In Real Life

Reader Review: The Mana Bar

I haven’t been to the Mana Bar yet. I’ll have to remedy that at some point – but in the meantime I’ve got this review of the bar, by Jenn Christodoulou.

Jenn’s a bit of success story for Reader Reviews – having secured freelance work writing on Hyper, through the quality of her Reader submitted work on Kotaku. Congratulations Jenn, well deserved!

Anways – on with the Reader Review!

The Mana Bar
There once was a time where being called a gamer was an insult. You were a nerd, a geek, a friendless loser who would be 40 and still living in your mother’s basement. But these days, gamers wear these titles with pride. We are gamers. We are leet and we are smarter and cooler than everybody else. And yet, there are very few places where we can go to hang out all together. Until the creation of Yahtzee Croshaw’s Mana Bar in Brisbane. I gave that place a visit last week and was very pleased with what I found.

Loved
Bathrooms: Yes, bathrooms. I’m not a fan of public bathrooms (who is?) but I found myself spending a lot of time in them at the bar, and not just because of the immense amount of Angel Islands I consumed. In the women’s bathroom there were cartoons of Princess Peach, Pikachu, and then a bunch of hilarious one-liners. I enjoyed them so much I sent my friend into the guy’s bathroom to take some photos. It’s totally not creepy.

People: Everybody in the bar was really friendly and outgoing. They all obeyed the house rules of the games so there was no hogging, and not too much gloating either. By the end of the night my friends and I had made a friend, spoken to some people, and made eye contact with everyone else. For a bunch of gamer nerds that’s quite the night of social contact.

Hated
Music: The music at the bar wasn’t exactly bad but it just seemed like some of the DJ’s didn’t quite know what they were doing with the Mac sitting in front of them, which is fair enough since who does? While the music was interesting, it stopped and started a lot which really threw off the rhythm of the night.

Itty bitty: The bar was really small, and I’m talking incredibly small. On a Thursday night the crowd only consisted of about 20 people, and we were all squished in like sardines. Though I stopped caring once I got gaming, I can imagine that on a busier night it would be crowded to the point of claustrophobia.

I really loved my time at the Mana Bar. The room may be small, but it’s filled with alcohol and video games and crammed full of interesting, lovely people. It’s definitely going to be a place I visit again when I’m in Brisbane next, and I advise anybody with an opportunity to do so, to drop in some time. You won’t regret it (provided you still remember it the next morning).

Reviewed by Jenn Christodoulou