Greg's List: Games, Beer and Fun at ‘Game Over'

(NECN: Greg Wayland) - Good Life on 28 Kingston Street is a little back street downtown Boston bar, and on Tuesday nights, the downstairs "Vodka Bar" is given over to what we'll call Gamer Life.

The organizers call this weekly gathering "Game Over", though it's really just beginning!

"For the nerd community at large, so to speak," said Scott Trano.

There are games galore, including a "Rock Band" simulator for virtual virtuosos, and they include board games and card games, too, as gentle low-tech alternatives to those video games.

"You can play as a group and become a small community a lot easier with a game where you band together rather than where you fight to destroy one another," Trano said.

We asked Colin, originally from Aberdeen, Scotland, what the attraction was. He was holding a draft beer, looking very content to be among like-minded gamers, and answered, "I like to play board games and I like to drink."

Though fingers and brains get exercised more than elbows here around this game-loving crowd.

Gradually, as the early evening wears on, it's going to get very, very noisy. and very crowded in that narrow lower bar that has stairwells at both ends, a long bar the length of the room and little coves with tables and settees.

There's not a lot of drinking, but after a few beers, there's virtual dancing for some, not all. We watched some guys cavort to a couple of numbers, including, about eight o'clock and those few beers, a big-screen animated edition of "Gangnam Style".

Augusto was watching from the bar and said, "I stick to the retro games -- Nintendo 64, Goldeneye, that type of stuff. I don't do the dance and the rock band stuff. That's not for me."

Good old "connectedness" is the reality behind all this virtual reality for gamer geeks and everybody else who shows up. The crowd this Tuesday night was mostly a 20-something gathering in blue jeans, most male, but here were about a half dozen young women, avid gamers as well. That would include Emma.

"I found out about this through a Boston board game meet-up, so started coming here mainly for the board games, stayed for the company," Emma said.

Freelance event planner and gamer Scott Trano got the whole thing rolling.

"I started doing an event here about six months ago called bar craft which was pretty much launching professional video-gaming as a sport," Trano said.

"During that event I happened to be teaching one of my door guys how to play Magic, which is a card game. Some kids noticed that, asked if they could bring cards next time and it kind of sort of snowballed into what it is right now," said Good Life General Manager Damien Silva.

Which is a "gamer" social hour every Tuesday from about 6 p.m. to midnight. They may go later til 2 a.m., depending on demand.  

"Because you get people of very similar interests who would normally stay home," said a young woman at the bar.

Like some guys playing Dominion, a card game that was new to us. A distant relative to poker, said Seth, who was busy dealing and sorting the deck.

"I mean, you build your hand like in poker," he explains.

And in another corner they were playing "Saboteur".

"Basically there's people mining trying to get the gold and one person is trying to sabotage the mission. get all the cold for himself," said one of the guys playing.

Sounds like the plot of "the Treasure of Sierra Madre."

The treasure being mined at "Game Over" downstairs at Good Life is a Comstock load of fun.

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