdy,” Shilling said. “We want to bring the community together, offer a safe place to play games and be the closest LGS in the area. We have a lot of different players, from high school football players, to young children sitting down and playing each other at a game of Pokemon. Growing the community like that is what’s important to us.”

Nerdvana offers pre-release events for new sets that come out, and the game companies will offer retail shops, like Nerdvana, an opportunity to sell those new cards a week early, and hold a tournament with the next set of cards and line of stories. Those events usually start at midnight on Friday, and the pre-release events are huge for Magic.

“We want to include all kinds of games, and we want to offer to people whatever game they are passionate about,” Shilling said. “If there is an interest in a game, we will reciprocate that for the guest. It’s so big for us to see that kind of commitment to something. That’s how we get into different games, and we will get others into it as well. We are here to give gamers room to grow and expand.”

There are no age limits, and anyone is welcome to play any game. The store hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, and noon to 10 p.m. on Sundays.

For more information on tournaments or events, people may call 417-671-0420 or visit the Facebook page, Nerdvana LLC.

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