Gaming Malaise and a Game Stop Anecdote

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I bought my first game in over a year and a half today! Destiny 2!... for my girlfriend's son for his birthday, so it was basically against my will; if you've never stared into the eyes of a 12-year-old with ADHD who's drenched in hormones and literally quaking with so much pent up energy, he's molecularly unstable while he's telling you he wants something, you don't know terror; we're building a panic room for puberty.

Anyway, I used to walk into Game Stops like a kid in a candy store: sparse floors, but walls covered in worlds to save, damsels to rescue, aliens to kill and spells to cast. But today, I walked into one for the first time in months and just felt... exhausted. Nothing excited me. After stepping over the piles of tangential gaming merch (because Game Stop now apparently moonlights as a thrift store for action figures,) I scoured the shelves, reading the titles: "Crap... Shit... Crap 2... Shit Revengenece... Madden 18.... Crap 2 Remastered... " Nothing looked remotely interesting and everything looked the same. That's about when the 20-something clerk popped over with the mandatory "can I help you with anything?" I rolled my eyes and said over my shoulder in my most disaffected monotone: "Destiny 2. Xbox One. Yes, I have a rewards card. Yes, I know it's expired. No I don't want to renew it." She hopped back to her side of the counter and we had this exchange:

Clerk: Did you pre-order Destiny 2 with us?

Me: ...No? (Looking past her at the dozen available copies four feet behind her frickin' head.)

Clerk: And did you want to go ahead and pick up the expansion pass today as well? ("Go ahead," like it's a foregone conclusion I'll be buying it at some point.)

Me: No.

Clerk: You sure? It's on sale this week only.

Me: NO.

Clerk: Ok, but just so you know, if you buy the content separately, you'll pay mo...

Me: (cutting her off) I've been gaming longer than you've been ALIVE and certainly well before day one DLC was basically standard; I know how it works; it doesn't. If the brat I'm buying this for wants DLC, he can spend his birthday money on it.

Clerk: Okay then, and do you want to buy a lifetime scratch protection for $3

Me: *sighs* NO, I don't even want to give you $67 for that disc in your hand, but that's the fastest way out of this store!

Clerk: (Laughing) [i]So, I guess I needn't bother asking you if there was anything you wanted to pre-order?

Me: [i]...Please, no.

And of course, they didn't have any copies of Dark Souls II. Thanks, Game Stop; was hoping you'd help pull me out of my gaming funk, instead you shoved me face first deeper into it. Guess I'm headed back to the bar and my NG+6 run in Dark Souls.

I know what you mean. I see the news and most of the face of gaming does not impress me. I have my few curiosities in newer AAA titles but I know to wait as they are not worth the full price. I used to put up with Gamestop as you could tell there was very much a "I know I have to do this" vibe to the usual questions. Though with employee turn over it now seems like genuine excitement and pressure comes from those questions. And rejecting them does carry an aura of disappointment and disapproval from the employees, though it can be up to each employee themselves.

I have had less reason to go to Gamestop as fewer new games are on my list, or would be better bought online. And for used games I have a decent number of local game and electronic stores in my area. Though I feel for you as I do not know the timing of this kid's B-Day or how he would take the wait for shipping so I cannot truly recommend online ordering. For you personally, see if there are any good second hand gaming/electonic/media stores in your area. I am sure that sense of wonder seeing shelves upon shelves of games will come back.

As a dude who is still mucking around the PS3 generation and who hasn't tapped into his rainy day fund to go "next-gen" yet, I still have that kid in a candy store vibe. I'll go to flip through the used bin and see what game I should get caught up on (it will probably be Journey next) and I'll gaze longingly at the PS4 and Switches and think "maybe someday, if I find myself with $300 burning a hole in my pocket"

I do get annoyed by the cashiers, but I've had friends who have worked there and I know they're under a lot of pressure from management so I usually let it slide. Actually they usually don't pester me too bad. I was buying Black Ops 2 around the time the last CoD came out, and the guy asked me if I wanted to preorder it and I was like "I'm just starting Black Ops 2 on the PS3, at this rate I'll get to that one probably around 2030." We both got a good chuckle out of that one and he let me go with no more pestering

I see Gamestop as a necessary evil. I have a few good indie game stores that I go to in my area, but I like having Gamestops around because I can usually find any given last gen game there at the drop of a hat. So if I get the undeniable urge to play Sleeping Dogs at 6 o'clock on a Wednesday evening, I know I can find a copy at one of the 74 Gamestops in a five mile radius of my home

You shouldn't take it out on the cashiers, management is the one making them force all that crap down your throat.

DrownedAmmet:
As a dude who is still mucking around the PS3 generation and who hasn't tapped into his rainy day fund to go "next-gen" yet, I still have that kid in a candy store vibe. I'll go to flip through the used bin and see what game I should get caught up on (it will probably be Journey next) and I'll gaze longingly at the PS4 and Switches and think "maybe someday, if I find myself with $300 burning a hole in my pocket"

Journey is great! I got the copy that came with Flower and Flow, and Flower is pretty cool too! Just pure artistry, with blend of music, visual, and storytelling communicated without words.

I don't think I've been in a Gamestop since I got Mario Maker on an impulse buy. Damn.

I know what you mean about being in a gaming funk, though. I think it's been over a year since I had a game I was REALLY excited about that didn't entirely fail to impress. I have this sneaking suspicion that gaming as a whole has moved away from me, and I'm just not the 'target audience' anymore. Even my beloved Battletech is starting to worry me.

And I'm honestly unaware of any AAA game on the horizon I care about. And there's only maybe 2 indie games I'm interested in. Maybe I'm not a gamer anymore?

Drathnoxis:
You shouldn't take it out on the cashiers, management is the one making them force all that crap down your throat.

This.

As a former employee, can confirm.

Funny thing is, I used to think that stores like that would be hella fun to work in back when I was a kid. Now I'm kinda glad I dodged the bullet on that one.

I've been in a store in Atlanta 2 years ago when I went to a con. It was quite nice actually with helpful workers but it might have been due to them seeing were from abroad and knowing not to sell unhelpful shit to us.

jademunky:
Funny thing is, I used to think that stores like that would be hella fun to work in back when I was a kid. Now I'm kinda glad I dodged the bullet on that one.

Its a retail job.

The difference, for me though, was that it was a retail job I was knowledgeable about the stuff being sold. I did not enjoy all the standing and work, but I didnt enjoy it when I worked at a clothing store for low-ranking rich people, but atleast if someone asked me a question I actually probably had an answer.

Ok, the store size also mattered, since a single room isnt as bad as part of a mall, but still.

I remember helping this older man who wanted to buy a shooter seemingly to play with his kid/grandkid, and me feeling super helpful cause I knew where the games where, what the games had, etc. At that clothing store? Ugh, no I dont know where the Burberry stuff is and I dont care! =. =;;

I only lost the job at Gamestop cause they made a bad investment in Star Wars Battlefront. All retail jobs suck, but it was the least sucky retail job for me.

Plus I got a discount :D

The fuck you people doing actually going into Gamestop still?! Its 2017! Buy the game digitally, use Amazon, or in a pinch go to Best Buy. Its just anti-Gaming to use Gamestop at this point. For shame!

I think the last time I went into a Gamestop was to by a Gamecube game, and even then I don't think I actually got it.

Saelune:

I only lost the job at Gamestop cause they made a bad investment in Star Wars Battlefront. All retail jobs suck, but it was the least sucky retail job for me.

Plus I got a discount :D

Meh, I currently work retail banking. It's ok since I like to talk investments and plans for the future and can sit down in an office with people who've lived in places i'll likely never visit.

The downside is that you occassionally get cases where some jackass at a call center gives you an appointment that just says "cx wants to discuss business." You think the prospective client is there to open a business account and you instead, find yourself with someone off their meds who wants you to explain to them the definition of "Business."

I live in a area with two, fairly small, towns and one Game Stop.

The GS is, after the local 'all generations' store died (owner was a twatwaffle), basically the only place IN TOWN to get newer games offline.
-I mean, there's the pawn shop that's run by a religious zealot who randomly jacks up prices on his used games or...Wal-Mart, which is a JOKE when it comes to used games and never lowers the price of their 5+ year old 'new' games.

So...yeah, it's actually a pretty friendly place.

I'm there about once or twice a week talking with the workers, and getting in very boring debates about why 'this game sucked, but this one didn't' because...small town.

So...uh...go team Avatar?

I'm sorry, but you're a crappy human being. She does exactly what she is required to do and you go ahead and bite her head off. We all have to make a living somehow.

Ezekiel:
I'm sorry, but you're a crappy human being.

The OP is dating a single mom. He can't be too crappy :^)

She does exactly what she is required to do and you go ahead and bite her head off. We all have to make a living somehow.

Giving creative responses to dumb sales pitch shit livens up the employees' days.

McElroy:
The OP is dating a single mom. He can't be too crappy :^)

I dated a single mum for almost 4 years, and I can confirm that I'm an arsehole and all-round crappy person.

DarthCoercis:

McElroy:
The OP is dating a single mom. He can't be too crappy :^)

I dated a single mum for almost 4 years, and I can confirm that I'm an arsehole and all-round crappy person.

:^)

When I went into GAME (the unimaginatively named UK equivalent), all I noticed was how extortionately expensive console games were.

Steam has ruined me.

Laggyteabag:
When I went into GAME (the unimaginatively named UK equivalent), all I noticed was how extortionately expensive console games were.

Steam has ruined me.

Hasn't it just? And it's even worse when you compare console games prices to console games prices from the NES and SNES era and you find out that console games these days are actually quite cheap. Yet there's Steam sales... It really made my jump to the Switch a little harder.

Laggyteabag:
When I went into GAME (the unimaginatively named UK equivalent), all I noticed was how extortionately expensive console games were.

Steam has ruined me.

Only because Steam games go on sale. I refuse to spend $60 on a digital game. Atleast physical games I have something to show. On Steam, its 50% off atleast, and even then I hesitate unless I really want it.

Laggyteabag:
When I went into GAME (the unimaginatively named UK equivalent), all I noticed was how extortionately expensive console games were.

Steam has ruined me.

I know that feeling, I usually wander into a GAME if i see one when i'm out and about on the off chance one of the 3 games i would actually pay money for on PS4 now is in the pre-owned section. But with my self imposed boycott of anything that has lootboxes and the utter sterility of console AAA games there just isn't anything that excites me.

Man, Gamestop is pants. I wanted to make use of their fancy 9.99 Deal (trade in two games on their list and buy a chosen brand new one for 9.99 of your local currency), scoured their list for two games that I owned and went to my local GS to trade them in. I was there for 15 minutes because the guy behind the counter spent 10 scrutinizing the hell out of one of my games, cleaning the disc again and again before calling over his colleague, only to end up refusing to take my games.

Out of curiousity, I sent one of my female friends to trade in the SAME games a month later, and they didn't even open the cases, they just accepted the games and gave her a receipt for her pre-order.

Gamestop is pants.

Also, yeah. Video game malaise is not fun. Don't get excited for any new releases anymore.

I must be lucky, my Gamestop's great. The staff's nice and helpful, the selection's really good for how small it is, and they really don't ask that many questions, maybe one or two more than any other store. They don't give much for trade-ins, but pawn shops and thrift stores give you even less, and I'm too impatient to sell on ebay or anything like that.

I get whatcha mean about not liking any modern big-budget games, Agents of Mayhem was the last game in years to get me properly hyped. It even managed to live up to it, too.

I love Amazon. Click, click, click and done. Not only that, but even locally there are at least three places (local grocery superstore, Best Buy, Target) I'd go before GameStop, unless they had something exclusive for a rare personally treasured release that was actually worth anything.

Having said that, the couple Gamestops I've gone to in the past have been mostly decent at least, and the worst bs I've run into was when I bought a PS3 a few months after it came out and the clerk was almost hesitant to sell it to me. Like he was legitimately surprised that anyone would want one. He literally said, "If you end up not liking it, not a problem just bring it back and you can trade it for a 360." No thanks I already sold my 360 so you won't be selling me another.

Ezekiel:
I'm sorry, but you're a crappy human being. She does exactly what she is required to do and you go ahead and bite her head off. We all have to make a living somehow.

No need to be sorry, sunshine! I guess you missed the part where I mentioned the clerk was laughing? Our exchange was light-hearted sarcasm and was perceived as such, but I'm not surprised that a miserable, constantly dissatisfied and negative person would gravitate towards any perceived negativity.

Point WAS I was dissatisfied with Game Stop, not the clerk. That the customer-facing side of an industry that's pumping out more and more cloned and piecemealed triviality is so aggressive with their sales tactics, that the experience of going to Game Stop is akin to going to a used car lot, just shy of the clerks meeting us in the parking lot with shit-eating grins and limp handshakes and having clandestine, 1-hour meetings with a manager when we refuse to pay more than $59.99 for a game or turn down pre-order offers or season passes.

Silentpony:
The fuck you people doing actually going into Gamestop still?! Its 2017! Buy the game digitally, use Amazon, or in a pinch go to Best Buy. Its just anti-Gaming to use Gamestop at this point. For shame!

I think the last time I went into a Gamestop was to by a Gamecube game, and even then I don't think I actually got it.

hanselthecaretaker:
I love Amazon. Click, click, click and done. Not only that, but even locally there are at least three places (local grocery superstore, Best Buy, Target) I'd go before GameStop, unless they had something exclusive for a rare personally treasured release that was actually worth anything.

Having said that, the couple Gamestops I've gone to in the past have been mostly decent at least, and the worst bs I've run into was when I bought a PS3 a few months after it came out and the clerk was almost hesitant to sell it to me. Like he was legitimately surprised that anyone would want one. He literally said, "If you end up not liking it, not a problem just bring it back and you can trade it for a 360." No thanks I already sold my 360 so you won't be selling me another.

I hear ya', but I'm old school; I like to browse randomly and that'd hard to do online. Also I like to have physical copies of my games; something about a digital copy doesn't sit well with me. At least with a physical copy, as long as I have a power source, TV and functioning console, I can play my games; I don't need to rely on an internet connection or a service provider to allow me access to my content.

hanselthecaretaker:
I love Amazon. Click, click, click and done.

They also give you a pretty substantial discount on preorders. Not something I normally advocate, but if you're going to do it, you may as well do it cheap.

I buy all my console games online or at this one independent place that has a lot of retro games along with the newer stuff. Tag sales are also cool sometimes; I got a couple PS1 games for $10 at one yesterday.
The last time I was in a GameStop was to pick up a copy of Tales of Hearts R, which came out in 2014. And I only went to them because it was a limited-run game that only they got. Before that, I'd last been in a GameStop in 2012 for Xenoblade Chronicles, which was also a limited-run game that only GameStop had. Funny, that.
Of course, most of my gaming is done on my PC, so the majority of my games are bought via Steam or GOG anyway.

Xprimentyl:

hanselthecaretaker:
I love Amazon. Click, click, click and done. Not only that, but even locally there are at least three places (local grocery superstore, Best Buy, Target) I'd go before GameStop, unless they had something exclusive for a rare personally treasured release that was actually worth anything.

Having said that, the couple Gamestops I've gone to in the past have been mostly decent at least, and the worst bs I've run into was when I bought a PS3 a few months after it came out and the clerk was almost hesitant to sell it to me. Like he was legitimately surprised that anyone would want one. He literally said, "If you end up not liking it, not a problem just bring it back and you can trade it for a 360." No thanks I already sold my 360 so you won't be selling me another.

I hear ya!, but I'm old school; I like to browse randomly and that'd hard to do online. Also I like to have physical copies of my games; something about a digital copy doesn't sit well with me. At least with a physical copy, as long as I have a power source, TV and functioning console, I can play my games; I don't need to rely on an internet connection or a service provider to allow me access to my content.

This used to be the case for me, but now I've swayed more towards digital since every modern game needs to be installed and "verified" anyways (thanks, piracy). I really only get physical copies if it's a better deal or has interesting extra content included, which is also rare. I don't even think there's a discernible quality difference anymore as compression techniques have gotten better.

We're living in increasingly disposable times, but that's definitely another topic.

Saelune:

Laggyteabag:
When I went into GAME (the unimaginatively named UK equivalent), all I noticed was how extortionately expensive console games were.

Steam has ruined me.

Only because Steam games go on sale. I refuse to spend $60 on a digital game. Atleast physical games I have something to show. On Steam, its 50% off atleast, and even then I hesitate unless I really want it.

Same, I tend to value physical games more now. $15 for a title that I have vague interest in, depending on the original price I may still pass it up if it is a steam game. Though for console, sweet, that is a deal.

I live in either a very big town or a very small city depending who you ask. There is 2 GS 3 blocks from each other. 1 is by Walmart and the other is by the grocery store I use the most. I love going to the one by Walmart. The employees there are great. We chat about the games we are playing and whatnot. They offer other customers help when they walk in and that is it. No pressure or sales tactics. It is just a chill atmosphere and the store doesn't feel claustrophobic with all the funko pops and other toys staring at you with their dead eyes.

The other store is completely different. I will go in when I am shopping if I need Psn or Xbox currency. The store feels cramped. They try to upsell things constantly and pressure a preorder for the latest popular game. They act like they are working on commission.

Funny story 1 day I ended up going to both since I needed groceries and some stuff at Walmart. Nier Automan (or whatever it is called) was on special for the week. I checked the Walmart one first and figured I'd buy it after groceries if the budget would allow. It did so when I went to the second to buy it there was a $10 difference between the 2 stores (the first store being $39 and the second store was $49) brand new mind you.

Xprimentyl:
I bought my first game in over a year and a half today! Destiny 2!... for my girlfriend?s son for his birthday, so it was basically against my will; if you?ve never stared into the eyes of a 12-year-old with ADHD who?s drenched in hormones and literally quaking with so much pent up energy, he?s molecularly unstable while he?s telling you he wants something, you don?t know terror; we?re building a panic room for puberty.

This is hilarious, what an image.

Xprimentyl:

Shit Revengenece?

Is this a shot at Metal Gear Revengeance? Cause if so I take exception to that!

Anyway, I haven't been in a Gamestop to buy anything in years. I switched to PC soon after the xbox one was announced because I could clearly see where things were headed. The few times I've been in there it's always impressed me just how quickly their business model has become outdated. I did end up buying an xbox one eventually (I wanted a 4k blu ray player and I figured why not get Forza with it) but I got from Amazon and it came with digital game codes. No driving to the store, no obnoxious clerks, no hassle. To be fair though, it sounds like you gave that poor girl a pretty hard time just for doing her job as prescribed by management.

Long story short- Gamestop is video game purgatory.

squid5580:
I live in either a very big town or a very small city depending who you ask. There is 2 GS 3 blocks from each other.
-snippy-

Hah. It was similar in the next town over from where I grew up. There was a shopping mall with a GameStop on the first floor, an EB Games on the second floor, and FuncoLand outside, across the street. All three of them eventually became GameStops, so there are literally now two GameStops within the same mall, with a third across the street.

squid5580:
I live in either a very big town or a very small city depending who you ask. There is 2 GS 3 blocks from each other. 1 is by Walmart and the other is by the grocery store I use the most. I love going to the one by Walmart. The employees there are great. We chat about the games we are playing and whatnot. They offer other customers help when they walk in and that is it. No pressure or sales tactics. It is just a chill atmosphere and the store doesn't feel claustrophobic with all the funko pops and other toys staring at you with their dead eyes.

The other store is completely different. I will go in when I am shopping if I need Psn or Xbox currency. The store feels cramped. They try to upsell things constantly and pressure a preorder for the latest popular game. They act like they are working on commission.

Funny story 1 day I ended up going to both since I needed groceries and some stuff at Walmart. Nier Automan (or whatever it is called) was on special for the week. I checked the Walmart one first and figured I'd buy it after groceries if the budget would allow. It did so when I went to the second to buy it there was a $10 difference between the 2 stores (the first store being $39 and the second store was $49) brand new mind you.

I got a mall with 2 Gamestops in it.

Drathnoxis:
You shouldn't take it out on the cashiers, management is the one making them force all that crap down your throat.

This is how nothing gets changed. Take it out on the clerk and when enough people do it the clerk will complain to management. If enough clerks complaint o management then and only then may you see changes. On the other hand, Gamestop is pushing this shit because publishers are pushing this shit so if managers complain to corporate and corporate complains to publishers....

You see where we are here? Consumers need to speak up as well as refuse to buy this shit so as to send a clear message.

Ideally, people would complain to the clerks, the management, corporate AND the publishers but even one is better than none. It's ok for consumers to express distaste through retailers.

I actually know exactly what you're talking about, in every sense of the word, O.P.

When I was young--back in EB Games was still a thing here in the U.S.--I remember walking into those stores and being floored. Hidden treasures were everywhere. Games I'd never even heard of. I found Suikoden II on the shelf, brand new, after having just beaten Suikoden. I had no idea there was a sequel, and my brother and I immediately begged our mom right then and there for the game. Those were the days.
Even during the PS3/Xbox 360 generation, walking into those stores was still a treat. You could find games dating back ten years, sometimes even more, just sitting on their shelves. Sometimes they were scalping prices, but other times there were steals. It was a fun way to just go through all their games and see what I could find.

But something has clearly changed. When GameStop announced that they would no longer be selling or taking PS2/Xbox games and older, the magic died. It's not longer like looking through a fun candy store in wonder. It's like going into a "candy experience" where only the top selling (or so says the management and publishers) candy is for sale. It's so depressing. I look at the PS4 shelves and I barely see anything. The PS3 games are just the bottom of the barrel stuff, or games so popular of course I have a copy of it. That sense of excitement is long gone, and I find I get more joy just browsing the PS4 store now than I do actually going into GameStop.
Amazon is great too.

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