The Coolest Nerds On The Planet

By Crystal McGwyer / Photos by Eric Blackmon

Block No. 16
344 7th Ave., East Village

Free admission
Conversations for a Cause: $20 donation

In case you haven’t heard, Nerd HQ is the place to be when you aren’t booth hopping at the convention center at this year’s Comic-Con. You won’t find Snoopy and Darth Vader dueling outside Nerd HQ, but you will find some of the coolest nerds on the planet, yet-to-be released video games, exclusive parties and some amazing autograph signings.

It’s all the brainchild of actor Zachary Levi, best known for his starring role on “Chuck”. Zac’s vision was to bring an experience to Comic-Con in which fans could have real conversations with some of their favorite celebrities. So was born Nerd HQ in 2011, produced by The Nerd Machine, a multi-media company dedicated to bringing the best of apparel, accessories and amazing video content to customers around the globe.

Coming to San Diego’s own Block No. 16 July 12-15, Nerd HQ is powered by Xbox, Square Enix, Break Media and VIZIO. This year fans can look forward to 40 gaming stations, next-gen 3D technologies and the very popular “Conversations for a Cause” panel series, which benefits Operation Smile, a not-for-profit organization that pays for corrective surgery for children with cleft palates. The conversations will be streamed worldwide through the Nerd Machine’s Break Media partnership at This will be the destination for all the Conversations and daily highlights from the event.

“SDCC does an amazing job presenting panels for thousands of fans to experience together. Our venue is a great deal smaller, so our ‘Conversations’ will be less than 250 people. Guests attending the panels ask the questions one-on-one to the celebs. It makes for some pretty interesting conversations and creates a unique experience for the fans and celebrities alike,” says David Coleman, co-founder of The Nerd Machine.If the panels weren’t enough, fans will also get the chance to play the yet-to-be released, completely reborn Tomb Raider game. “Square Enix is debuting the first-ever playable demo of the soon-to-be-released Tomb Raider,” says Coleman. “This is a world exclusive only found at Nerd HQ.” While admission to Nerd HQ is free, tickets to “Conversations for a Cause” are $20.

“Walk in, catch a Conversation, take photos, play video games, have a drink, hang out, have fun, be nerdy.” After you enjoy Comic-Con, head over to Nerd HQ and check it out.