A Nerdy Guide to Vancouver Island’s Best Shops for Pop Culture, Tourists and More!


Cavity Curiosity Shop

Used Books, Underground Music, Punk Rock

2514 Douglas St
Hours: 12pm to 5pm (closed Mon, Tues)
Phone:  (250) 381-9857

Cavity replaces what Absolute Underground Magazine’s store offered: curious goods, unique art, spray paint (no, they do not endorse graffiti) and goods for would be wizards. The wide range of product ranging from books to music (punk rock, heavy metal) shows this operation is in the hub of the alternative music scene. Some are obscure and others are not. But this operation is a curiosity shop for a reason. You never know what you can find!

Escape Room Experiences

There’s two fun filled haunts for those who love puzzle solving while the clock is running. Horror Escape (523 Broughton) offers a dose of terror as you make your way through tiny houses, and Quest Reality (1121 Wharf Street) plays with other themes so even UFOlogists and Adventure Seekers can attempt to leave with the prize! Technically, there’s no gift shop for a momento, but party goers can get a snapshot of their experience before or after with their smartphone to commemorate their time here.

And to be fair, for those craving mini-golf  or ping pong, indoors, there’s Haunted Manor Victoria located on 711 Yates Street.

Epic Games & MoreEpic Games & More

Used Video Games, Consoles & Arcade, TCG

2612 Quadra St
Hours: 10am to 7pm
Phone: (250) 590-3532

Although this operation looks bigger because it has a larger library of product to display, the distinction this business has is in the fact it is the home for several standing coin-operated arcade games. Good people run this operation too and plenty of parking can be found nearby in Quadra Village.

Fan Favourites Games & Movies

Used Video Games, Home Video (Used Blu-ray, DVD), Nintendo

760 Yates St
Hours: 11am to 6pm
Phone: (250) 361-4447

When compared to other stores carrying Nintendo licensed product, Fan Favourites has the biggest selection!
When compared to other stores carrying Nintendo licensed product, Fan Favourites has the biggest selection!

This operation loves Nintendo and this family run business has a vibe which makes the folks here at Otakunoculture regularly coming back! Our interview with the operators can be read here, and what they offer is a bit of everything for the anime, film and video game enthusiast. They tend to get in titles that the big shops don’t often see, so it’s worth popping in to look at their used video selection.

They are fellow nerds and offer great after-support for the refurbished consoles sold here.

Interactivity Board Game Cafe

723 Yates St
Hours: 11am to midnight
Phone: (250) 480-3979

This business is a great place for residents in the city to come to wind down at after work. The selection of games is excellent and folks can have a bite to go with that roll of a die.

Infusion XR- Arcade

535 Yates St #103

Hours: 12pm to 8pm (booking required)
Phone: (778) 265-8338
Anyone wanting a dose of virtual reality can visit Infusion’s arcade! They offer the most popular games for those who aren’t ready to dive into investing into a home system, and the list rotates as new products come out. A full list can be found on their website and it’s quite comprehensive. It’s safe to say a Sony’s PlayStation VR system just doesn’t cut it sometimes, and to truly experience what this fad is like does require room scale integration.

Red Dragon Dice

nerdy guideSusie Dancer loves dice just as much as she enjoys board gaming. Her passion was borne at an early age. She sees them like jewelry since they can be any colour of the rainbow and the shapes they come in are also a delight for many a crystal enthusiast! In addition to bringing in a wide selection of this essential role-playing/card game product, she has dice bins and funky tokens for gamers to customize their gameplay. Plans are in the works to bring in (custom) dice bags, meeples (board game people shaped tokens) and jewelry.

Orders are done through Facebook as this operation is a hobby business. She has plans to eventually expand, but for now, if you are looking for a specific colour and/or a polyhedron, this place is it! Their Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/RedDragonDice/

Russell Books

Used Sci-fi & Fantasy Fiction

734 Fort Street
Hours: 9am to 6pm
Phone: (250) 361-4447

The avid reader will find Russell Books and their overstock store, Books on View, a great place to find used books. If they do not have it on the shelf, the product can be ordered in.

The Turntable

nerdy guide#3-107 Fan Tan Alley
Hours: 10am to 5:30pm
Phone: (250) 382-5543

Vinyl record enthusiasts have the choice of this shop in this city’s version of Diagon, er Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown or Ditch Records & CD’s (784 Fort Street) to get their funk on for music in a format only audiophiles will appreciate.

It is tough to say which is better. Both have their loyal customer base.

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