So... I'm getting pretty tired of some things:
For starters, I don't understand why Nintendo continues to hold back on Wii production. I'm sorry... I don't want to hear about how demand is high and that they can't keep up. It's common Nintendo BS. They ooze out production to keep demand high, as if releasing too many systems at once would cause a giant glut. Give me a freaking break. Heaven forbid a gaming specialty store would stock a Wii system or two. I am sorry; I should not have to camp out or call eighteen times or wait ravenously for a store's doors to open just to buy a video game system. In November or December, yeah... but not in July or August. As much as I want to replace the Wii that I used to have (before my ex took it back), I can't seem to do it. Fine. I'll stick with my PS2 and DS. Jerks.
GameStop has gotten on my last nerve. As much as I want to shop there, as the used game selection is usually top-notch and it's primarily a game store-- I'm tired of getting verbally assaulted for EDGE cards and reserves every time I walk in. I understand why, but give me a break. I already have an EDGE card... why do I need two, or four, or five? And... what am I going to need to reserve for my PS2 that is going to sell out day one? I don't want Madden 08, for the millionth time. I don't care about Halo 3-- I don't even have a 360, you genetic defects!
"You don't? Well, we have those in stock for..."
"Did I say that I wanted a 360? No. I wanted a Wii, and you assclowns apparently don't stock them."
"We do, they're just hard to come by. We just sold our last one this morning... but why not reserve Super Smash Bros. Brawl for when you do find one?"
You know what? I want to open my own chain of game stores. No subscription-pushing. No discount card pushing. No reserves down your throat. Yeah, we'll buy and sell used games, but if you don't want a discount card, that's fine. Maybe I'll suggest a reservation for Metal Gear Solid 4, but that's only if you own a PS3... and it's because the game may sell out. If you want to try out a game before you buy it, that's fine, as long as it's not overly busy at the time.
FuncoLand, before they were cruelly assimilated by Barnes & Noble, used to employ a lot of these same practices. Yes-- they hawked Game Informer subscriptions and yes, they forced cleaning kits on anyone and everyone who walked in-- but stores still generally displayed a gaming atmosphere and a little respect for gamers themselves. FuncoLand used to let shoppers try games-- even new ones-- before they were purchased (upon the shopper's request). They used to stock everything; even those NES and SNES games that were cheap finds and that budget-conscious or collectable shoppers used to look for. Now, nothing prior to 2000. Collectors... screw you. Go to eBay. Go to tag sales. We don't want your business, unless you want to buy a scratched and worn copy of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 for your PS2 at $100 plus tax-- although you can save $10 with your EDGE card! It's only $15 to get one!
Speaking of scratched and worn, it is too much to ask GameStop employees to, you know, check the discs before they accept them? We're not talking just the obviously scratched ones that even trained monkeys know are rejectable-- but how about rejecting or defecting discs that have circular scratches or damage to the label? I bought a copy of NHL 2005 from them that had all kinds of label damage, just to hear:
"Well, if it doesn't work, you can bring it back! Do you want to put scratch protection on it for an extra $1?"
Game Crazy is slightly better, but not much. They, too, have abandoned the "any game, any console" platform that they used to live by. PSX, N64, NES? Get that crap outta here. Then you get a slightly different spin on the discount card force-feeding.
"It's cool. It's an MVP card! It 's better than that GameStop place. You get a subscription to a better magazine. You can pick!"
Except the sub isn't a year, and the mag choices are either irrelevant to gaming (Maxim? Softcore porn, FTW!) or just lame altogether. And... Game Crazy also shoves reserves down your throat. What's more, Game Crazy Corporate punishes shoppers by not sending any copies of some games to a store if they secured no reserves for it, as if the game would never sell.
Let's face it, folks. Brick & Mortar shopping for video games has become a farce. You either suck it up and go to a GameStop (or Game Crazy) and get pounded with EDGE card and reserve demands in order to pick up a game on release day, or you wait longer and go to a big box store whose employees know as much about video games as your great-great grandmother does. Then you have to sift and sort to find it... oh, what fun!
I guess that the problem with video gaming becoming so popular is that retailers have found new ways to screw their customer base-- because they know that, despite their best efforts, we'll just keep coming back.