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Choose your own adventure: The video-game store

This post has been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.

You are about to buy a video game. In order to complete this quest, you will need two items: the web browser you are currently using and a single die. If you are lame, you may use a normal six-sided die found in such games as Yahtzee (only use one) or maybe even that  Pop-O-Matic die attached to a game of Trouble. If you are truly awesome, I suggest the gold-plated, 20-sided die you used to wreak havoc across the Forgotten Realms. It doesn't matter too much, and you may not even use it, but as long as your die has odd and even numbers, you'll be fine.

Okay, got your die? Not yet? We can wait…hurry up though; you're holding us all up. Ready? Let's begin.

In the depths of the strip mall, glittering treasures abound. Amassed on shelves and in bargain bins, they call the courageous adventurer to risk life, limb, and wallet in a villainous hive of marketing and retail quotas. Are you brave enough to venture forth into the depths of the Video Game Store?
 
 
 
You open the door to the Video Game Store, and the smell of sweaty grown men and Dorito dust wafts across the threshold. You step forward.

From floor to ceiling, colorful game boxes (empty of course) feature buxom anime children and space marine troglodytes that stare blankly at you. An overweight man with a greasy head and an undefinable mass of facial hair tries to catch your eye.

Do you approach the man behind the counter? Click here.

Or do you head into the depths of the store itself? Click here.

“Good day,” the man says in a high voice that belies his girth. “Welcome to Video Game Store, where you can trade all your games for a new game! Can I interest you in a pre-order to reserve a copy of a game that may or may not be guaranteed?”

Roll the die.

If you roll an even number, click here.

If you roll an odd number, click here.

The vast treasures of the Video Game Store are laid before you. But not all that glitters is gold — particularly limited-edition tin boxes.

If you would like to try your hand at one of the game kiosks, click here.

If you would like to browse the games, click here.

You pre-ordered the next Duke Nukem game.

The man smirks. “There is a 7 year limit on that pre-order, but when that the game doesn't make it out in that time period, your pre-order will be considered a pre-order for the pre-order. You’ll have first chance to pre-order it!”

You blink at your receipt.

“Would you like to pre-order another?” he asks.

Roll the die.

If you roll an even number, click here.

If you roll an odd number, click here.

“No thank you,” you respond.

The man narrows his eyes and pushes the greasy strands of hair from his face.

“Well, we can’t guarantee your copy of a game without a pre-order. You just risked any possibility of getting the game from this specific store if we have enough copies to match pre-orders on launch day. But hey, it’s your life.”

He coughs, dislodging what sounds like a huge mass of phelgm from his lungs. You decide to head deeper into the store.

 

You have pre-ordered Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Classic Trilogy HD.

“Ah, excellent choice,” the man says. “You’ll be the first person to be the next person to play the games that were the best reinvention of the conventions laid down by Metal Gear Solid. The game was actually released a month ago, but we’re still honoring pre-orders. If you want, I can stay open until midnight, so you can get that launch-y feel.”

You shake your head.

“Can I interest you in another pre-order?”

Roll the die.

If you roll an even number, click here.

If you roll an odd number, click here.

You have pre-ordered the Nintendo 3DS2i!

“I can see you have taste. This pre-order is good for the next version of the 3DS after the next version. With so many issues in the market place, Nintendo is bound to redesign the device, which is fine and dandy, but you’re going to want the one after that one. If you want the paisley pink version, we cannot guarantee it, so you’ll have to line up at launch.”

You start shaking your die, and the man reaches out to stop you.

“I can appreciate rolling for initiative,” he says, “But I’ve hit my quota. I will fill out no more paperwork today. I thank you good sir, but please go browse the games.”

You brush potato chips crumbs from your hand and head deeper into the store.

 

Ah. Funny guy. There’s no other way to reach this page other than to cheat.

“A blank page!” you say. “Obviously, you did not plan your game well.”

You know what? It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. And for your cheek, click here because you just bought a fucking game.

Super Man 64

You bought Superman 64! And because it's known as the worst game ever, it has become somewhat of a collectible. Which means you paid way too much! I hope you still have that Pikachu Nintendo 64 you got for your 6th birthday because you have lots of game time in front of you.

No, you can’t resell it, but if you’re not going to cheat this time, why not try buying another game? Click here.

Before you stand three game kiosks with monitors shining bright and their controllers encased in some sort of mechnism that makes those buttons in the middle very hard to press. At the Wii kiosk, two children are playing a motion-controlled game. The Xbox 360 kiosk is a luminous and brilliant green, and you note that, thankfully, the Kinect sensor is not attached. The PlayStation 3 kiosk sits silent.

Do you:

Approach the Wii kiosk? Click here.

Approach the Xbox 360 kiosk? Click here.

Approach the PlayStation 3 kiosk? Click here.


If you’d rather just browse the games, click here.

The shelves tower above you. To your right stand the new games. They have been stripped of their cellophane, discs, and manuals, but they are as new as the day they were opened. It says so on the price tag.

To your left stand slightly older games, stripped of their cellophane, discs, and manuals, and they have been inserted into a console once or twice before being returned to their rightful place…in Video Game Store.

Will you tempt fate and accept that the new games are indeed new? Click here.

Or will you save five bucks and go with the games you know are used? Click here.

Underneath the blank monitor, the PlayStation 3 sits silent. It seems as if it has been some time since it has been used. You brush the dust of the PS3 controller and press a button.

The monitor sputters to life. You are notified that the system must update before you go further.

Do you wait to update? Click here.

If you’d rather try another kiosk, click here.

The Xbox 360 Dashboard is colorful, with dazzling ads for all matter of products. Shop at Walmart! Eat a Big Mac! Eat a Big Mac at Walmart! Buy some add-ons! Buy some pretend clothes for your pretend self!

Do you venture into this forest of marketing in search of a game demo?

If so, click here.

If you’d rather try another kiosk, click here.

Two children stand in front of the Wii kiosk. You wait to one side.

“No, you have to calibrate. Lay it flat!” one says.

“I am!” says the other, balancing the Wii remote on his palm.

“Lay it flat on a surface, doofus! Gosh! It knows the difference.”

Do you continue to wait? Click here.

If you’d rather try another kiosk, click here.

The Internet connection must be slow in this game store, as it is taking some time to download the new update. Or maybe it's the Sony servers. You can get no response and must wait for the update.

Do you continue to wait?

If so, click here.

If you’r rather try another kiosk, click here.

Seriously? Really? This is taking forever! Has it been this long since someone tried a game?

….

C’mon! Almost there. You clutch the controller in anticipation.

The system shuts off. You stare down at your hands, realizing that somehow, in some way, you managed to accidentally press the button surrounded by the mechanism that attaches the controller to the kiosk.

Click here to try another kiosk.

Finally, after much trial and error and adventures too numerous for a Choose Your Own Adventure, you reach a list of games you can try.

However, you must sign in on with an account before you can play.

Do you attempt to sign in the Game Store’s Xbox Live Account? Click here.

If you’d rather try another kiosk, click here.

You sign into the VGSTORE7978 Xbox Live Account only to realize you have returned to your starting position. You try to navigate yourself back to the list of games, but you are detoured into the Twitter App.

You avert your eyes. “It’s barely functional!” you exclaim. “I have to type with a virtual keyboard! I can’t even see what everyone is replying to!” You stagger back, stunned by the lack of support. You venture a glimpse at the screen, and you see the truth.

“Truly Microsoft does not care if I use Twitter,” you whisper. “They just wanted a selling point for…a press conference that no one cheered for. No one even cheered! At a press conference!”

Scarred for life, you decide to try another kiosk. Click here.

"You know Luigi is the best character in Mario Kart.”

“What? It’s Yoshi.”

“Obviously not!”

“Is to!”

“Is not!”

“Go down there…it’s a secret.”

“Missed it; let’s try again.”

Do you continue to wait?

If so, click here.

 
If you'd rather try another kiosk, click here.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a million times better than New Super Mario Bros. for the DS.”

“Yeah, says who?”

“Me!”

“Nothing is better than the original. Don’t you know anything? Mario’s first game is the best. He started on the DS and that where he belongs.”

“Excuse me,” you interrupt. “But will you be much longer?”

“Mom is picking us up after her shopping. She’s going to be a couple hours.”

You sigh and decide it's better to try another kiosk. Click here.

The used game shelves overflow with past Maddens, old Halo games, slightly abused copies of Demon’s Souls, and every single copy of Blur ever produced.

Beyond, however, you notice a bin, above which flies buzz. A slight smell of disc rot and poor review scores emanates from the Video Game Store branded generic cases.

Do you browse the newer used games? Click here.

Or do you explore the bargain bin? Click here.

By fooling yourself into the myth that the developers will get most of your money should you purchase new — conveniently forgetting that publishers, marketers, and the Video Game Store all need their cut — you head over to the shiny (well, they would be if still in their original wrappers) new release section. Various featured games line the shelves, but up above, where normal people can’t reach and the fat clerk will have to display his ass crack as he climbs the stepstool, hang a variety of special editions.

Will you try to purchase a collector’s edition? Click here.

Or will you purchase the definitely-not-collectible and probably-covered-in-mud normal version for lame people? Click here.

You find an amazing array of games long since forgotten in the bargain bin. They are priced so low that you can barely believe it…although you suspect you probably could believe it if new copies of these games were on the shelves priced at $5 more.

You have a choice.

Will you:

Purchase a game that the whole family can enjoy? Click here.

Purchase a niche title that you can happily defend against thousands of haters on the internet? Click here.

Liven up the party you have planned for this coming weekend? Click here.

As you look at the games, you can feel your blood pressure rise! The adrenaline is pumping! All these games want you to kill something. Anything!

You take a step back.

Will you give in to your blood lust? Click here.

Or do you want to go through a bunch of artifice, moral dilemmas, and puzzles before you get around to killing anything that moves? Click here.

Carnival Games

You bought Carnival Games for the Wii! Never has such a game been developed with so much cynicism and input from the marketing division! Your kids will love it (for a few minutes)! Your parents will love it (until your dad wants to watch the ball game)! You’ll love it, because you bought and you don’t really want to believe you wasted any money!

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

Dynasty Warriors GundamDynasty Warriors 6

Congratulations, you bought a Dynasty Warriors game! You’re not sure which one it is, and neither were the developers! This is a classic video-game series. At least it should be, as the formula hasn’t been changed in years. And since the classics never go out of style, we can only assume that Dynasty Warriors games are quite possibly the best of all time. Each and every single one of them.

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

Plastic Instruments

Congratulations! You just bought a whole mess of used plastic instruments! While you’re not sure if they’ll all be compatible with the same game, you realize that it probably doesn’t matter because your friends are only interested in pretending to play rock music — pushing buttons in time with a video game is entirely besides the point. Everyone will be too drunk to notice anyway.

Once you have enjoyed your pretend instruments, would you like to trade them in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep them? Click here.

Congratulations! You received $0.75 of in-store credit! Don’t spend it all in one place!

Just kidding. You have to.

After playing the game for what you hope is the final time, you place it on your game collection shelf, where it will give you the privilege of being made fun of forever more.

Congratulations! You received…actually, you can keep that one. We have enough used copies.

You place the game on the shelf amongst your other Dynasty Warrior games, and once you remove your hand, you realize you’re not even sure which one it was.

Congratulations! You recieved $3.00 of in-store credit. Yes, $3.00. For all those instruments. Yes, the drums too. $3.00. Honestly, you should pay for the square footage required for Video Game Store to take those.

You get slapped in the back of the head by your wife.

“How many times have I told you to do something about those fucking toy drums in the living room! Get them out!”

Click here to shop again.

You cannot resist the urge to shoot things! All you want to do is kill! Good thing you’re in a video-game store and not a post office.

On which system will you kill things without prejudice?

For the Xbox 360, click here.

For the Playstation 3, click here.

IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER. Click here.

You turn to a selection of games that, while still incredibly violent and worth a supreme court decision in their own right, are more subtle in their approach to bashing in skulls.

So how would you like to hide the violence?

If you want to experience as much pain as the non-living enemies in your game, click here.

If you want to gleefully smash faces in a completely government sanctioned and socially acceptable way, click here.

If you’d like to hide behind a badge and obscure all the violence with a tantalizing set of clues, click here.

If you’d like to explore the class warfare and moral dilemmas surrounding individuality and shooting people in the nut sack, click here.

Halo: Reach

Congratulations! You just bought Halo: Reach! It is the long-awaited prequel to the Halo trilogy, and since it’s a prequel, you don't even have to bother spoiling anything because everybody dies anyway! The multiplayer is in a class of its own, and will be compatible with the multiplayer released in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.

“Ahem,” says the overweight man behind the counter. “You will have to buy Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary separately. Can I interest you in a pre-order?”

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

Killzone 3

Congratulations! You bought Killzone 3! Yes, that’s its real title and not a made-up generic video game on a sitcom to parody the violent nature of the hobby! What you hold is the proof that the PlayStation 3 is unequaled and…well…it’s an alright game I guess.

Oh, and you’ll probably want to buy a $7000 3D TV for the true experience.

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Congratulations! You just bought Call of Duty: Black Ops! It is the world’s best selling something in the history of anything, so we’re kind of surprised that you’re only getting it now…not to mention the god-damned prick who traded it in. Call of Duty Elite should put that asshole in his place and the fucking store you’re buying this from! Just who do they think they are anyway? You just stole the best game ever; you realize that?

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

Congratulations, you received $15.00 of in-store credit and a half can of Nos!

Halo: Reach remains in your console for a long time as you watch your statistics and medal count rise over the weeks. You take on all comers, and you become an expert in fake space battle. This is experience that will serve you well when you take the battle to the Internet next year to argue that Bungie should have never given up the Halo series.

Congratulations! You received $12.00 of in-store credit. Yes, you have to spend it in-store, I don’t care how in the mood you are for a calzone.

You place Killzone 3 on your shelf and wonder why. I mean, it’s not like you really want to deal with Rico again, do you?

What did we tell you about trading it in? It’s because of jerks like you that we had to set up Call of Duty Elite! You’re lucky we’re not doing a monthly fee. We could get away with it too. We make the most popular games in the universe. You should thank us for our new pricing model. On your hands and knees. Here, take $17.00 of in-store credit.

As you place your copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops on the shelf, the phone rings.

“Hi, reader of Bitmob?” the voice on the other end asks.

“Yes?” you say.

“This is Bobby Kotick from Activision, and I’d like to thank you for keeping your game and not trading it in.”

“Umm… you’re welcome,” you say.

“I wanted to let you know that we really appreciate it. All those other assholes out there who trade our games in are making us charge people for extra services, but we wanted to let you know we don’t blame you.”

“Do I get Call of Duty Elite for free then?”

“Umm…no. But you can get it in one of the various levels of collector’s editions of Modern Warfare 3 coming out this fall.”

“Thanks, I guess.”

“No problem. And Bitmob reader? Just remember I said Collector’s Edition. Collectors keep things. In collections. You understand that right?”

“Yeah.”

“Glad to see we’re all on the same page here. Thanks again.”

Click here to shop again.

Dark Souls

Congratulations, you bought Dark Souls! This Japanese-developed title is exactly what games once were and should be. It will not tell you anything, and you will be expected to die. And die. And die again. Don’t worry; you’ll love it!

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

Madden 12

Congratulations, you bought Madden NFL 12! This EA developed title is the best simulation of America’s most legal way for its overpaid citizens to harm one another. You’ll learn complex and meaningless strategy and inexplicably gain a new appreciation for America’s armed forces. Also, by purchasing this game, you are ensuring that this year’s cover athlete, Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis, will injury himself. We would criticize you for hurting Cleveland’s chances this year, but they never had any to begin with.

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

LA Noire

Congratulations, you bought LA Noire! This 1940s-era, open-world police procedural was one of 2010's best selling games! Too bad that didn’t matter a lick! The studio head was bat shit crazy, and even great sales and the backing of Rockstar Games couldn’t help Team Bondi from becoming the Great Barrier Grief. The studio is closed, and don’t expect a sequel. But then again, you can just tune into the new season of Mad Men and not notice the difference.

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Congratulations, you bought Deus Ex: Human Revolution! If you were a fan of the first and definitely didn’t like the second, you’ll probably like this game! Even if Warren Spector wasn’t involved, but he made Epic Mickey, so who cares anyway, right? You can play this game in any way you want as long as you act all snooty if you get the Pacifist achievement.

As you leave the store, the fat man behind the counter waves what looks suspiciously like an Onlive Redemption coupon. He balls it up and shoves it in his mouth.

“Mwahahahahahahaha,” he laughs. “HahahahaCOUGHCOUGH.”

He hocks up something green and slimy that is certainly not a piece of paper.

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

Are you not man/woman enough for this game? Can’t handle it? Just as well, you trade it in so someone who actually deserves it can play it. Here’s your $15.00 of in-store credit, but don't feel like you earned it or anything.

Are you aware that owning a copy of Dark Souls makes you ineligible for health insurance? Apparently too many people were getting concussed by banging their head on the wall.

Congratulations! You just received $5.00 of in-store credit. What? You expected more? The game is only going to be out of date next year.

Another season, another overhyped Superbowl — but the commercials were pretty good this year! The fall has turned to winter and the frozen gridiron is silent as the snows cover its sod. You put away Madden 12 next to the dozen or so other versions of the annual franchise. You turn on the NFL Network. A special called The 10 Best Offensive Linemen Whose Last Name Starts with the Letter T During the 2004 Season is on. You weep openly into you bowl of Cheetos.

Congratulations, you received $13.00 of in-store credit. Don’t feel bad about trading it in though. The studio is closed so you are not benefiting anyone by making others buy it new. In fact, this is a public service. You are honest-to-goodness making the world a better place (for Video Game Store) by trading this in. The $30 markup is going to feed children (of very wealthy men). You know what else funds the (overpriced ivy league) education of these less (needy and) fortunate children? Interest accumulated on pre-orders!

For weeks after you complete the game, you cannot get the life-like faces (and the less-than-life-like bodies they’re attached to) out of your mind. You see them everywhere: in your sleep, in unlit windows, down dark alleys. You become obsessed with a world that never was but seemed so real. During sleepless nights, you sit in front of the entertainment unit and stroke the spine of LA Noire. Your wife watches silently from your bedroom door, weeping into her hands and cursing the day she dumped John Crosby so she could go out with your fat ass. He went to medical school, you know.

Congratulations, you received $13.37 of in-store credit. Thanks for not waiting for the DLC; we were sweating bullets about that, to tell you the truth. Imagine people wanting to play more of their gameswhile paying the developer directly. Also, we’re not required by law to ask whether you are trading this in because you have an Onlive coupon. You don’t right?

Those bastards. Those smug bastards.You have to keep this damn copy of the game because you spent full retail price and didn’t even get the Onlive coupon. Not that you’d play it again; once was probably enough. But it’s the principle of the thing! You were looking forward to a gold and vaguely renaissance future, but the Video Game Store is denying you the utopia of cloud gaming. You’re stuck with an old fashion disc for the rest of your life.

Click here to shop again because it’s all you deserve.

Every single game has its unique selling points. Some have multiplayer, some have realistic physics, most have Nolan North. Do you try a brand new IP or do you continue with a tried and true franchise?Spoiler: You’re probably going to end up with the franchise.

Each of these game has its own community that celebrate the uniqueness (or lack-thereof) of their favorite titles. Publishers have long ago learned that it is a valuable investment to whip these sheep into a frenzy with millions of dollars of marketing.

If you choose to join the online battle on the message boards, click here.

If you choose to pwn newbs avatars face to face in the game itself, click here.

If you are above such petty squabbles and want to reaffirm your own beliefs, click here.

“Wise choice my friend,” the obese clerk says. “For any game that would suit your fancy, we have the collector’s edition. In fact, we probably have loads of copies.”

You nod and go back to browsing the selection. You realize that regardless of what game you purchase you will receiving:
  • A remarkably life-like statuette of a fake person or creature,
  • A book filled with art left out of the game on purpose and called “Concept Art,”
  • At least one online code for a oddly out-of-context character skin.
Add these items to your inventory. Once you realize that this Choose Your Own Adventure doesn’t have an inventory sheet, you may click here to continue your quest.

Before choosing your game, you must choose your side!

Choose? Nay! We are born to support the console developers and their proprietary hardware!

Were you born to believe in closed networks, first-person shooters, and lame-o executives? Choose Microsoft’s Xbox 360!

Were you born to believe in actual dollar amounts, weird niche titles, and failed network security? Choose Sony’s PlayStation 3!

If conflict is your game, then the…ummm…Video Game Store…I guess that’s why you’re on this adventure anyway, isn’t it? Anyway, as you approach the shelf, a level 17 Dudebro appears from behind a controller display.

“Sup,” he utters in tones deep and slightly slurred due to, presumably, recent use of marjiuana.

“Buying a game,” you say nervously.

“Fag,” he says immediately.

Do you:

 
Confront him verbally? Click here.

Confront him physically? Click here.

If games are ever going to be taken seriously and viewed as art, we, the general populace, need to accept that they can hold symbolism, metaphor, and greater themes that explore who we are and who we wish to be as a society comprised of self-contained individuals with their own desires, needs, and ambitions. At this point, you’ll identify yourself as conservative or liberal and join the Tea Party movement or occupy Wall Street.

So which is it going to be?

I’m a conservative! At least Rush Limbaugh tells me so. Click here.

I’m a liberal! At least I think that’s what Bill Maher meant with his witty banter last night. Click here.

While some believe they go hand-and-hand as part of patriarchal power construct to subvert the feminine and minority underclasses, there are two distinct forms of conservatism that can be practiced at any one time. As your hand reaches towards the game, you ask yourself:

Will I be like Donald Trump in the morning? Buy low; sell high!

Will I be like Donald Trump in the evening? Objectify women; pick up the bill!

Gears of War 3

Congratulations, you bought Gears of War 3! This franchise is so awesome and muscular that it could only exist on the Xbox 360, which just so happens to be owned by Microsoft, which just so happened to dish out ridiculous amounts of cash to Epic for exclusive rights. By playing this, you will be even more manly than you already are (especially if you are currently female). And if all else fails in your message board flame war, you can always resort to shotguns. And we all know there’s nothing more overpowered than that.

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

Congratulations, you bought Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception! After quickly becoming the PlayStation’s 3 flagship character, Nathan Drake and his semi-tucked shirt have yet to overstay their welcome, much like his direct influences have. But rest assured he’ll become an archaeological artifact worth nothing more than a forgotten collection record much like Lara Croft and Indiana Jones before him. Until such a time, enjoy the game!

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

“Fag,” you respond.

“Sweet,” he says and passes you a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. “My username is brain3rblun755m0ke. Look me up, and let’s have a game some time. Pussy.”
 
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
 
Congratulations, you just bought the latest installment of the Call of Duty franchise. In addition to this fine title, you can subscribe to Call of Duty Elite, buy some DLC, buy some avatar gear, purchase tickets to the next Call of Duty XP, pre-order the inevitable next installment, and if you’ve run out of ways to give Activision money, please feel free to donate via their PayPal account.

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

After a furious attack, complete with a blur of thrown punches, missed headbutts, and a brutal takedown, you find yourself punching yourself in the head.

“Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself,” the dudebro says as he jams your own fist into your temple.

You struggle mightily to no avail. Eventually he stops and throws a copy of Dark Souls at you.

“You need to toughen up nerd,” he says as he flexes his muscles and kisses his bicep while picking up two hot chicks. “Play the game you deserve."
 

Dark Souls
 
Congratulations, a copy of Dark Souls was thrown at you! Have no idea how to fight? Love losing? Always been confused? Dark Souls won’t help, but it will certainly celebrate your short comings!

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Congratulations, you bought Deus Ex: Human Revolution! Here, you’ll explore the reach of global corporations, the class war, and the ethics of transhumanism. You’ll also experience progressive game mechanics, allowing you to explore and interact with the world in anyway you see fit. And finally, you’ll check out progressive marketing devices and cloud-based video game streaming services with your brand new Onlive coupon. Oh wait, you won’t be doing that.

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

Madden 12

Congratulations, you bought Madden 12! Nothing says fiscal responsibility like owning a sports team, having tax payers pay for billion-dollar stadiums, and screwing your million-dollar players out of the last year of their contract. Do you feel that? Feels like capitalism! Or maybe you’re drunk on over-priced, watered-down suds. Who cares! Third and long! Let’s do this!

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

LA Noire

Congratulations, you bought LA Noire. Time for some olde-tyme prejudice! It was a simpler time, when men were men, women were servents or sex-crazed prostitutes, and when we got mad, we killed. Or performed a traffic violation. Or picked up work with some cheesy video-game company between seasons of Mad Men. Except for you Michael Gladis: get use to this, it’s now your career.

Once you have enjoyed your game, would you like to trade it in? Click here.

Or would you rather keep it? Click here.

 

Congratulations. You received $17.00 of in-store credit. We’re very pleased that you’ll forgo all the DLC, multiplayer action, and continued developer support of this title, becuase, I mean, who really needs it anyway. And CliffyB? Not so cool. Totally overrated. And you don’t think they’ll make another Gears of War? Just as well you get rid of this piece of junk right now.

Unlike the cynicism of other developers and their publishers, Epic proves that it is in it for the long haul with loads of DLC and continued tweaking of the game’s variety of multiplayer modes. Rarely does such care go into crafting an experience that can be enjoyed by so many 12 year olds who can say the most offensive things possible. You think to yourself, as you place the game in your collection for good, that you could kick that dude’s ass if you practiced 12 hours a day in your mom’s basement.

Congratulations. You recieved $16.00 of in-store credit, but honestly, THIS BELONGS IN A MUSEUM!!!! You’re never going to fulfill [insert destiny here] by squandering valuable artifacts like this on the grey market. You know what you are now? All the Nazis in all the Indiana Jones movies ever. Even worse: you’re Cate Blanchett as a communist. You may be hotter than a fat and old Marian Ravenwood, but you're also just as irrelevant.

Truly, you know how to respect an artifact of not-quite antiquity and not-so-much rarity. You place it lovingly amongst your pre-order trinkets and your collector’s-edition statuettes. You sit amongst your treasures and wish Lara Croft would come raid your tomb. Maybe another Call of Duty tschotske will do the trick.

Congratulations. You’ve received $19.00 of in-store value! The world’s best selling game just got more best-seller-y. Not that  the NDP is going to notice — they don’t track used game sales! Don’t worry about that though, they stopped giving useless information to the unwashed years ago. You can always go to VGChartz.com for your sales info.

Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Yeah, you do that.

“All is going to plan sir. The subject has decided to keep his copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and has activated his Call of Duty Elite subscription.”

“Excellent,” says Bobby Kotick. “And now for stage two of our plan: monthly subscription fees for World of Warcraft. Muhahahahahaha.”

“Sir, we already do that and have been for seven years. It’s the primary reason we merged with Vivendi.”

“Oh. That would explain all these extra zeroes on my bonus. Stage three then! Unveil the real-world money auction house for Diablo 3!”

“Already done sir, the press releases have been distributed.”

“Oh. Inundate the market with plastic instruments?”

“Done, and we have shut down Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk.”

“What? That was stage five phases three through six. Damn it! What about splitting StarCraft 2 into three games?”

“Complete.”

“Cut loose Brutal Legend and then sue them?”

“Years ago, sir.”

“Fire those assholes at Infinity Ward?”

“Done.”

 
"Nerf pallies?"
 
"Already patched."

“Sign a deal with Bungie?”

“Ink has long since dried, sir.”

“Closed Bizarre Creations?”

“Pink slips long ago delivered.”

“Sierra Entertainment?”

“Shut down three years ago."

“Kill True Crime: Hong Kong?”

“Dead.”

“Our evil plan is well ahead of schedule! What else can we do?”

“Sir, after releasing X-Men Destiny, I think our shareholders will be quite happy with the evil you have wrought this fiscal year.”

“I suppose. Speaking of which, get me Denis Dyack. I think the world needs to feel his wrath again. Does he have any more games we can publish?”

“Possibly, sir. Quite possibly.”

 

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 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!
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