Everyday Gamer

Everyday Gamer
Behind the Counter at GameStop

Jason Fanelli | 20 Oct 2009 12:59
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No matter how much it's added to my appreciation of games, GameStop is a 40-hour-a-week job, and I can't play anything while at work. In fact, the job has detracted from my gaming habit in a couple ways: It limits the amount of time I can actually play the games I've purchased, and it influences my purchasing to the point where I'm overloaded with games without enough time to play them all. I find that it takes me much longer to finish a game than most of my friends because of this, which means I'm often shut out of the conversation. inFamous, for instance, was a first day purchase for me back in May, but I didn't obtain the platinum trophy until the end of August due to work-related time constraints and other games catching my attention while on the job. (Thank you, BlazBlue.) When your gaming queue still includes titles like BioShock two years after its release, it's easy to see just how much time goes by when you're selling games instead of playing them.

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So what now? I've achieved what I originally thought would be the pinnacle of game-dom, and while I know I have an impact on the actual sale of games, I still don't feel like I'm fully a part of the industry yet. I could try and continue up the GameStop ladder, run my own store and finally be the one calling the shots, but even as a manager my access to the industry at large would be limited. Sure, I could go to a gaming conference on my own, but unless I made time in my schedule and paid my own way in, I wouldn't be able to attend events like E3, PAX, or the Tokyo Game Show, as GameStop doesn't have an "industry pass" that employees can use to get in. For the moment, I'm limited to selling the games that are in the store and learning about them on my own time.

But I can't complain too much. Overall, working for GameStop has been a fulfilling experience for me. I'm in the trenches dealing with the people that keep gaming alive: gamers. I get to hear about what people are playing and apply it in my own gaming pursuits. I may be outside looking in when it comes to the industry as a whole, but I still have a pretty good view from behind the counter.

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