I’m losing interest in the video game store
On Sundays I go around the shopping centre near my grandparents’ house. Back in the day there used to be some entertainment shop I’ve forgotten the name of and a Dixons there, but they closed. GAME opened a store there a few years back, but I find myself spending less and less time in there now, or sometimes not having the interest just to even go in there.
A busy environment is one reason. Now I’m not claustrophobic in any way but I do find it annoying when I’m in a busy shop. There’s something to be said about the relative calmness of a quiet store. I’m browsing a store I’m not likely to purchase anything in and there’s some asshole in the way of what I want to look at. Yes I’m being selfish. If I was in that position, I’d realise there’s someone standing behind me with a increasingly frustrated face and move aside.
Thanks to video games being one of the biggest businesses around now, there’s now more of a casual atmosphere in the store rather than the old days of sweaty nerds in what looked like a basement. I have no quarrel with casual people, it’s their whining, running, attention speeking spawn that I do have a problem with. Perhaps it has more to do with the upbringing of modern children, but I sure didn’t give my parents so much trouble in stores when I was like 6 or 7. I would stay near to whatever family member I was with at all times, shy and wary of everything that surrounded me. And I also didn’t whine at them to buy me say, Carmageddon in comparison to the whining I hear from these children for their parents to buy them Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto. Bloody kids today, they expect everything on a plate. I’m only turning 18 in less than 5 weeks and I’m already beginning to sound like I’d be shouting at people to get off my lawn. In short, I don’t want to go to a game shop when there are so many human flaws that annoy me.
The other reason is a simple one. Money. Anyone with a right mind simply doesn’t buy from dedicated game stores as a first choice anymore, because they charge extortionate prices. That’s just in comparison to massive entertainment stores like HMV or giant supermarket corporations like Tesco and Asda. As much as these gaming stores try and trick you into thinking their preowned deals are good, the reality is that most times online now you’ll be able to find the same game new for the same price or cheaper. Why buy say, Portal 2 on launch day for £39.99 if you can get it for £10 cheaper online? That’s a 25% saving. We’ve seen how the online marketplace has effected music and movie stores and it’s only a matter of time before the same happens to game stores. Besides, wherever else you buy, at least you aren’t overwhelmed with requests for you to preorder these five games when you’re perfectly happy buying the product you’ve just given them the money for. If I wanted to pre-order something I’d just ask.
Sometimes dedicated game stores have their moments, and certainly the indies are much better than the corporately controlled stores. However, while I don’t believe they will disappear all together, they will either become increasingly irrelevant in an ever more competitive market or they will be forced to add non-gaming products to make the same profits. And that’s already happening.