Lakeview’s Risque Cafe has been transformed into a techie paradise. “Weird Science” and “War Games” play on flat-screens above the bar and copies of Wired are carefully fanned out on each table. Attendants imbibe Goose Island and wax poetic about Twitter. One would expect nothing less from the Chicago Nerd Social Club.
“Have you been filled in on our plans to take over the world?” Jeff Smith, one of the event’s co-founders jokes.
The Chicago Nerd Social Club is the brainchild of Smith and his friends Scott Murphy and Rachel Baker. After receiving a postcard from a local sports social club, Baker came up with the group’s concept. Murphy thought the idea was brilliant. “We want to dispel the myth that nerds are anti-social,” Murphy says. “We can get together and have fun.”
Tonight’s event is jam-packed with trivia contests, an I Fight Dragons performance and an exclusive screening of “Star Trek.” Off in the far corner, rhythmic analog beeps indicate that I Fight Dragons is doing a soundcheck. The band’s lead singer, Brian Mazzaferri, feels that CNSC has definite potential. “We probably would have been here if we weren’t playing here,” he says. “It’s no longer un-cool to be nerdy; it’s awesome and people are proud.”
Baker never anticipated this kind of turnout. Once they started spreading the word on Twitter and Facebook, tickets to the event sold out in a week…back in March. “We had no idea it would be this big!” Baker says. (Katie Fanuko)