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There’s a Starbucks in the shopping area, along with my favorite Robeks smoothie store. And if it weren’t for my teenage son, I’d probably never step foot in GameStop — (power to the players!) — and I definitely wouldn’t have been there last year near midnight in order to pick up a preordered copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts. It was an experience all right, and I felt like a cool mom for taking him so late on a school night (it was Election Day the next day) to join in the pomp and circuses of a popularly awaited game’s release.

Alas, it helps to open myself up to gaming worlds that I wouldn’t experience otherwise. It’s also true what I read recently within Jeffrey Grubb’s GamesBeat article — that the “high touch” customer-service training and development is working well to help the brick-and-mortar side of the retailer compete against Amazon and Walmart. The same day that piece was published on Aug. 5 this month, I trekked on over to our local GameStop store to preorder a copy of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution, and the only reason GameStop won my money over this preorder copy on Amazon is because my son thought GameStop had posters he’d seen a few days prior to our visit.

They didn’t have any Naruto posters yet, but that didn’t stop the helpful cashier from checking around in drawers to see if any had arrived. While no wall decorations were to be found, the guy did talk me into a “PowerUp Rewards Pro Renewal,” which brought my total for the $5 reserve order deposit and $15 “PowerUp” stuff to $20 — not bad because he saw that our family saved $30 last year using the rewards.

As for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, we skipped that preorder. However, my son wouldn’t mind getting Destiny, along with a new pair of Turtle Beach headphones that don’t sound as scratchy as another brand’s glow-in-the-dark ones.

All in all, it was a good visit to GameStop, and even if people complain about their “sucky” trade-in value on certain games or whine about having to hear upselling and sales pitches about add-ons, it was an enlightening and good visit for me.

“Will that be a midnight release?” I asked the cashier about the forthcoming Naruto game.

“We don’t know yet,” he answered honestly, imploring me to call when the time came closer to the game’s Sept. 16 release date — like, the day before.

“We only get a limited number of midnight release dates,” he explained.

You see? That’s great quality customer relations training right there. The limited number of midnight release dates was a fact I hadn’t read online even though I’m on the web every day.

As far as any upsells, I didn’t have to worry about those. My son was able to answer honestly as to the games he wanted and those he didn’t, and believe me, he does enough “upselling” of his own.