I first came across Rule32 on Twitter, I really can’t remember how now. I think one of the founders was in a discussion with someone I was following, I liked what they said and I followed – at least I think that is how it happened.
Anyway I follow them on Twitter…
They are developing a café /venue that will have not just a geek look it will have events including book signings, game nights, films, etc. They are looking for help with this project and you can back them on Indigogo, more details are in the video below.
So after listening to their plans for a while and seeing that they are looking for help I thought I’d have a chat to them and get more details. Thier plans sound cool and I’d like to suggest some of us get behind them. Please, pass this round!
Semple: Who are the creative minds behind Rule32?
Rule32: The primary pair behind Rule32Café are Su Haddrell and Markus Hunt – a pair of friends and geeks who have been daydreaming about this for a few years. The team that back them include friends and family that share their dream and between them have varying expertise to add to the pot.
Semple: What made you think of the idea of Rule32?
Rule32: The idea has been there for many years – that concept of “Wouldn’t it be cool to hang out somewhere really geeky with your mates and just chill out all afternoon.” General career frustration led us to start researching the idea and the more we looked at it, the more plausible it became. We were all just looking at each other saying “We could actually DO this…”
Semple: What does the name mean?
Rule32: In the film Zombieland, Rule32 is “Enjoy The Little Things.” As a group of friends, we quote films all the time, but this one cropped up a lot and just seemed appropriate to the concept. Other options included “Slice of Fried Gold” and “Nerdvana”
Semple: I’m sure I read a description of your idea that mentioned a ball pool and a fireman’s pole… I can’t see that on your site anymore. A ball pool for adults, surely a winner. Was this just a fun addition to the description? (or am I imagining reading it???)
Rule32: At the Excited Discussion stages, a ball pit and fireman’s pole was on the list. Given the venue we’re looking at (and the potential Health and Safety Red Tape Nightmare), it’s probably not going to be a good idea to stick a fireman’s pole in. However, a Sheldon sized Ball Pit could be a goer as a temporary feature for the right event….
Semple: The building looks pretty big, what sort of capacity will your events be able to cater for?
Rule32: We’re not looking to do the LFCC, MCM Expo size events. The UK Games expo’s, the Starfury Conventions and our own recent GeekMeet have been massively popular, so there is definitely scope for smaller scale regular events for 200-250 people. The more popular the event, the more frequently we could hold it.
Semple: What sort of events are you planning to put on?
Rule32: There is a huge opportunity for a whole range of events at the venue. Anything from Steampunk Gatherings and Cosplay Workshops to Craft Days and Games demos. There’s a lot of interest in film or TV show themed weekenders, and we have the potential to be able to do signings or higher level celebrity related events.
Semple: You’ve got a cinema I understand. What sort of films do you plan to show?
Rule32: We do not currently have a cinema. The venue we are looking at was previously used as a cinema and is now a shell. It has a large auditorium which is perfect for use as a multifunction venue. The funds we’re looking to raise from our crowdfunding campaign will pay for a large screen, projector and sound system, but it won’t be the full cinema experience – it will be part of the venue as a whole.
Semple: Will you have space that will be available for private bookings?
Rule32: The venue is quite old-fashioned and does not have a specific function room. However, given the size of the auditorium, we can certainly look at private bookings and events as an additional revenue.
Semple: I understand a few famous people have given you some encouragement, have you lined up any guests yet?
Rule32: Paul and Storm and Professor Elemental have both suggested they play at our opening night, which would be absolutely EPIC! Robert Rankin has also asked if we would do a premiere showing of his movie Alice On Mars! We have had quite a lot of independent writers interested in readings and signings or book launches which opens up a whole range of potential events.
Semple: There are other geek themed cafés and bars – what will make Rule32 different?
Rule32: I think the concept of Rule32 is of bringing geeks together. We’re not just a café selling themed food, and we’re not just a sci-fi bar. The idea of the café, bar and events all under one roof, gives people the option to come and visit from across the UK. The geek culture is very social and the bigger conventions like LFCC are a great excuse for friends to catch up. We want to provide that excuse on a more frequent personal basis, and catering for a greater variety of interests.
Semple: Have you a date in mind for opening?
Rule32: We’re still in the funding phase at the moment, so we can’t set anything in stone until we’ve got that behind us. Then we start signing leases on the property, beginning renovation, and doing all the hard work. Until we get to that stage, it’s not really prudent of us to start setting opening dates.
Semple: You are crowdfunding through Indiegogo, are you going to be looking for more practical help – such as asking people to donate time or props to decorate the cafe with?
Rule32: YES! We want to get as many people involved as we can. We’d love to work with local colleges to use students who need experience in plastering or decorating. If anyone builds props or set pieces, we’d love to use them. If someones got a massive model in an attic that’s gathering dust because they haven’t got the space to display it – we’ll display it (and give it back to you when you want it).
I have ideas for a 2000AD Forum meet up at Rule32. Or themed 2000AD meet ups… A Judge Minty night?
Game nights sound cool too…
I’m sure many people reading this could think of things too…
And how cool are these?