San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing and we have been running around downtown San Diego taking it all in. One of our stops today was Nerdist House, currently taking up residence at the Sparks Gallery at 530 Sixth Ave. It is a ten-minute walk away from the convention center but worth every step.
Once you get inside – and there are a couple different ways to go – you enter a hip, homey space. Anyone is welcome, whether or not you’ve got a San Diego Comic-Con badge. If you’re an Alpha Member there’s an expedited VIP line for you, though we have yet to see anyone have issues getting in through either route.
If you’ve come to check out some of the awesome programming – great! Take a seat in front of an intimate studio stage and get ready to be a part of the Nerdist live stream experience. Alpha members not at the convention can watch the streams while they happen from the comfort of their own home and they will be available as video on demand after the convention.
Not interested in the programming or you’ve come in between panels? Don’t worry. Grab a free cup of water, a pretzel, and meander around the space. There’s a merch booth, a photo booth where you can experience a little bit of Lost in Space and get your photo taken with a robot, a VR experiences, and a table for signings and meet-and-greets.
Lost in Space Photobooth
There’s a life-sized robot hanging out in the studio perched in front of green screens. Fans can step right up and create their own Lost in Space experience as a row of cameras capture them from all angles. The photos are stitched together to create the “boomerang” effect. Fans get to walk away with a digital copy of their Lost in Space creation.
The Sona VR Experience
Slightly more involved was the Sona VR experience, created to promote the upcoming new science-fiction series. We lucked out and caught the tail-end of a meet-and-greet with Sona creator Ashley Clements and she shared a bit of the series’ story.
A fan of science fiction and shows about space (she said she wanted to be on Star Trek), Ashley decided to write her own about a character by the name of Lt. Sona who is trapped in her own escape pod. The series itself was created in Ashley’s dining room which became the set of the escape pod.
Lots of work and a Kickstarter later, Ashley says she got the call that the series was going to be picked up. The VR experience is the icing on the cake and a great way to give anyone curious about the show a chance to be immersed in it.
The experience itself was a lot of fun and different than other VR games I have played. According to Ashley the headset used at Nerdist House is relatively new technology that takes VR to the next level with increased range of motion. The Sona VR experience required some crouching and looking underneath things which was a trip and a half while wearing the headset.
All in all, even though I did not manage to get out of the escape pod I had a whole lot of fun.
Refreshments and Air Conditioning
I’m a realist, and I know conventions are hard on the body especially when it is hot out. You have to wait in line after line, pressed up against other people, and sometimes you need a break. Even if nothing I’ve mentioned above interests you, I can tell you that Nerdist House is worth checking out because it offers a chill space to hang out away from the bulk of the crowds.
When I stepped inside I was offered water, there were free pretzels with dips around and a bar in the back where you can buy drinks. There was a lot of comfortable lounge space decorated with really cool show posters that fans of anything Nerdist or Geek and Sundry would appreciate.
At the end of the day, Nerdist House is one of the most chill off-site spaces to check out during San Diego Comic Con. You can free water, snacks, and patronize the bar. There’s a VR escape room experience you won’t want to miss, and a giant robot waiting for you to take a picture with it.
What’s there not to love?
So be sure to check out Nerdist House before the weekend is done!