Gamestop gets a bad rap. I've heard a lot of complaining about their unfair trade-in practices, their unseemly customer service, their persistent attempt at making busy people answer "No" fourteen times before being convinced they do not want to sign up for that damned EDGE card. But sometimes, Gamestop gives back. Sometimes, an individual can walk into this giant conglomerate of the gaming retail world and score one for the little guy.
So I popped in to my neighborhood store yesterday to grab a few gifts for the holidays. I had no intention of getting anything myself. It's become something of a habit to swing by once a week and pick up a cheap, used game. By itself, this seems harmless and quite economical. But as the weeks roll by, I'm beginning to wonder if this is less a decision to scope out recent classics that passed me by the first time, and more a way to fend off the psychological yearnings of growing addiction. Did I really need Star Fox Command for $7? Will I get my money's worth from William's Pinball Collection? (Answers: Yes, and yes.) Point is, this was a selfless trip. Nothing for me this time. Just grab that Nintendo Points Card and get out of….
What's this? A copy of Red Steel 2. But it has the price sticker for the original Red Steel on it. What should be the handsome sum of $26.99 has been inadvertently discounted to the Happy Meal price of $5.99.
Not the same thing
I've wanted to try this game for awhile. And it would give my Motion Plus add-ons another reason to exist, which is always nice. I grab the box. I wonder if the cashier will notice. Is this like stealing? Am I a bad person? I hesitate. Then I think, They gave me 10 bucks for Mario and Sonic Olympics and I saw it being sold for $44.99. I head to the counter, sweat forming on my upper-lip.
I place the Points card and a Gift card surreptitiously over the incorrect price tag on Red Steel 2. The bearded employee zaps both cards with the price-scanner, then picks up the used case. He looks it over. Oh no, he's on to me! I'm about to laugh nervously and explain how I teach college english and my school doesn't offer health insurance and if you did the math my hourly wage is probably less than yours so I'm sorry I tried to buy this but it got mediocre reviews anyway and… He scans it in; the $5.99 pops up on the screen, and he turns to retrieve the game from the drawer. Dude doesn't bat a mustache-whisker. I pay quickly, and walk out of the Gamestop feeling like Robin Hood, if Robin Hood got an insane deal on a broach for Maid Marian and kept it for himself.
I've yet to play Red Steel 2. But I already know I've gotten my money's worth. Power to the players, indeed.
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!