Unfortunately, a lot of the people who don’t know a lot about games, are the exact people who should. People who’s job it is to sell these products. Any time I leave the house, I’m always on the lookout to pick up more games, but this often leads to hassle. How am I to buy a game, if the guy behind the counter has no idea what I’m taking about? How can someone successfully sell something, if they don’t have the slightest idea about it? Sit back, my friend. Relax, and I shall tell you a few tales of the complete eejitry I’ve encountered over the years.
I’ll be honest, I was slightly taken aback by this, and started questioning myself about what I believed retro actually was. PS2 isn’t retro. It’s not current gen right now, but it still ain’t retro, and it sure a shite wasn’t retro back in 2008! I was just after buying my Xbox 360 about three weeks before this. My PS2 hadn’t even began to gather dust yet. Hell, it was probably still warm from it’s last gaming session!
More recently, I was looking for a copy of Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3, but to my disappointment, I couldn’t seem to find it anywhere within Galway City. My resources were running dry, and my patience with them, so I decided to try one last place. A video rental store. Are they still video stores or are they DVD stores now?… Whatever! It’s irrelevant. Aaaaaaanyways, I was checking, and double checking their Xbox 360 section, thinking that it must be here somewhere. I came up empty. But since I really wanted to know what it would look like if The Incredible Hulk slapped Ryu with a massive boulder, I remained optimistic and asked the lady behind the counter if they had any copies in stock.
She replied without a care in the world, using only three words “I don’t know”. I was baffled. If she didn’t know, then how the good fuck was I supposed to purchase the game from her? I politely asked if she could check. She not-so-politely said no. At this stage, I’d dropped from baffled to downright gob smacked! Politeness be damned! I wanted my fucking game!
“The computer.” I said angrily. “Could you check on the computer?” She didn’t seem amused by the idea of having to actually do some work for her to earn a living, but she checked it out anyways. She informed me that the game was 35quid second hand. I asked if the game ran on an online pass, to weigh out the pros and cons of being charged way too much for what should be a 30quid game brand new. She told me… wait for it… wait… She told me to Google it!
At this stage, I just wanted out of there, but my inner gamer wouldn’t let me. Damn you, inner gamer! You greedy little rat bastard!
Since I had no other immediate way of getting my pissed off hands on some UMvC3, I told her I’d take it. She disappeared for a second, and returned brandishing a copy of Marvel Vs Capcom 3. Not the Ultimate version, the fucking vanilla version! The game was outdated at this stage by it’s successor, and it was being sold second hand for a fiver more than Ultimate costs first hand. Needless to say, I’d didn’t buy it. I just left instead. Looking back now though, I wish her unemployment… and maybe leprosy.
I woke up far too early that morning. Unable to sleep because of the excitement of finally, after all these years, getting to be reunited with a hero from my teens. I was on the town before the games shop had even opened. But since I didn’t want to look like a complete fan boy, I decided to play it cool. Chill out with a coffee, let about ten or twenty minutes go by after the shop opens it’s doors, and then walk in, nab my shit, and run away shrieking like a twelve year old girl at a Jedward concert! Unfortunately, the retailers had other plans.
When I arrived, I asked for my copy of DFN, only to be told that it was already sold out. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Sold out? But how? I showed the guy behind the counter my receipt that proved I’d pre-ordered it in this very shop. He looked at it and rolled his eyes, as if to say that he’d already seen a number of these receipts that morning, and they were worth about the same as used toilet paper. “There’s nothing I can do.” he said with zero emotion. I began waving the receipt around because it still meant something to me, claiming that I wanted my game! “There’s nothing I can do.” he repeated, like a fucking robot. I asked him what had happened to the one that I ordered months previous to this. The one that I’d marched into town to spend half my week’s wages on. The one that had my motherfucking name on it! He simply told me it had already been sold, and replied to any following questions with his broken record-esque comment- “There’s nothing I can do”.
Seriously, how on earth do these guys get jobs? Why is it that I seem to be more knowledgeable about the products I wish to purchase, than the fuckers that should be selling it to me? Surely selling such things shouldn’t be too difficult, especially since everything is calculated on computers these days.
These, and about sixteen billion other occasions like them, have left me somewhat vicious when buying games. I’ve always tried to be an honourable man, but sometimes I’m forced to leave my conscience at the door. If people are not willing to sell their games accordingly, then I’ll exploit them for it. That’s right, I will rip them off with no mercy. Two can play at this shit!
A few years back I was at a small market stall which sold a handful of video games. This wasn’t the first time I was at this particular stall. The last time I had visited it, I’d walked away in a whirlwind of anger because the guy kept trying to sell me a WWE game for the GBA, claiming it was Mortal Kombat Advance. No matter how much I told him he was wrong, and this was a wrestling game he was banging on about, not the game that I was looking for, he’d stubbornly reply “Yes! This is Mortal Kombat Wrestling!”. He was either one of the bravest individuals I’ve ever met, or he simply didn’t know his arse from his elbow.
The second time though, I was briskly flicking through his PS2 games when I saw a small stack of PS1 titles. I dug straight in! To my amazement, there was a mint condition, original release (none of that Platinum stuff) Final Fantasy VII. I checked the discs. Not only were they all there, but only the first one had been played! That mint, just got even more mintier! So minty, I could have brushed my teeth with it!
“How much are your PS1 games?” I asked. He looked pissed off as usual, and shouted back at me that they were 5Euro. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, and presented him with the copy of FFVII asking if this was also a fiver. He was looking so pissed off now that his face was turning red. He repeated himself, louder and more stern than before. So I passed him the five quid, and left as swiftly as I could with a game which currently costs a few hundred euros.
Looking back at a few of these moments makes me wonder what the problem is here. There are probably more gamers on the planet these days than there are people who don’t play video games, so it really can’t be hard to employ someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. Some of these places have excellent staff, and I always enjoy buying games from them, cracking a few jokes, and debating about gaming in general. If I’m going to hand over my cash, I at least want to be sold the product that I’m looking for. Not Mortal Kombat fuckin’ Wrestling! But since I’ve learned from these experiences, and played a fair few scams on these shops myself, I guess it probably comes to a draw at this stage. This will change again though, once I find another place with staff so thick they could sink a ship.
I’ve heard that the store that refused me a copy of Duke Nukem Forever is now going out of business, but I can’t seem to bring myself to give a fuck. However, I never found out what happened to that red faced man from the market stall… Perhaps he realised the mistake he‘d made, exploded from a fit of uncontrollable rage, and now he really can’t tell his arse from his elbow.