The Thriving Nerd Sub-Culture of Stockholm
Let’s not beat around the bush- I’m a nerd. I’ll debate furiously to prove that Ozymandias was right to do what he did to Dr. Manhattan or that Lelouch actually did survive at the end of Code Geass R2. Fantastical fiction is imagination fuel, and without an imagination, you’re pretty much dead in the water as an engineer or technologist.
So when I decided to come to Stockholm and study nanotechnology at KTH, I had my reservations. You see, like Superman and his sunlight-deficiency issues, I was afraid that there wouldn’t be enough of a nerd subculture to sustain me after living in the well-established Fortress of Nerditude of NYC.
How deliciously wrong I was…
When it comes to nerdiness, Stockholm is the gift that surprisingly keeps on giving. It keeps proving time and time again that it’s perfectly capable of sustaining my voracious appetite for whatever form of fictional escapades I feel like gorging myself on, be they epic fantasy novels, comics, manga, anime, or obscure TV series.
Just last week, I decided to set out and pay homage to the honorable House Nerd here in Stockholm. Here’s what I came back with:
Science Fiction Bokhandeln
Science Fiction Bokhandeln proved to be everything a Whovian/Trekkie/Book Worm/Gamer/Otaku could have hoped for in Stockholm. It’s an island of modernity, futurism, and wild speculation nestled right in the middle of Old Town, Gamlastan. But talk is cheap, feast your eyes on some pics and decide for yourself if you like what you see-
And it’s not just the tastefully stocked shelves that lend themselves to the amazing atmosphere in the store either- the people you meet inside are just amazing. As per my immaculately-kept tally, in the 45 minutes that I was inside Bokhandeln I:
- Lamented the deaths of over 5 different anime/manga/game characters with my fellow otaku, people that I had just met, but were brethren who shared my grief
- Cursed the fates for not giving us a second season of Firefly with those same people
- Wondered (out loud) if a third installment of Half-Life would be something that we’d experience in our lifetimes
- Exchanged numbers and met up again later that week (We’re on our way to becoming fast friends!)
Case in point? Science Fiction Bokhandeln alone has you covered should you develop a hankering for some anime, manga, sci-fi, or game merchandise during your stay in Stockholm- but it doesn’t end there!
Game On 2.0
As fate would have it, a gaming convention by the name of Game On 2.0 was in full swing at the Tekniska Museet. Was I going to pass this up? *Psh* Yeah, right.
Game On was truly a blast to the past. I remember going in there and growing at least 15 years younger on the spot. The floodgates of my memory opened up to a simpler time, a time when the only care in the world was how to get Mew in Pokemon Blue using the infamous SS Anne glitch. Game On took me on a journey of gaming through the ages. Practically every console and genre imaginable was represented, all the way from Pong, right up until the PS4.
Pics or it didn’t happen? Gotacha’
I went two days till closing, and the place was JAM-PACKED. Among other things I:
- Got my ass thoroughly handed to me at Super Smash Bros by a 10-year-old
- Almost asphyxiated myself playing 10 consecutive rounds of Korean dance games
- PWNed some teenagers in a slayer match of closed-LAN Halo
- Swore like a drunken sailor as I continued to fall off Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 64
Case in point? Stockholm is a WONDERFUL place to be a Nerd/Otaku/Gamer. If you do decide to come to Sweden, you’ll fit right in!