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Posted on: October 24, 2019

Network Nirvana - Build it and they will come

TJ photo NF

Network Nirvana - Build it and they will come


By Michelle Toale-Burke


“I have so many ideas. In fact, I came up with two in the shower this morning.”

-TJ Nissen, owner Network Nirvana


TJ Nissen, owner of Network Nirvana, a next-generation game design company, began drawing and designing elaborate worlds on rolls of freezer paper while he was still in elementary school. Lucky for him, his mom would bring home this paper for TJ to capture his designs on while sitting at the dining room table. The designs eventually became video game worlds. In high school, TJ went from using freezer paper as a backdrop to Excel spreadsheets. During this time he created a total of seventeen maps, two which are currently being used as a Network Nirvana Minecraft world. One of these is the basis for his AdytumOnline, the game worlds’ largest underwater city, deep in the Atlantic Ocean basin.


With the help of the John Papajohn Entrepreneurial Center, a student business incubator at UNI, TJ was able to grow Network Nirvana into a profitable sole proprietorship. While he loves being an entrepreneur, he stressed the importance of having passion for what you're doing to sustain you through the lack of sleep and numerous tasks that must be completed to keep a business functioning. The payoff is huge for TJ, as he gets to spend his days dreaming up and implementing the next fantastical world in Network Nirvana. Network Nirvana will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary in April 2020 with a huge surprise celebration.


TJ graduated last year from UNI with a degree in graphic technologies. While he is no longer a student at UNI, he still has an office at the John Papajohn Center. Collaborating with the professionals who work at the John Papajohn Center has continued to make all the difference in running a successful business. For the past four years, TJ has been taking his Network Nirvana Minecraft game worlds to many libraries throughout Iowa. He held approximately 20 gaming workshops this past summer with many more scheduled in the coming year.


TJ will be bringing his successful Minecraft – Black Friday 1989 line-up to the Independence Public Library on November 22nd from 5 - 8pm for grades 5-12. Players will build and complete challenges in an abandoned shopping mall. Registration is required to attend this event.  Players can also look forward to Krampus March on December 27th from 5 - 8pm.


For more information or to register for one of these programs, please contact the library at 319-334-2470 or email us at iplrooms@gmail.com . Hurry as space is limited!


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