Originally posted on my 1up blog about a year ago
There are no good places to buy games. At all. There's something wrong with all the places I go to get games.
First, we will start with the most hated, Gamestop/EB. Ideally, this should be the best place to buy a game. It's a video game store. But no, this is probably my least favorite place to go for games. Every single one of their locations I've been too are way too small. There are always a few dozen little kids with their clueless parents running around. Or even worse, trading in about 30 games and 2 systems to get some crappy game. I have twice been next in line for about 15 or 20 minutes while some kid gets $3 a piece for 10 games so he can get a new DBZ game. Also, most of the staff at these places are totally inhuman. Every once and awhile I'll talk to someone who actually knows about games. That's quite a refreshing experience. But they are few and far between. One kid working there actually asked if Zelda was, "The green guy or the princess?" I mean, I know you don't have to like or even play games to work there, it just seems strange. Ideally, since most people who go in there are clueless parents buying games for their kids, you should know something about what you're selling. The staff also loves to push things down your throat as you are making a purchase at their store. Every time I'm there I'm asked if I want to preorder anything. This doesn't bother me. But after I say no, they proceed to list of games that are coming out that year to make sure I'm not going to change my mind and preorder. That's absurd. This isn't rape, but no still means no.
Secondly, the big stores such as Best Buy, Circuit City, Walmart, Target etc. These are the places I usually tend to go to pick up my gaming needs. But they suffer from the "No one ever knows what I'm talking about" syndrome. People there know much less about the products that the Gamestop guys, and that makes sense since it's not a games only store. But they also seem to have a bizarrely varying stock. It seems that they just stop caring some older games and don't have a very large stock of non AAA titles. They also don't have used games.
Finally, I could get games online. This is probably the best option really. You can generally find anything cheaper online. It really isn't a bad option for a normal person, but I hate waiting for things. I'd rather pay a little extra and get it in a store now than wait for it to come in the mail. That's just my personal problem. I'm sure lots of people love ordering online. I keep it reserved for games I absolutely cannot find in stores.
I want to start an adult video game store. Adult as in "no kids allowed" not as in porn. I think that would be a much nicer shopping environment. Until that day, I will have to rough the stupid, stupid world of video game retail until I go crazy from being welcomed to Best Buy or always asked if I want to reserve things. Ugh.