House of Nerds Oslo, the way to play in Norway
After an 11-hour ride that took me from Oslo to Stavanger (see the travel blog), I’m now in House of Nerds Stavanger. It’s completely different to Oslo, yet, the basics are the same: you love gaming, they give you what you love.
In Oslo, the setup is comparable to DSrack in Copenhagen. The space is big and offers all the games needed, including all the equipment, plus pinball machines as well as old school games, played on old consoles. As at DSrack, a lot of children come here, but that’s where the difference lies as well. Where DSrack offers the facility to schools who have esports in their curriculum (they’ll be teaching 3 classes for the coming schoolyear, each class spending a whole day per week at DSrack), House of Nerds Oslo facilitates birthday parties. We’re not talking a party every now and then, we’re talking on average a 100 kids a week. For instance, coming weekend alone +100 are coming and the 4 days I was there, 4 already birthday parties took place.
Except for this being an excellent marketing strategy (the kids will grow older, but will also keep on coming: get them young and don’t let them go), it also shows esports and gaming are viewed upon so differently in the Nordic countries. I had a short interview with some parents that took their kids to a BD party (see Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/videos/151322277) and they don’t seem to be worried at all about the influence gaming can have on a child. I think the difference to for instance the US, is that parents are not forced to work all the time and are able to spend more time with their children, which means more control and time to redress unwanted behavior. One of the questions I asked was if they’re worried about their kids being bullies online or being bullied. Of course it’s hard to imagine your child being a bully, especially when they’re still young and cute, but with all the online harassment going on these days, it would be one of my concerns as a parent, both options. Cause let’s face it, the power of anonymous bitching is very tempting to anyone. However, all these parents are worried about is the language their kids pick up during online gaming, especially the word Fuck.
House of Nerds Oslo has been set up by some nerds who turn out to be business men too. It took a couple of years to get it all done, helped by a lot of friends that put in many volunteer hours, but now that it’s up and running, their plans are getting bigger. House of Nerds wants to be the equivalent of Hardrock Café, opening esports houses all over the world by the same formula. They’ve started by opening a House of Nerds in Stavanger and many will follow.
Apart from a VIP room and PlayStation area, House of Nerds Oslo has a ‘conference’ room as well. The room is used to broadcast big tournaments for an audience as well as courses given in various subjects such as cosplay, IT and gaming in general. Apart from that, House of Nerds Oslo hosts bachelor’s parties, male and female and fun detail, they’re set up in an old aquarium, which makes the interior unique, the ceiling is covered with huge pipes from the old water system.
Being the only esportshouse in Norway, House of Nerds has a solo position in the country which is kind of remarkable, since Norway has produced some excellent esports athletes. However, they do seem to answer to the trend I see happening world wide, gamers ‘coming out’, no longer being looked upon as nerds but instead as cool, and the need to play games in a social surrounding. The successful opening of House of Nerds Stavanger is confirmation of that need and House of Nerds is doing an excellent job to fulfill it with great staff and first class facilities.
You can see the interview with House of Nerds at: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/150871863
The signing of the flag can be watched here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/151595249