Göttingen: Nerds Are Welcome

As a university town, Göttingen is known not only for its youthfulness, but also for its tolerant openness and lively diversity. This applies particularly to all kinds of nerds – a term that today encompasses much more than the somewhat awkward and socially incompatible computer specialists of the past. On the contrary, not only do we believe that nerds have achieved a whole new level of coolness today. So whatever your thing is and whatever you like to do in your free time: Göttingen welcomes you!

Japan Pop Culture

Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach, Blue Lock or Jujutsu Kaisen – Animes and Mangas from Japan – have been inspiring fans all over the world for many years, who express their enthusiasm for the manga and animation films related to European comics through cosplay.

In Göttingen, there is an active cosplaying scene where individuals can meet up in self-made costumes, dressed up as the big-eyed heroes and heroines from manga and anime. “For those looking to make contact, they could get in touch through #goetaku on Instagram,” recommends Anna-Lena Maxeiner, who regularly organizes GöTaku meetings at Gänseliesel or trips to conventions.

She and other manga fans also occasionally meet up for an anime or karaoke night at the parish office on Kurze Straße.

This is what Göttingen has to offer you:

There is no doubt that manga, anime and cosplay have long since arrived in Göttingen. If you enjoy drawing manga yourself, for example, you can find the right utensils at Wiederholdt.

The Thalia bookstore holds a Manga Day once a year, even the literature house in the Niki-Kiez offers a manga reading with workshop, and the CinemaxX Göttingen provides another meeting point with its almost monthly Anime Night.

Not to mention the Spieleburg, where you can indulge in expert discussions about their perfectly curated manga selection.


If you can’t imagine anything better than moving beautifully painted figures over impressive dioramas with friends and like-minded people, then you’re most likely a tabletop fan. This means that you appreciate places where you can decide the fate of your troops with tactics, expertise, and dice luck, and – just as importantly – have in-depth discussions about your hobby with other players.

“Bearded guys and their little dolls”

The Tabletop Göttingen association offers plenty of space, tables, terrain, and enough time to finish longer games in peace. “Open to all systems, all players, all age groups, and all aspects of our hobby” is the philosophy of the association, which invites players to come and play every Friday evening at musa.

Friday evenings are also an ideal address for all those curious about what the “bearded guys,” as the association members are often called by other users of the musa creative days, do with their “little dolls.” Fun fact: right after or parallel to the tabletop gaming, there is often an exciting live concert on the upper floor of musa. So why not combine both?

These are the tabletop hotspots in the city

But even in downtown Göttingen, you will find plenty of tabletop hotspots. Both Spieleburg on Theaterstraße and Warhammer Göttingen on Jüdenstraße can at least shine when it comes to classic Games Workshop systems with expert advice.

TTRPG – or how we learned to love abbreviations

GM, 5E, PC, Exp., San., d20 and d100, and for enthusiasts, THACO. Most role-playing nerds might recognize these abbreviations. Do you? It’s entirely possible that you’ve already faced off against an orc with a sword in your hand or explored the infinite reaches of space with a spaceship. If not, don’t worry, just ask – someone will surely explain them to you.

The birthplace of modern nerd culture

Since the 1970s, alongside Trekkies and the first ATARI tinkering enthusiasts, role-playing game players have been able to consider themselves one of the birthplaces of modern nerd culture. Even back then, their hobby, which has now been quasi-adorned by the heroes of the Netflix hit series “Stranger Things,” was one of the most important expressions of genuine “nerd” self-understanding. And this is also evident in Göttingen.

Spieleburg: A starting point for getting into RPGs

Once again, the Spieleburg on Theaterstraße is an address that you can’t miss in the city center. While the selection may not match that of a true role-playing shop, it provides an entry point, and many customers who browse there, as well as the staff at the Burg, are usually happy to answer your questions about how it all works.

This is Göttingen’s role-playing scene

But Göttingen’s role-playing scene goes far beyond the shelves of Spieleburg. For example, there is the Facebook group Pen & Paper-Rollenspiel Göttingen with its more than 400 members. Here you can quickly find fellow players or contacts – whether you just want to give it a try or are looking for a regular group.

If you’re looking for regular meetings with changing groups and games, the Alea Rollenspiel Göttingen university group is the right place. Their Discord server is a good address to make contact and get information. The “ALEA HSG Logistikgruppe” WhatsApp group then forms groups for the regular Friday evenings offered in the AStA building on the campus. The Alea university group also regularly holds a “Tag des Portals” (Portal Day), which allows newcomers to test their reaction to real “RPG” nerd vibes in a completely non-committal way.

Similar opportunities are offered by the annual Gratis Rollenspieltag (Free RPG Day), which is also celebrated in Göttingen. You can find out when and where the next one will take place on the internet.

Fun fact: Even Göttingen’s e-sports nerds offer an open world to engage with classic pen & paper role-playing games outside of their consoles. Here’s the information.


Playing games occasionally is one thing. Identifying oneself as a gamer goes a bit further, but the premier league plays in esports. Esports? This involves competing in a sporting competition with computer games like League of Legends or Counter Strike. For those wondering what’s athletic about sitting in a pilot’s chair in front of a screen, it’s best to compare esports to chess, which has long been recognized as a competitive sport. Even the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has included esports in the Olympic preliminary program for 2024, albeit somewhat awkwardly so far.

E-Sport Union Göttingen

If you want to engage in esports in Göttingen, you can hardly avoid the E-Sport Union Göttingen or ESUG for short. The association, founded in 2020, evolved from the active university group since 2017 and unites an active community dedicated to various games. Of course, the ESUG participates with several teams in the nationwide Uniliga, but also organizes community evenings for individual games, tournaments and small LAN parties as well as public viewings or streams tournaments and events on Twitch.

Cooperation with ASC Göttingen

The fact that Göttingen knows how to integrate its nerds is exemplified by the ESUG’s cooperation with Göttingen’s largest recreational sports club, the ASC Göttingen von 1848 e.V. The ESUG provides coaches, and the ASC provides hardware and rooms for weekly training sessions.

Game Days at musa

Although they only take place once a year, the regular Game Days Göttingen at musa should not go unmentioned, as their nerd factor, with game design workshops, dance mat controls, and computer component rate guessing by Computertruhe e.V., here and there still exceeds that of the ESUG offers. The organization responsible for the program is the LAG Jugend & Film Niedersachsen association.


It’s no surprise that nerds in Göttingen can draw on a long tradition of illustrious role models in the city of Nobel laureates. Today, you’ll likely find the highest concentration of nerds, whose image has shifted from the oddball with thick glasses and a passion for useless expertise to the quite trendy, technically savvy, and highly intelligent alpha geek, in the northern area of the University of Göttingen and, of course, on the campus of the Max Planck Institutes.

This is where Göttingen locals who study, research, and teach at various scientific institutes and research facilities are located, who not only spiritually but also in reality, see themselves in the tradition of the many Nobel laureates of the city – foremost of which is, of course, physicist Stefan Hell, who received the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Auch Nicht-Nerds dürften sich bei der "First Lego League" gut unterhalten gefühlt haben. Foto: FIRST LEGO League

In the northern section of the university, you’ll not only find Göttingen’s nerds

A trip to the northern section of the university or the Max Planck campus will not only allow you to experience Göttingen’s nerds in their natural habitat, but also admire almost futuristic architecture in their simple functionality, especially in contrast to our half-timbered city center.

Spaceships and Supercomputers

However, there are also classic nerd workplaces near the city center, such as the Göttingen location of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on Bunsenstraße, where around 480 experts work on the airplanes, spaceships, and high-speed trains of the future. In 2022, a new supercomputer – the CARO (Computer for Advanced Research in Aerospace) high-performance computer – was put into operation here, which ranks among the 150 most powerful systems in the world and should therefore exude a considerable amount of nerd aura.

Nerd education with robots and Lego

But Göttingen is not just for big nerds; particularly Göttingen’s schools have a lot to offer in terms of young talent. They are well connected through the Robotikfreunde Göttingen association, which focuses on everything related to robots and is quite active. For example, there is the annual Göttingen Robotics Competition for regional high schools, which will be held in its ninth edition in June 2023 at Roswitha Gymnasium in Bad Gandersheim – where you can also check out the concurrent state garden show.

In February 2023, the “First Lego League” Challenge with 150 participants took place at the Vocational School 2 (BBS 2), as well as the “First Lego League” Explore with 50 elementary school students. It’s an event that even non-nerds are sure to enjoy, as the self-made robots attempt to solve demanding tasks on specially designed courses.

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