Best of the Bay 2011: BEST GEEKDOM: THE GATHERING

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It's a constant nerd alert — not that that's a bad thing — at Cards and Comics Central, a Richmond District shop where employees know the difference between vine whips and seed bombs and can explain why destroy effects don't harm a cattank. Kids into Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokémon, or Magic will be overwhelmed by the shop's vast selection. Parents will be overwhelmed at the price tag — you can spend more than $100 on a single card, though assorted decks (available for under $10) might keep the average young collector sated. Check out the back room for the real action — pale adults playing Magic with an intensity you won't find at most Vegas poker tables.

5424 Geary, SF. (415) 668-3544, www.candccentral.com