In the ‘Zone: GAYmers geek out on Hump Day at Heretic

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Forget what you heard. Heretic is not just a weekend hotspot, and please catch up if you think that video-gaming is only for straight boys.

Enter Warpzone Wednesday, and get your “gayme” on with scores of like-minded gays and plenty of joysticks in a social setting outside your living room.

Warpzone has become a must-do gathering each week, a haven of fun for anyone who loves a strong drink, a friendly crowd and a night full of their favorite video games.

We talked to Heretic GM Alan Collins about why Heretic is the place to be on Wednesday nights.

What is Warpzone Wednesday?

Warpzone is a midweekly escape for the Gaymer Geek in all of us, combined with the fun of hanging out and playing with like-minded friends who want to get their geek on while enjoying good company, cocktails, Local Geek Fan Art, free hot dogs, popcorn and live action Sci-Fi and anime all night long. We feel that this arcade feel has been lost to a generation of online Gamers.

What is it about the GAYmer crowd that Heretic loves so much?

We are that crowd!! We are gaymers, geeks and sci-fi and horror buffs. As such, we wanted to recreate and maintain a safe space for gathering and geeking out together.

It’s more than just about games. It’s about connecting and reconnecting with others during a time where people can feel so alone. To have those geeky conversations face to face, even with our masks on.

So we created the space we wanted to see. A full pub, open dancefloor, pumping music, lots of games to play, and a beautiful back porch to lounge. We want people to get out and have fun with people who love games and gaming culture and feel safe doing it. That is what matters to us at Warpzone.

How has Warpzone changed over the years and in the Age of COVID?

These days, the lesson we all have to learn is that “Survivability is linked to adaptability.” We are navigating these uncertain and fearful times with determination and great effort on our part, following all the state guidelines.  And going above and beyond by requiring masks and social distancing with no exceptions.

We strive to balance the importance of following the science as well as fulfilling the desire to see our friends and to deliver a safe space to play and meet people who share our gaymer geekiness. We constantly wipe down and clean all surfaces and game controllers. Bubba Geisha (Jon) will remind you (with love) a hundred times if needed to keep your masks on while in the building.

Who are some of the regulars we can we expect to meet when we get there?

In addition to doorman, geek artist and floor host Jon Skoglund (Bubba Geisha), Warpzone is co-hosted by Matthew Wortham as the evening’s gamemaster and also the first shift bartender. Donte Harper bartends the late closing shift, and of course I go all in to support new ideas and methods to keep the bar open, operating and thriving.

This is decidedly not y’all’s weekend vibe. What are some of the other weekday offerings?

In addition to the Heretics Warpzone Wednesday, we’ll be reopening Heretic Country Thursday’s soon with an optional outdoor dancefloor on the lower patio for line dancing.

What else do people need to know?

The Heretic is here to stay! We’ve been open 29 years and have no plans to change that.  #hereticstrong

More than ever, we as a people need our sanctuary places to relax and feel safe with others. To unwind from the stress of the “RonaVerse” outside. To hold each other up with games, laughter, music, movies and fun! Cocktails and free hot dogs and popcorn for patrons doesn’t hurt either!

This feature appeared in Q ATLus magazine. Read the full issue online here:

Pick up each new edition of QATLus at LGBTQ and allied venues around Atlanta.


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