As far as general retailers go, GameStop has become a staple in the gaming industry and the overall culture. Whether it be the community’s love hate relationship, or the industry’s love of money, GameStop has given super stores such as Walmart and Target a run for their money as far as game and game hardware sales goes with their pre-order deals and packages. A store dedicated to video games, hardware, accessories, and now a small selection of electronic devices, GameStop is more than a store. It is an experience. Ordering through its website and placing games on hold has become efficient and convenient enough that it is not enough to simply look at the pretty website- at least not for me.
My trip was quick, to the point, and involved little to no interaction with the store’s displays. Which would have been true if it were not for my shopper instincts kicking in. Walking into the store shoppers are greeted with wired racks for displays, zip-tied advertisements, and subtle but bland paint. With soft lighting the store screams cheap but clean. Screens sitting in the corner of the store are showing commercials for The Master Chief Collection, I keep my head down.
A mother follows in behind my group of friends, led by two sall boys to a smaller display in the back for WiiU games. The only two people on duty in the store are supposed to be walking the floor and talking to customers, but they choose the safety of behind the counter away from the . Without acknowledging any of us- something that they are also supposed to do- they are talking bout some mundane bits of games that I generally have no interest in. I approach the front of the store and pick up my item, check out after calmly reminding the sales clerk about my Rewards Card with the store, and turn away. I’ve missed out on the full experience tough, showing my face around the store enough that they recognize and know that I am all business; no sales pitches or attempts for pre-orders but they do try it on a friend who was in line behind me. I’m done, I have made it in the store without being distracted by a shiny display or casual browsing. I turn to my right to find a beautiful display of Ammibos. A few kids standing to my left make a comment about Peach’s dress being filled in so you can’t look up her skirt. I absently reach for the figurine and gawk at the $12 price tag. I remind myself that I don’t need it. I’ll get one of the new ones when they come out in a month. I need those. I make my way out of the store, so close but so far away I drift to a display with some sports game. A few of the lights are focused on this particular display of the newest FIFA. A heavy set man who had been standing in that exact spot an hour ago when we first passed the store was staring at the high definition screen. I stood as far away as possible and stared at the second player controller next to him.
“Just a few minutes,” I think to myself walking forward and pressing the start button to enter the game.
“Are you sure you want to play, this might be a little out of your league.” And then a scoff. I hit start again and leave the store, dragging a few protesting friends along with me.
That’s enough GameStop for one day.
Schreier, J. (2014, August 4). GameStop Is Overhauling Trade-Ins, Will Offer More Money [UPDATE]. From http://kotaku.com/gamestop-is-overhauling-trade-ins-will-offer-more-mone-1616075351