Five top hangouts for nerds

jkegley@herald-leader.comSeptember 22, 2011 

Snow day

Corbin Thacker, left, and Turner Buttry got caught up in the action as Kari Thacker, Corbin's mother, looked on in the arcade area at Lexington's GattiTown.

MATT GOINS

Kentucky is known for its outdoor splendor, but what if you'd rather stay inside and read the latest comic books, gather with friends around a board game or huddle up with a cuddle buddy in front of your favorite movie?

For those of us proud nerds who care more about pop culture than current events, there are several places you can hang out and shop if your interests are a bit more fantastic.

The Rusty Scabbard hails itself as "Kentucky's Legendary Game Store." Games of all types line the walls: the universally loved, like chess and darts; niche role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons; and board games that skirt the boundaries between family fun and role playing, like the Settlers of Catan.

And look no further for miniatures and set pieces for the popular Warhammer: 40,000 and other tabletop war games. The Rusty Scabbard has the biggest selection in town. Find it on Facebook.

A+ Comics and Collectibles is the place to go for card games. Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering trading card game tournaments draw big crowds almost every night, and the environment is all-inclusive.

Comic enthusiasts can sign up for the VIP program, an automatic subscription service that guarantees you never miss an issue. The store has a museum-like selection of modern and vintage toys and collectibles. Visit: Apluscomics.com.

■ Angry that big-box video game stores don't stock classics like Battletoads? Visit Disc Replay. Think "thrift store for electronics."

Buy a season of your favorite TV show for the price of a few rentals from Redbox, or pick up cheap classic video games for long defunct-systems like Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast, as well as newer systems and games. Or make a few bucks and pay it forward by selling the stuff you no longer watch or play. Find them on Facebook.

Pops Resale is the place to go if you like to spin the vinyl. Drooling over their huge record selection but don't have a record player? Buy one of those there, too.

Pops also specializes in classic comics, toys, collectibles, clothes and video games, all of which are regularly on sale. Off-the-wall must-buys, such as traffic lights or gas masks, occasionally turn up in the store's inventory. Visit: Popsresale.com.

GattiTown is a good place to go for a birthday party, but it's also a piece of nerd history thanks to several great games from the heyday of the arcade scene. A day trip can kill a few hours in no time as you try to beat high scores on Eighteen Wheeler, Hydro Thunder and the Dance Dance Revolution derivative In the Groove 2. Or try your hand at Skee-Ball, hoops and other games of skill.

GattiTown's carnival-like atmosphere is novel today, but before the days of home video game consoles, such arcades were the only place to play the newest and best video games. The pizza buffet is icing on the cake. Visit: Gattitownlexington.com.

More Central Kentucky bucket lists:

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