Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Little True Life Story

So a couple of weeks back I’m in my local Gamestop. I went to put a copy of Halo: Reach Legendary Edition on pre-order for my son’s birthday. I go in, make my request, plunk down the deposit and then do a little looking around the store. I have some time to kill and I might turn up some hitherto unneeded video game gem in the used racks.
I’m at the bottom of the Xbox 360 section having to pick through the unalphabetized titles when I overhear this snippet of conversation between a recently-arrived customer and one of the pale, paunchy salespeople… and NOT paraphrased either:

GS Emp: So how about E3, huh? Excited about anything coming out?

Cust: Not so much. A few things maybe.

GS Emp: What about that Sony move? That’s going to be amazing!

Cust: It looks just like what the Wii already does.

GS Emp: But the Wii is a failed system.

Cue customer shrug.

So I stand up from where I’m shopping, turn to face Lord Dork of Gamestop and say:
‘On which planet of idiots is the Wii a failed system?’
Then THIS snippet of conversation took place:

GS Emp: Well… it just isn’t doing, uh, good.

Me: By whose standards? Where are you getting your information?

GS Emp: Well, if you go on the internet you can see it is failing.

Me: Where can you read that? Every ‘official’ source, online or in magazines, will tell you that the Wii is the runaway bestselling console. As a gaming unit, its sales are only exceeded by OTHER Nintendo products. The top selling spots for software are routinely occupied by Wii games. What the hell are you talking about? I’d really like to know.

GS Emp: Well, uh, in THIS store the Wii doesn’t do, um, good. We sell more Call of Duty.

Me: And you sold NO copies of Mario Galaxy 2? And you expect to sell no copies of Metroid: Other M? This single store in this podunk town is the yardstick by which Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo measure success?

GS Emp: Well, no, but customers I’ve talked to don’t like Wii games.

Me: Then if the Wii has FAILED at anything, it is catering enough to some specific gamer tastes like yours. And THAT my friend is what you will read on the internet when you read fanboys bashing the Wii, if you’ve got an ounce of discernment. That THEIR tastes in games don’t seem to be well-represented on that console. And maybe yours aren’t either.

GS Emp:…

Me: You can like what you like and you can hold your opinions. But just blanket badmouthing makes you look stupid and it certainly isn’t what the suits up at Gamestop Nazi Central want you to be saying, is it? IS IT? The biggest segment of your customer base… and you’re badmouthing the system they plunked money down for? Whether you like it or not, what kind salesman does that make you?

GS Emp:…

Me: It makes you a shitty salesman. It makes you a great frothing fanboy, but a shitty salesperson. It’d make my day if this guy (pointing to original customer) was a secret shopper for Gamestop Nazi Central. Dude, turn in your gamer card and go back to nerd school.

Cue me walking out of store with the other staffer, the one who took my deposit, just staring slack-jawed.

Jiminy Christmas people. It is the games that make the systems. Even for the hardcore, the Wii has great games on it. But if you don’t think so, keep yourself from sounding the fool by acknowledging your bullshit is opinion and not fact.

If there’d been some Mom with her kid in there, shopping for a Wii game, when this dork had spouted off, then I probably would’ve gotten mean.

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