What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you in a GameStop?


#1

We all know and (don’t) love and (occasionally) require our local GameStops.

However, coming into contact with consumer gaming culture in a small, concentrated location can be pretty shocking and can put you around some pretty odd people. I went into one today for the first time in a few months to get Metroid: Samus Returns, so the experience is fresh in my mind. A few of my experiences and the things that make GameStops special:

-Today, some customers were talking about a game trailer that featured the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage”, and they said “what’s that other song they do–Ice Ice Baby?” I had to walk out. I was fucking perishing. Yeah, they do “Lose Yourself” too.

-On the midnight launch of Titanfall and Dark Souls 2, there was a guy talking trash about Titanfall and the Xbox One and counting the customers that were there for Souls vs. Titanfall while also heckling the Titanfall people. Always fun to see System Wars in real life.

-They somehow find the most cringey way possible to advertise and talk about games on the little TVs that are constantly playing.

-Watching a guy customer flirt with a woman cashier and hold up the line in front of me, more times than I can count. :frowning:

-Also more times than I can count, a cashier has tried to spit some weird insider info about the release or development of a game to me, and it’s either completely false or a little off-base but it’s always amusing.

None of my experiences are that bad, but I know y’all can outdo me, so let’s commiserate.

If you don’t have a GameStop, you can talk about another game store but I’m really jonesing for that specific GameStop dirt, okayyyy?


#2

One time I was picking up a Smash Brothers preorder and the customers seemed to have formed two lines but actually it was apparently just one fairly messy line and when I stepped up to the counter the other lady who had been there longer got pretty angry and I was very embarrassed. that’s not really GameStop’s fault it’s more a story about social anxiety and band decisions. but I still remember it almost a decade later so I kind of just want to get it off my chest.


#3

It’s cool! It happens to the best and most aware of us.

Most GameStops I’ve been to are so cluttered with displays that there is basically no floor space and no way to create a line!


#4

Nothing super-terrible has ever happened to me, but I did have to spend about half an hour in line behind an angry and clueless mom who insisted that her son asked for Super Mario Galaxy on the PS2 for Christmas and she wasn’t going to leave the store until she got it for the right system. Another employee eventually helped me out(they arrived and clocked in for their shift, nobody was neglecting the line at least), so I don’t know how long that mom stayed there yelling at the cashier. She was still doing it when I left.


#5

Not sure if this is in the spirit of the original post but I got robbed at gunpoint working as an assistant manager at my local GameStop a few years ago :upside_down_face:


@SpaceJammerSlammi I had a similar customer during my days working there - had a woman who came in looking for Luigi’s Mansion for the GBA, which isn’t a game that exists. She got real mad whenever I’d (as gently as I could) inform her of this and tried to suggest other games she might have confused it for


#7

Thats pretty bad for multiple reasons. I’m sorry you had to experience that. Going through a forceful robbery at retail then having to return there to earn a living is soul crushing.


#8

I’m so sorry that you went through that. Being on the front lines of retail is already hard enough. I know that GameStops get hit up like that kind of often, unfortunately, being smaller stores that carry expensive electronics.


#9

@2Mello Thanks! It was a pretty messed-up experience but the store was pretty cool about it and I happened to have a few days off right after that so I was able to chill and recover. Next few times I closed the store I was definitely looking over my shoulder though :eyes:


#10

Was told by the cashier after the purchase was complete that the Pokémon game I bought (gen 4) is childish and not challenging. Still bothers me as the guy basically went out of his way to be rude and condescending about my game choice.


#11

Eugh, that’s a uniquely awful customer service experience only available in games. It seems like elitist gamers can cause pretty bad situations on both sides, consumer and employee. A friend of mine who works at GameStop often tries to make recommendations only to have customers ridicule their suggestions more than necessary.


#12

Most recent thing was standing in line for Destiny 2. The launch event was really boring and it wasn’t as extravagant as the last one I went to which was for Call of Duty Black Ops.

I was in line and the person in front of me probably didn’t take a shower. There was a wall of funko pops staring at me with their soulless eyes. Thankfully I was able to get in and out. Also they released the game two hours early, so that was nice. Could get out quickly.

@Alveric Oof, that’s bad. Elitist gamers are the worst.


#13

I had a pretty anti-climactic Black Friday experience last year, there’s a small Game Stop tucked away in a shopping center 5 minutes from my house, so I got up at 7am, drove over, saw there was only like 10 people there in front of me, got my Smash Bros/Splatoon WiiU bundle and got the heck out! It was funny hearing all the people in line talk about how long they’d been up and where they still had left to go shopping and who was insane enough to even look at the Wal-Mart let alone go inside haha. I’m hoping there’s some kinda Switch deal there this year, I’ll gladly do it again.


#14

Man the secondhand embarrassment I experience almost every time I enter a GameStop is unreal.

I’m with you that every other time I’m there I have the displeasure of witnessing some truly abysmal flirting so that’s probably not even worth noting. I was unlucky enough to once catch a guy elaborately acting out all of the Dark souls gestures, had one of the cashiers lecture me on the wonders of PC gaming as I purchased something for PS4 a couple of years back (there was a line of people behind me that he was holding up). He was so adamant that he asked me if I wanted to hold off purchasing the game until I could get the PC version since it would be “unplayable at 30 frames dude”. And of course there’s the classic GameStop move of offering me $14.27 for a sizable chunk of my game collection I was trading in some years back.

Whenever I hear people complain about the steam store and how terrible it is I think of the alternate dystopia we could all be living in where GameStop is the only place anywhere to purchase video games, and I am forced to leave my house and watch some poor young woman get quizzed in line to prove she is a real gamer or get asked half heartedly if I want disc scratch protection and a power up rewards card every time I want to buy something. The thought makes me shudder.


#15

Not so much a terrible experience but the one near me some years back never had a single available copy of a game on its launch if you didn’t pre-order. I stopped going because what’s the point of a physical store location if they don’t have the thing I want at a time I would reasonably be expected to want it? It’s not my job to tell them to stock their core merchandise and I’m not interested in paying them early for nothing.


#16

It’s so bizarre, my GameStop actually has some uncommonly nice and thoughtful people behind the counter. But I’ve definitely had my share of uncomfortable moments too. None of my bad experiences were anything serious, but in any case, this is a gooooooood, good prompt.

The one that stands out to me most is when a manager was just a complete, judgy asshole about the Wii. A little context: When the PS3 & Xbox 360 came out, I was a teen with a part-time job, and very little disposable income. I was falling out of games (to try and be COOL) and getting more involved with music. What little money I had went into doing things with friends or saving up for garage band guitar equipment. After a few years of that, I started circling back to the hobby and had an enormous backlog of games to catch up on. So I saved up all summer for an Xbox 360, since it had all of the exclusive JRPGs and Halo 3. (My parents only ever let me have Nintendo consoles, so Halo seemed like some kind of fantastical, distant dream)

I went to my local GameStop to buy the console along with a few used exclusives. I had barely walked into the store and this overbearing manager had already decided to “help me” by picking out what type of games I absolutely needed to have. I repeatedly explained to him that I was only interested in single player experiences and didn’t need Xbox Live, a chatpad, and a headset, Gears of War, etc, and eventually, he backed down and left me to pick out games on my own. When I brought Tales of Vesperia and Halo 3 he tried yet again to convince me to buy a Call of Duty game, since it was more of a “grown-up shooter.” His very last question to me was if I had any current-gen systems, so I told him about how my family had a Wii and that I hadn’t been playing it much.

“That’s not a current-gen console,” he spat back, his voice filled with every ounce of disdain that a human voice can carry. Conflict stresses me out, so I just let it…hang in the air. If that happened today; if I had more confidence in myself, I would’ve walked out of the store right there. It was such a disgusting moment. I thought that was just the kind of thing grumps say on message boards, not what you say to a customer.


#17

I’ve not been inside a Gamestop in forever because the experience is always uncomfortable, even though nothing bad has happened to me specifically. You know how you hear stories about comic shops full of gatekeeping troglodytes? Gamestop, in my experience, brings out the same people but for video games. That, on top of their ugly business practices and how they treat their employees, is why I stopped visiting altogether.

Still, two moments stand out in my memory. One time a mother debated with a clerk whether or not to buy Fallout 3 for her pre-teen son. He was enthusiastically insistent in that way little boys are, but her only question for the employee was, does it have bad language? No questions about the extreme violence, dark sense of humor, or adult themes. Just, does someone say fuck? Because for kids, that’d be the most inappropriate part of a Fallout game! The clerk said there was a language filter and (iirc) also that it wasn’t too bad overall. She re-asked the same question to be sure, he reassured her, and then she bought the game.

One of the last times I was in a Gamestop, I saw a male employee hit on a mom, who looked like she was in her late twenties and had her baby in a stroller in front of her. Even though the baby was crying, the mom tried to be polite and listen while she attended to her child. I think he was peacocking about his gaming knowledge or something like that. Eventually, he seemed to get the hint that she wasn’t all that fascinated and moved on.


#18

Back in 2002 or so I went into an EB Games because I wanted to get a new or used copy of Breath of Fire III for my brother for Christmas. They still had a bunch of Playstation 1 games there at the time. I asked the guy at the counter if they had “Breath of Fire Three for the Playstation One” and he came back with Breath of Fire Dragon Quarter for PS2. When I told him that wasn’t what I was looking for he said “Breath. Of. Fire” while pointing to each word like I didn’t know how to read.

That was fifteen years ago and I’m still mad!


#19

It’s really weird - the big games are the ones they push most for pre-orders, but nine times out of 10 they’ll have more copies than they know what to do with on launch day with, say, Madden or Destiny. It’s the quirky, weird DS JRPGs or whatever that they’ll get a single copy of, if they’re lucky, that isn’t spoken for by a preorder (not sure if that’s the kind of thing you’re talking about, though).


#20

Sad that the clerk didn’t speak up either. But yeah, I think extreme violence and dark tones are almost taken for granted in games now, while the only things that remain “shocking” are anything sexually suggestive or different, and harsh language. So many of the popular games that every kid’s definitely gonna want have tons of violence :confused:


#21

oh dang that is AWFUL i’m sorry


Oh, another thing from my time as an employee (CW for some sex work talk, and, possibly, sex trafficking?):

Right around the time that PS3 was launching MGS4 (this doesn’t have any bearing on the story, that’s just how I remember it), I had this blustery regular who would come into the store and want to bro out with the employees, just chat about games even when there were customers. He was very fond of telling anyone who would listen that the then-upcoming Battlefield: Bad Company was going to revolutionize first-person shooters and that it would overtake the then-king, Call of Duty, as the only FPS anyone would play.

That’s annoying enough, but kinda par for the course when you work at GameStop. Nah, the really bad one was the time he decided to talk to us about his fondness for sex workers, and how there were countries (unnamed by him) where you could buy a “made-to-order” wife who would be so eager to please her new husband she’d “do just about anything.” When, unsure of how to shut him down while maintaining a polite air, I pointed out that this was an illegal thing to do, he said “not over there, it’s not” before laughing like it was the funniest thing in the world.

:nauseated_face::face_vomiting: