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Gamestop Observations: 01

Gamestop is a company that many gamers either love or they hate. Gamers are vocal about their adverse thoughts on the company, but what does a part time employee think?

This is what I hope to be a multi-part blog series on my observations and experiences working for one of the largest video game retailers in the world. I have been there for about a year, and I have seen some pretty interesting things from the customers that come in and how they act inside the store.

I see some really interesting people when I work, and I must say that many gamer stereotypes are highly present in a normal days operations. You get the soccer moms and their annoying spoiled children, the hardcore gamer, the collector and the sketchy people trading in games for cash. Trust me, this is the norm and it stopped being interesting the first day. What really excites me is when I get the off-beat customers who generally seem interested in what you have to tell them. Or, the ones that break the stereotypical mold that is the norm.

Just the other day, a customer who was in her mid 40s, give or take, came in and wanted to buy a copy of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. Trying to make small talk, I asked her if the game was for her child or for a gift. She gave a small chuckle and smiled at me. "No, this game is for me" she told me. This was surprising, because she just did not seem to be the type of woman that would play this game. It was a slow night, so I asked what other games she played, and she told me. "What do I play? I am mainly a PC gamer, and right now I am getting back into Oblivion. My Dark Elf just upgraded his stealth, so I can sneak around Skingrad pickpocketing".

After she left (I spared her the reserve + subscription stuff because how nice she was), I realized how mainstream gaming really has become. I know games are advertised as much a movies and music and all of that, but the fact that it is now reaching into the older demographics is a nice change of pace. This woman is playing a hardcore RPG that requires time and a fair amount of skill. My parents can barely operate a computer let alone sneak around with finesse and pickpocket NPCs.

We get all sorts of gamers at my store, and as a result I do have to adapt my service to accommodate them. This sounds extremely superficial, and yes it is. I put on a facade when talking with many people, but I do it because I like to observe these people. Too often you get the stereotype nerdy gamer image, but when you actually look, you see everyone and every clique. The way these people (some, not all) talk about games is a really enriching experience.

Coming to this site, you easily get opinions from other gamers. Each and every user has their own way of gaming and their own habits. But, this is a "gamers" website, so everyone here is accustomed to games and talking about them. At Gamestop, you get the normal customer who does not have this experience that we do. So, when they tell me how amazing a certain game is, or tell me why they did not like it, you get this other voice that you never hear. How does the rich executive feel about Ratchet and Clank? How does the high school jock feel about FEAR 2? You can not get this anywhere else. While customers can be jerks (that comes with a customer service job), the few that actually engage you in conversation can truly offer you a new perspective on things, something which I realized I was sorely lacking in.

Yes, Gamestop is a company that does things wrong sometimes. But, they do things right, and I have no right to complain whatsoever. I have a job that pays my bills, and I work at a place that caters to a hobby of mine. What do i get out of working here, though? The people that come in and care about games and actually are interested.

Those customers that do sketchy cash trades, though? Do not get me started on them.
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About JerinsFuryone of us since 8:27 AM on 01.15.2009

Email: [email protected]
AIM: moosesamurai
Xbox Live: moosesamurai
PSN: SamuraiMoose

I can say with confidence that I suck at these "Describe yourself" sections. I never know what to put. But, I will put some boring stuff about me.

I am currently employed at Gamestop, and I can honestly say that I enjoy working there. I know all the flak Gamestop gets from people, and I do not deny that the ways they do business are sometimes dumb. I have a second job as a cashier at a grocery store which is my primary job, so I do not really see any signs of Gamestop mistreating employees or the ways the nickel and dime them. I enjoy working there for the sole fact that I am surrounded by co-workers who are genuinely gamers and enjoy talking about games. I also relish the fact that I get to experience the people who come into the store. Except the assholes and scumbags who do sketchy trade-ins.

Currently, I am not as big of a gamer as I used to be. As mentioned above I have two jobs as well as being a full time student at college. Studying English and History leaves me with little free time for games with all the essays and reading I must do on a nightly basis. What I AM though, is what I guess is called an "industry specialist". I tend to enjoy the news of the gaming community and all the happenings within the gaming industry. I find it fascinating that after a near death of gaming altogether in the 1980s, that gaming made a strong and forceful comeback to become an industry that rivals the film and music business. I read blogs - like Destructoid and Kotaku to name some - on a regular basis, and I love hearing what is new in the business.

After I graduate, I hope to be a gaming journalist and eventually work for a gaming magazine or internet publication.

As a gamer, I rather enjoy RPGs and action games more than others. Give me a game with plot and well developed characters, and I will be happy for the next few hours. I hate sports games, but enjoy the occasional racer like Ridge Racer, Wipeout and Mario Kart.

Systems I currently own are; Xbox 360, PS1, PS2, PSP, Wii, NES, SNES, GB/GBC/GBA, DS, TurboGrafx16, TurboExpress, and Dreamcast. I am currently looking to buy a Sega Genesis and Saturn as well as looking into buying a PS3 sometime soon.

For the games themselves, I enjoy a number of titles and series. If it has Final Fantasy, Shin Megami Tensei or Legend of Zelda in the title, I will buy it the day it launches. For my favorite games themselves, my top five are (in no particular order):

1) Neutopia (TurboGrafx 16)
2) Fable 2 (Xbox 360)
3) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)
4) Prince of Persia (Xbox 360)
5) Diablo 2 (PC)

While I tend to enjoy games with substance, I also yearn for the chance to play some mindless action games. Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad on the Xbox360 is the first title that jumps to mind for stupid fun. But honestly? Who doesn't love boobs, zombies and blood to pass an hour at a time?

I do not know how often I will be able to update, but thank you for reading what I have to say. Any constructive criticism on my writing is appreciated!
Xbox LIVE:Moosesamurai


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