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Spy Girl In Game Stores

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the like,-what's-a-pixel? dept.

Games 111

1up.com has a great feature up detailing the exploits of a young woman they sent in to various game stores under the cover of a clueless girlfriend. The results are both informative and hilarious. From the article: "Spy: When are the new systems coming out? Clerk: Sony just came out with a new version of the PlayStation. It's smaller, more compact, that's about it. Xbox--they haven't mentioned anything about something new coming out."

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I'm sorry (4, Insightful)

Pinefresh (866806) | more than 9 years ago | (#12808713)

I'm not meaning to troll or anything, but this just isn't that funny.

Re:I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12808811)

I had a good laugh.

Re:I'm sorry (4, Insightful)

XXIstCenturyBoy (617054) | more than 9 years ago | (#12808914)

It wasn't. And a guy would have gotten the same answers. Me think the GameStop guy was probably the franchise owner or something.

Remember that its a job for them, and unlike most buyers, who are there because they are interested in videogames, employees aren't.

Same goes for most of the "specialized" store/entreprise staff, will it be cell phone co customers service or clerk in a Home Depot.

Posting that ground breaking exposee on the net is stupid and pretty much pointless. Those video game store employees might be better than miss shocking fact finding in other things, but they don't go around saying how inept she is doing it. High Tech/nerd/IT people are very good at making fun of people that don't spend their life reading Slashdot. But they don't see the sneers behind their back when they spend a whole evening talking about who will win the next console war.

Re:I'm sorry (3, Funny)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809064)

I do because I figured out a way to put a rearview mirror on the frames of my glasses. People say I look like a big nerd, but that's okay. When the borg come at me from behind, I'll be ready.

Re:I'm sorry (2, Insightful)

cloak42 (620230) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811510)

Yes, but isn't it a part of their job that they need to be able to deal with customers and answer their questions? You say that they're not saying how inept she is at doing other things, but you leave out the important fact that it's not her job to be doing those things. When your job is to help customers, you actually need to be able to help them. Not knowing the difference between a polygon and a megabyte is not going to help anybody, and it just shows that a) you don't care about your job and b) you shouldn't be in that line of work.

Re:I'm sorry (1)

XXIstCenturyBoy (617054) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812333)

She seems to loves her job and her wonderfull, wonderfull knowledge of video games, and, like the poor saps she "exposed", must be willing to work weird hours, at minimum wage, without any advantage.

Maybe she should work at a retailer?

Oh wait... with all her knowledge, it would probably be below her. Why would anyone else with the same level of knowledge as her work at a retailer when they could be doing shock expose and educating the masses for a video game website?

Re:I'm sorry (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 9 years ago | (#12816707)

Not knowing the difference between a polygon and a megabyte is not going to help anybody, and it just shows that a) you don't care about your job and b) you shouldn't be in that line of work.

To somebody working at a toy store as a checkout clerk, those words sound like made-up jargon from Star Trek: Voyager. Only a complete dick would expect the high-school drop-out working the register to have any clue what she was asking about.

Re:I'm sorry (1)

CoffeeJedi (90936) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811580)

Remember that its a job for them, and unlike most buyers, who are there because they are interested in videogames, employees aren't.
maybe the managers and owners aren't, but the employees at all of the local game stores near me are pretty hardcore guys. i've overheard the staff talking about mod-chips and importing japanese games and things like that, and typically they're pretty willing to talk (at length) to any interested customers. and to "prove" their honesty, i've seen them actually tell customers not to buy a certain (new) game due to suckage, so i know they're not just pushing whatever the boss wants them to sell that week

Re:I'm sorry (1)

CoffeeJedi (90936) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811652)

addendum... that should be 2 of the local game stores, not "all" of them. one of them is where a lot of CS majors work during college (a few have stayed on instead of moving into the indussty) the other is an EB where i've gotten into some good discussions with the staff

Re:I'm sorry (1)

toad3k (882007) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811643)

I've actually found similar results at my local stores. The gamestop will always have someone who is very knowledgeable about games. Often arguing about sports or rpgs when I walk in. Walmart, they don't know anything. Best buy, well I never buy there, but I imagine they are no better than walmart.

On the whole gamestop has better prices and same selection so I always go there.

Re:I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12810466)

Every so often we see that the editors use the correct topic icons. Notice that the summary claims "hilarious", with no foot [slashdot.org] icon to be seen.

Okay, maybe they forgot to include it and I'm being too optimistic.

Re:I'm sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12810662)

Yeah... then go to humordot.

Re:I'm sorry (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812580)

yeah.. what kind of an answer would they did expect when they asked the question like a normal person who wants to buy something this year at a reasonable price?

"Microsoft has promised us the sky and the moon with their next generation device, but they don't have the hardware for it yet, even though they have somewhat general idea of when the launch is going to be"

"Sony has also promised us everything but likewise they haven't still the actual machine and quite frankly they're also probably bluffing in spades."

"You want to know what kind of graphics and power they would have, really? let's go over here to the pc section and I'll show you some demos that run on the hardware that ms and sony demoed their next generation games on(because the only explanation for what hardware they used for the demos is that they used pc hardware)."

Re:I'm sorry (1)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 9 years ago | (#12813129)

Yeah... I especially liked the part where they pretty much all said unanimously that if you're old enough to walk then you should throw away your gamecube. On their own shelves they can see games for the GCN like THPS4, THUG, Medal of Honor Frontline, NFSU, etc.... and not only are they common on the GCN, they're top sellers.

I also like how the Slashdot posting tries to rag on the store clerk for not knowing when next-gen systems are coming out, but by all accounts this survey was done in either January or February when details were scarse.

This is neither funny nor informative (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12808744)

... let alone interesting to anyone but the idiot poster.

Re:This is neither funny nor informative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12810639)

HA HA... You poor little fella. it is not that hard to understand the humor in the article.

But, you may be in the same frame of mind as the EB Games guy. A person with a very limited scope on life.

retail is minimum wage (4, Insightful)

joe094287523459087 (564414) | more than 9 years ago | (#12808763)

the quality of the answers probably is related to the labor available at minimum wage, rather than any kind of gender bias because the customer is female.

Re:retail is minimum wage (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12808842)

That's exactly it. To make the whole thing more accurate they would need to talk to more employees.

I mean, they probably just got lucky with the GameStop person. If they went in tomorrow it could be the same as the other places. If they got the right person at the other places they might have gotten answers more like they got at GameStop.

I can't say this is good for anything other than a laugh. I think that's the intent though.

Re:retail is minimum wage (2, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 9 years ago | (#12808861)

I have to start by saying I've seen this before, it is NOT new. It is at least a few months old. It may have just hit the web, but I remember reading the exact same thing in a magazine a while back.

That said, I agree. While the guys at my local GameStop are knowledgeable and do like games, I have seen people at my local Best Buy that are the same way. This comparison is pretty meaningless except to see just how rude some people are. Now if they went to 10 GameStops, 10 Best Buys, etc... then they could draw some conclusions.

Interesting, but just anecdotes. Not data.

Re:retail is minimum wage (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810363)

It was probably in EGM as the article says a "seasoned EGM reader" would never ask store personnel.

Re:retail is minimum wage (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812365)

I've also had good experiences with the guys at my local gamestop. I bought a few used GBA, DS, and gamecube games there and the guy that worked that had an opinion on almost each game. I could tell he wasn't bs'ing me cause I already new what the games were like. The people at my best buy were pretty knowledgeable too. Best Buy seems to be terrible at carrying older games. And the employees there usually recommend gamestop if they don't carry a game.

R... TFA? (1)

May Kasahara (606310) | more than 9 years ago | (#12819426)

I didn't see any gender bias implied in the story's lead-in. Maybe in the Slashdot header, yeah, but not in the 1up story itself...

Whatever (4, Funny)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12808780)

The only interesting thing about the article was that in four tries, they managed to find someone who worked in retail who wasn't a rude clueless prick.

Re:Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12808985)

The problem is that stuff like that will vary from city to city, location to location. You'd have a do a lot more "surveying" to get a plausible statistic of 1 in 4. Based on just this one simple experiment though, I guess that 25% isn't too bad of a chance of actually getting someone knowledgeable.

Re:Whatever (1)

Trius (868416) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810527)

I would like to hope that I'm not a rude clueless prick. I've been working at EB Games for over a year here in New Zealand, and I know my ass would be fired if I treated a customer like the EB employee did there. Interesting.

Useless... (0, Flamebait)

SDMX (668380) | more than 9 years ago | (#12808894)

And pretty offensive, considering it predicates its appeal on "brainless female". As if they roam the streets in droves, feeding on the information and suffering of tortured retail workers. Hey 1up! Here's some hard-hitting investigative reporting for you: Some people, regardless of industry, are DICKS. They should do a side-story where the 'spy' goes in as a racist, sweatpants-clad bigot asking about when the next Nascar game is coming out, because as a former soldier of the retail frontline, I can assure you that the beer swilling mysogynist who wants that 50 dollar game for ten bucks is your REAL worst enemy.

Complete BS (5, Informative)

Collision891 (814593) | more than 9 years ago | (#12808975)

I subscribe to EGM and this section with the exact same content came out months ago. In the corner of the section on the site it even says "*Interviews conducted before the PSP's release." So that just shows how outdated this is.
You can hardly laugh at the Clerks when nobody really knew about the next-gen consoles at the time

Re:Complete BS (1)

syynnapse (781681) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809779)

I laugh at Clerks whenever i see it. Kevin smith is brilliant. :P

Re:Complete BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12813061)

I laugh at Clerks whenever i see it. Kevin smith is brilliant. :P

I guess dick jokes count as wit for some people.

Re:Complete BS (1)

aka_big_wurm (757512) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810575)

Thought it was funny in the EGM that I got a few months ago. My wife gets treated like that when she goes shoping for game and Tech items.

Re:Complete BS (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811812)

You can hardly laugh at the Clerks

Well, you could, if Kevin Smith had written the script...

clueless like a fox? :) (5, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809002)

I'm not sure the clerk was actually clueless. Consider:

Clerk: the new PS3 and the new XBox/360 are both expected within the next few months.
Customer: ok, I'll keep my money in my pocket and come back some other time (maybe). Bye!

vs.

Clerk: well, there's this new, small Playstation that we have in stock, but I don't know of any plans for a new XBox.
Customer: cool, I'm going to pull out my wallet and buy one each of the machines you've got right now. Ring me up!

I mean, duh, these guys are trying to sell stuff, not keep you up-to-date with the latest industry gossip! If you go into a store and ask questions, you should expect to hear answers designed to separate you from your money. It's that simple.

Re:clueless like a fox? :) (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809544)

Methinks the interviews are rather old. Consider when the new version of the PS2 was released and when the DS and PSP were released. How credible were the rumors of the new X-Box at the time?

I don't know...I'm not really a gamer.

Re:clueless like a fox? :) (1)

Belgand (14099) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810129)

Dammit. They both failed to follow policy. In each case they should have asked the cust. if they wanted to pre-order a copy of the new Sonic MMORPG or possibly a copy of Duke Nukem Forever. Taking pre-orders on products only rumoured or barely announced is the lifeblood of the industry!

While it had been announced for quite a while I still found it amusing when a clerk tried to get me to pre-order Twilight Princess. This was well before E3, I believe it was actually this past March. Sorry I'd rather wait until the game actually has a name first before I try to buy it. Then again the way they've moved for console games is to push everything into pre-sales and only carry one or two copies in the store. If you want a game that came out more than a month or two ago you're horribly backwards and will have to try and dig through used copies that showed up two days after release because some "l33t" idiot powered through it without sleep and can't be bothered to own it any longer. He also managed to lose the manual and case in the that same time. Better buy it for $5 less than the new price!

Re:clueless like a fox? :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12810514)

Only if you're a shyster planning never to see that customer again.

In retail you generally want to provide genuine, consistent help when possible because it makes the customer feel comfortable shopping with you, as opposed to anywhere else. But if you swindle someone, you'll lose them forever! Not a good idea.

Some don't seem to care (2, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811194)

The fact is, I've seen with my own eyes people being ripped off by a clerk, once that clerk got wind that the customer is clueless.

E.g., there was this older guy in front of me a few years back, who just wanted a simple machine to send emails and surf the web. He explicitly said he never plays any games. It was pretty much an experience watching the clerk talk him into buying a rig that was more powerful than my gaming rig (and I'm a gamer and a compulsive upgrader!), had twice the RAM I had, and had the latest top-of-the-line Nvidia graphics card too. (Apparently you need a very powerful graphics card to see your grandson's photo, don't you know? Well, I certainly didn't.)

Would that guy buy from that shop again, after his son (who gave him the original pointers as to what to buy) finds out what the guys at the shop talked him into buying? Probably not. But then with computers being bought for 3-4 years or more (there still are people on Cyrix 300+ machines), does it even matter?

Or there've been stories like the older lady who got sold a sound card upgrade, and they just loaded some different drivers on her machine... which didn't actually work with the old card. Turns out after the "upgrade" not only she had the same model of sound card as before, it had the same serial number sticker too once someone opened the box. Now that's a funny coincidence ;)

I don't think it's necessarily sexist as such, though. Some people are basically sharks. If they smell new blood in the water, they'll be all over it, regardless of whose blood it is. If you look like you have no clue, you'll get royally scammed, regardless of gender, race, age or religion.

Women just run into the stereotype of being clueless about cars or computers, and I might add that some are _happy_ to perpetuate that stereotype. For some it's like it's a thing of pride to know nothing about that nerdy stuff. Makes them more socially acceptable or something.

So anyway, once you're stereotyped in that category, you get scammed. You get car mechanics charging you twice the price, you get sold a PS One as the newest game console, you get talked into buying a Quadro professional OpenGL card for your web surfing computer, or in really extreme cases you get your old sound card back as an upgrade.

Burn and Churn (1)

KamaDragon (819925) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811388)

You're not entirely correct about that. There's always the old "burn and churn" philosophy to sales. You make a lot of money screwing people over and then you move on. You run up a bad reputation, sure, but there will always be people who have never heard of you. And if you're making enough money per screw jod you don't need return business.

Re:clueless like a fox? :) (2, Interesting)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811254)

Ehhh... not really. The stores more or less break even on console sales, and barely see a return on the games themselves. The big money-making sales for the stores are the accessories, which is why they keep on trying to force these damnedable "value packs" down our throats when a new console comes out.

It's the skin-of-your-teeth profit margins that keep you from seeing many "mom-and-pop" video game stores any more.

Re:clueless like a fox? :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12811346)

The stores more or less break even on console sales, and barely see a return on the games themselves. The big money-making sales for the stores are the accessories

That may be true in some places, but not all. I was working counters in the entertainment section of a high-street retailer last year when the smaller PS2 came out, and the single bundle we were offering was profitable because of the games we were sticking in it; it didn't have any extra accessories because those weren't profitable, whereas the retail markup on games can be incredible.

This is England, mind you, where people don't blink at paying the equivalent of US $70-80 for a new title. Maybe things are different in countries where stuff is cheaper, like the USA and India.

Re:clueless like a fox? :) (1)

mog007 (677810) | more than 9 years ago | (#12814335)

I'm not sure about the other chains, but I know that EBGames makes just about all of its profits from the used games market. They'll purchase a game from somebody for about five bucks, then turn around and repackage it, and sell it for about ten less than the retail copy in the store. This can cause the price to fluctuate between ten and forty bucks. To be fair, I have seen some used games for eight, but most are around the thirty to thirty-five dollar range. Nevermind that the manuals are always gone.

No, but seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809009)

Why is Zonk allowed to post?

Re:No, but seriously (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810383)

Because Simoniker quit and they needed someone to fill up the games section with... um.... Actually I don't know what exactly they want him to post but it sure as hell is not "news".

Thank the gods (2, Insightful)

SoulMaster (717007) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809142)

That my girlfriend doesn't read /. I have a birthday coming up and would NEVER want her to get the idea to go to a store and talk to a clerk about games I might like (which is exactly what she would pull from this article!)

Comic Book Store Guy (5, Funny)

screwballicus (313964) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809188)

It helps if you picture Comic Book Store Guy while you read the article:

Spy: Can you surf the Web on any of these systems?

Clerk: No [clearly disgusted].

Spy: How about movies? Can I watch movies on any of them?

Clerk: [Deep, horrified sigh] Yes, but you'll need to buy an extra remote for the Xbox.

Re:Comic Book Store Guy (2, Funny)

syynnapse (781681) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809800)

Please dont tap on the glass. It contains a very rare photo of sean connery signed by roger moore.

Re:Comic Book Store Guy (1)

rmccann (792082) | more than 9 years ago | (#12814438)

Roger Moore came to speak at my college. A friend of mine got him to sign a photo of sean connery. http://www.nekothekitty.net/cusp/daily.php?date=04 1108 [nekothekitty.net]

Re:Comic Book Store Guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12819430)

That is pretty damn cool :)

Your friend is lucky. The only celebrity to come to my town was Terry Pratchett, and I only found out about it after he had been and gone :\

Re:Comic Book Store Guy (1)

jafuser (112236) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810580)

Most have probably seen this already, but if you haven't it's worth a browse. The stories on here seem to resemble the Simpsons' Comic Book Guy, only with video games instead.

http://www.actsofgord.com/ [actsofgord.com]

Odd (5, Interesting)

dk4 (522573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809269)

I found this informative and humorous.

While not scientific, it does bring to light the issue that those of us with clueless girlfriends or wives, or clueless boyfriends or husbands, or siblings, parents, etc. need to be concerned with.

Your family knows you like games, but to surprise you they might not ask you but some knucklehead retail guy. Perhaps trolling around town for a good game shop, and letting your family know which one to go to, or even better using something like an Amazon wish list, is highly recommended.

Unfortunately we all have friends and family who don't game, and this is what the first line of defense for information will likely be for them.

Oh, and Iwata had best get some good info out to retail clerks if they'll ever change anyone's opinion on Nintendo...

Re:Odd (3, Insightful)

Apreche (239272) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809504)

I've actually found that clerks in stores have a much greater opinion of Nintendo than most Halo fanboys. I attribute this to the fact that they are trained to sell things and will say all products on sale are good. But I also attribute it to the fact that clerks in game stores have a lot of time to sit around playing lots of games. People who actually play Nintendo games and give them a chance tend to like them. The only people who dislike them are the prejudiced punk kids.

Re:Odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12810626)

Not true. People who've given every Nintendo system since the NES "a chance" and found the last two systems sorely lacking in decent games, proper production values and original gameplay ideas also don't like them much either.

Let's face it, if you don't think the gaming world revolves around Mario and Zelda, Nintendo haven't really been the company to root for in gaming since the end of the SNES generation.

Re:Odd (1)

kyojin the clown (842642) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810896)

i used to work in a gamestore (in london) and the cube got way more screen time on our huge plasma than the other two. mostly because a lot of the games are perfect for shopwork - you can easily drop monkey ball and serve a customer, and more importantly the customer can pretty much instantly pick up what is going on and how to do it, here have a go, oh look you bought a gamecube.

and frankly, if some dopey girl/guy/mum (much MUCH more often its a mum) comes in looking to buy stuff for someone else, you appraise pretty quickly if this is a BIG PURCHASE for them, or if they are minted and dont care. if its a big purchase, my personal attitude was to tell them to come back with the intended recipient - no surprise is better than a ruined surprise. or offer them some sort of (totally against official policy) return, 'come back at this time when i am on and i will sort you out' type thing. if they are minted, flog the super ultra package with 25 games that noone wants or will ever play because Hey! its SUPER VALUE TASTIC.

retail companies have mystery shoppers all the time - as an employee you are often suspicious that you are being played by one of these. at that level, just not liking your manager can make all the difference. anyone who cmoes in and starts asking questions that dont fit their profile ('clueless' people suddenly talking about polygons for instance) is a likely candidate for this, and if you dont get on with the chief, here is a perfect oppotunity to stitch him right up.

overall, working in a dedicated games store is pretty damn fun. customers almost always respect you and you get to know your regulars, it can be a good laugh chatting to the kids after school or that one guy who comes in and actually knows something about PC games. its probably one of the best retail experiences there is, and most of the people i worked with were very clued up, and would go to all sorts of lengths to help a genuine customer.

also you get mad MAD psychos (peckham knows what i am talking about) who threaten to rip your face off because you won't give them £2 off motoGP 2. they can be fun.

Re:Odd (4, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811282)

"Your family knows you like games, but to surprise you they might not ask you but some knucklehead retail guy."

Consider what your stereotypical "clueless girlfriend" usually shops for and where she usually shops. I'm probably carousing for trouble in saying this, but most of these "clueless" types are ones that spend a good deal of time shopping for clothes and other status-symbol items. There, they ask store clerks for their opinions partly because they're looking for a feel of what the current trends are, what other people have bought recently and the like. Because that's the shopping experience they're used to, they use the same methods in the video game store, looking less for something they know their signifigant other would enjoy and more for something that would "look good in his collection."

I'd say you'd have better luck if the "clueless girlfriend" is more accustomed to shopping for books than clothes, or anything else that relies more on personal taste than the taste of others. While it still may not be as good as simply asking you (which isn't an option if we're talking about a surprise gift), they'll at least understand things like "genres" and know that you're looking more for certain categories of games.

Erm. (1)

computertheque (823940) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809339)

That article is extremely short and not really informative. Obviously a serious study would involve more than one random encounter at each store. People have bad days, or there are new hires, and that could be in effect here.

I work at one of those stores, and we aren't obligated to recommend anything that we ourselves wouldn't buy. There's a fine line between getting sales and taking advantage of people. Biased opinions are always going to exist in game retail, you don't need to play dumb to figure that out.

"Xbox media center" (2, Informative)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809354)

and it's the only console that can hook up to a PC (through the Xbox Media Center).

The Xbox Media Center is a homebrew program requiring a softmod or modchip. They might have meant "Media Center Extender for the Xbox" (Microsoft product, works with Media Center PCs), but at least we know that 1UP.COM uses and endorses mod chips now :)

Re:"Xbox media center" (1)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809585)

PS2 also has a media center under the gameshark/action replay name

What can you expect (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809528)

More and more game shops are hiring normal people. Back'in my day, only the nerdiest of the nerdy were fit to hock games. Just look at 'em now. Straight teeth, good complexion, boobs (and not man-boobs either, real honest to God female breasts). I tell ya it's a crying shame.

Seriously though it is annoying. I had a friend get told that Wild Arms Altercode F was out and the store just didn't have any copies. He wasted a bunch of time trying to hunt down a copy before checking online and finding out it doesn't ship till later this year. 5 years ago that didn't happen.

Any biases? (2, Interesting)

rohlfinator (888775) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809554)

Did anyone else find it odd that none of the clerks had anything good (or factual) to say about Nintendo? Most of them stated blatant mistruths in favor of the PS2 and Xbox. The Toys 'R' Us guy made up a bunch of stuff about the PSP, the Best Buy clerk claimed that the GameCube is "for toddlers" and that Nintendo makes games for other systems, and the EBGames salesperson recommends the PSP hands down, no questions asked.

Is there a valid business reason for this, or is it just personal preference? I just find it odd that three out of four of them recommended anything but Nintendo. At my local game stores, most of the clerks at least try to figure out which console fits the customer's interest, rather than trying to sell them on one specific product. Maybe they get paid more commission for selling PS2s?

Re:Any biases? (4, Interesting)

GrimSean (545405) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809883)

I am a clerk in a game store in a small city in Canada. Our only competition in the city is an EB and several department stores, which means I occasionally have to phone them in order to check a price.

That said, almost every EB employee I have ever spoken to (you know, after that huge spiel when they answer the phone) is a complete idiot who wouldn't last a week in the store I work at. They lie to their customers about anything and everything in order to make a profit, they've completely bought into the "Nintendo is dying" BS that is being spread around, and they rarely know anything about the game they're selling if the title is something other than "Madden" or "GTA". They are casual gamers for the most part, with a small minority being hardcore FPS-freaks (usually Halo) who make minimum wage, don't care about their customers, and have little control over what is on their shelves (meaning if it's rare, it's not there).

Case in point, I had a mother come in the other day who had bought her 6 year old an Xbox at EB along with a Shrek game at the advice of the sales clerk. He neglected to mention that games aimed at 6 year olds make up a decimal-point percentage of the titles on the system, but he did tell her that since Nintendo was going out of business, the Xbox was the 'smarter' buy, and although the GC was cheaper, she believed him. She was rather shocked when I told her that Mario didn't come on anything other than Nintendo consoles, and that I usually recommend the GC for people with younger kids as there are a number of games that can be played together. I don't know why they do this, and although it's bad for the people who shop there, I don't want them to stop as most of those people tend to stop going there and come to my store instead.

Now, that doesn't mean that I view the GC as a system for kids - I just feel it's the best buy for people with kids, as there are games that will appeal to more age groups on it (the GC was the first console of this generation that I bought, being a broke student and all). RE4 and Eternal Darkness are great for older players, and the first-party games tend to work for everyone (I've gotten drunk playing Mario Kart with a bunch of my buddies). The number of games limits the GC, but those that are good on it are very, very good.

Re:Any biases? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810059)

drunken Smash Bro's Melee and wario ware is great, especially when everyone in the room is a hardcore Smash freak.

Holy bias, Batman! (5, Interesting)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810205)

As I have been and continue to be an employee at EB, despite my better judgement, in a Canadian city, whose only competition are a single piss-ant local run video game store and the usual Wal-mart/Future Shop/Superstore trimunitive, I can say that we're the only place that does things like: Hey, I see you're buying a PS2/GC, I bet you'd like a memory card to save your progress. Or (and we had a 3 hour staff meeting about this one, so the new girl would learn this): if someone wants WoW, ensure they know it's on online only, pay-to-play game. Just because they hear it's shit hot, doesn't mean it's right for them.

Part of making "quality sales that last" is making sure you get as close to 0% returns as possible. That means you don't sell Shrek and an Xbox to someone's 6-y-o when they'd be better off with a GameCube. Perhaps the stores are mismanaged in your part of the world, but in Saskatchewan they are not, and our district is very strongly focusing itself on this.

Additionally, and unsatisfied customer is an unhappy, not returning customer. Anyone with sales experience knows this, and EB has a whole retail training program about it (not unlike Future Shop, or other places).

I worked at EB and I own over 400 video games. Ironically, I own no N-Gage games despite owning 2 N-Gage systems.

Look in the mirror, Robin! (3, Insightful)

GrimSean (545405) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810447)

Your local "piss-ant" video game store. Cute. You exemplify a number of qualities I dislike about EB employees in that statement alone - you think you're better because you're EB, and instead of giving reasons (like I did) you simply denigrate your competition instead. I am partially to blame for this, though, as in reviewing my initial post I realize I was too general in my description of EB. My experiences have only been with the local EBs that I stopped shopping at 5 years ago and have since only interacted with over the phone (I stopped shopping there due to an employee asking me to leave my bag at the front of the store - my bag was at that point holding about $200 of books and a $1500 laptop - I had no problem with this, until I asked to set it behind the counter, a request to which he responded "No, it has to be out in front where I can see it", so I left and never returned). Perhaps they are better run in Saskatchewan, but here in Southern Ontario, they're staffed by idiots.

You hired a new girl - good on you - but then you had to have a 3 hour meeting to explain something that should be patiently obvious to anyone working in a game store. Could you do me a favour and send out a chain-wide memo with notes from that meeting? It took me half an hour and two websites the other day to convince a guy that you have to pay for Final Fantasy 11 on the PS2, as those fine fellows at my local EB told him it was free - "They don't charge on consoles, only on PCs!".

As to your "quality sales that last" and "0% returns", what I hear from my customers is that the local EB does that by refusing them any returns whatsoever - even on unopened merchandise that hasn't left the store.

How exactly are these people kept happy again?

You seem to be ignoring my points. (1)

Inoshiro (71693) | more than 9 years ago | (#12820935)

Perhaps it's my fault. You start off with, " Your local "piss-ant" video game store. Cute. " .. you seem think that piss-ant means something other than small. You've obviously a lot of meanings in your mind for that which are negative and are putting you on the defensive.

On the other hand, you now have the benefit of knowning what it's like to be on the receiving end of a stereotype. Stop being an asshole, please. Not all EBs suck, just like not all Gamestops suck, or all Wal-marts suck. Generalizations suck.

"I stopped shopping there due to an employee asking me to leave my bag at the front of the store ".. Perhaps they didn't handle that correctly, which in easy to do. The fact is, if you're a potenial LP issue, I'll ask you to leave your bag at the cashwrap. I can't guarantee anything about it, and if you make a point about the contents, I'll let you hang on to it (I know what the experience is like), but I'll also watch you. External shrink is never cool.

"Could you do me a favour and send out a chain-wide memo with notes from that meeting? " That training is mandatory within 45 days of employment as a condition of exmployment. If you are a key holder (management or a sales associate with a store key), it's a huge hot button -- I don't think you get 45 days to get versed, it's a within 3-week deal from start of employment.

"but then you had to have a 3 hour meeting to explain something that should be patiently obvious to anyone working in a game store. "

Something is only obvious if you know it already. Not everyone has the same experience as you. As someone working in customer service, you should know that you spend all your time educating your customer about the offers that may interest them, after talking to them trying to determine their needs. Nothing is ever obvious, no one reads signs, etc. It's important to review such things, otherwise you'll never know if everyone is on the same page.

Also, don't take my remark to mean we had to do it because she was female. With the exception of myself and the store manager, all the staff are female, and they know their stuff. The meeting also covered a fair bit more than I mentioned, but that's you making generalizations again. Stop that!

Now, if the managers are trouble at the stores in your area (which they are if they're not reigning in bad employees), you should feel free to contact EB customer support and complain about them. My district doesn't involve the eastern provinces, but in my district, they're firing people for not being good at their jobs.

1-800-800-5166 is the best I can find online. I don't think it's the Canadian one (which starts with 877), but they can probably give it to you. If you can't get that 1-800 # to work at all, just ask politely at the stores in your area until you get it. Bitching about a store will only cause people to not shop there. To actually improve a place, you have to tell someone who cares. If no one cares at home office, then feel free to rag on the company for not having people who care. But don't generalize across all employees.

Re:Any biases? (2, Interesting)

ajd1474 (558490) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810432)

I've stopped buying at my local EB (in Australia). They have a 7 day guarantee on ALL games. You dont like it? bring it back in 7 days for a refund or exchange. This means that the sales staff are now even less useful!! They just push any crap they can out the door and use the "just bring it back if you dont like it" sales pitch.

The last game i bought there was Colin McRae 2004 which had CLEARLY been bought and sold 2-3 times. It was effectively second hand. What did the sales guy tell me? If it doesnt work or you dont like it, just bring it back and get something else!!

Worse than that, I had the last guy I spoke to there try to pre-sell me an XBOX360... to put this within the correct timeframe, he called it the XBox 2! I asked if he had any specs on it (knowing none had been announced), and he proceeded to sprout all sorts of interesting "facts" which were really nothing more than rumours....most of which have since been found to be flat out false. Main example being the use of an HD-DVD drive! Surely there is some sort of law against MAKING SHIT UP!?!?

Thanks EB, but i'm only buying sealed games from now on and not from you.

Re:Any biases? (1)

Black Art (3335) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810585)

That said, almost every EB employee I have ever spoken to (you know, after that huge spiel when they answer the phone) is a complete idiot who wouldn't last a week in the store I work at. They lie to their customers about anything and everything in order to make a profit, they've completely bought into the "Nintendo is dying" BS that is being spread around, and they rarely know anything about the game they're selling if the title is something other than "Madden" or "GTA". They are casual gamers for the most part, with a small minority being hardcore FPS-freaks (usually Halo) who make minimum wage, don't care about their customers, and have little control over what is on their shelves (meaning if it's rare, it's not there).

Not always true. The EB I go to in Portland Oregon actually has a manager with clues. He tends to hire people who actualy play the games. Probably the only reason I shop there.

Of course there are few game stores left in this town. EB games is about the only one left. (I try not to buy games at Office Despot. It only encourages them.)

Re:Any biases? (1)

Ian_Bailey (469273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809940)

I don't know if you're aware of this, but Nintendo has a serious image issue going on right now.

They're last two consoles, despite doing reasonably well, were not the popular successes Nintenfo fans hoped they would be.

Video Game stores don't want to sell consoles that will end up being returned. If it turns out the console given doesn't play GTA, the potential sale (along with the salesperson's comission) could be lost. So they often go with the safest option.

Most video game specialty stores I've been too ask one or two probing questions to get a feel for who will be using the system. But in the end, they are trying to make a sale, and the GameCube isn't a guaranteed sale like the PS2 is.

Of course, they could be just idiots (i.e. the ToysRUs crowd)

Re:Any biases? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12810192)

Are these companies selling cars? Maybe you dont realize but most (if any in the enitre world...) game stores do not work on commission. Sure they are staffed by gamers, which are, by definition, bias towars a particular system...but to say that stores (EB or GameStop etc) are bias towards one system or another because they are easier for the clerks to sell and get commission is pretty stupid.

Bad questions, what did they expect? (5, Insightful)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809639)

The quality of the answers was directly related to how dumb her questions were.

I used to work in retail, selling PCs, and I have to say that I quickly used a triage system for customers. Being asked a relevant and technically accurate question (ex: Does this machine have an AGP slot? or What kind of memory does this one use?) would get friendly and helpful service. Being asked a bizarre question (ex: How many bauds can I fit in this hard-drive? [to which I responded "All of them, if you buy the extended warranty."]) would get less helpful responses from me. Why?

Because customers who ask random noise questions like that have no fucking idea what they're talking about, but it is clear that they either think they do, or at least want to portray the idea that they do so they don't get taken advantage of. People who approach a purchase with that kind of idea are not going to take well to being (gently) corrected by the person they're asking the questions of. They will, almost universally, go and bitch to the manager that the salesperson was throwing all kinds of complex jargon around like "mouse" and "keyboard" around, trying to confuse them.

If I worked at a game store, and someone asked me about progressive scan and online gaming, I'd give them answers. If they asked me which one had more polygons, I'd make fun of them - I'll get bitched at anyway, might as well get to enjoy myself first.

So, their article showed that, if you act like a moron, you'll be treated like one. What a shock!

Re:Bad questions, what did they expect? (2, Interesting)

gcatullus (810326) | more than 9 years ago | (#12809929)

I definitely agree that in reatil there is a huge swing in who gets help from the clek and who gets ignored. But I have not noticed this in tech retail as much as in places like Home Depot. But in Hom eDepot it is the reverse - the clueless customers get the most help. I usually know what I want in teh store, but if I need help, there is no one to even ask a question; if my wife goes there, almost every time a clerk will ask her if she needs help. Now, I can understand that the usually male clerk would prefer to talk to a female, but I think the clerks are instructed that if Suzy Housewife walks in to help her find whatever she needs because she is the member of the household who will decide to buy new wallpaper, etc. Being clueless has also helped for me at the pool store. I just bought a house with a pool, knew nothing about taking care of it, walked into the pool store, said I was clueless, they tested teh water, talked with me for about 10 minutes, and I bought about $50.00 in chemicals. maybe I was robbed, but I couldn't see how 10 minutes of time was made up for in $50 in sales

Re:Bad questions, what did they expect? (1)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810167)

The quality of the answers was directly related to how dumb her questions were.

That was the point of the article. They were playing out the senario of girlfriend wants to buy her boyfriend a video game system, but she doesn't know an X-Box from a transistor radio; how is she treated?

Re:Bad questions, what did they expect? (2, Interesting)

iocat (572367) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810216)

Two things I know for sure: 1) The author of the story is very cute. I know this because she is my girlfiend. 2) I also know she asked the exact same questions, the exact same way, in each store, because I listened to the tapes in the car.

Obviously it's just a short, anecdotal piece; I recognized most of the people she talked to (she went to stores in the neighborhood), and personality definitely played a factor. But the main thing is: if you want a game for a present, make sure you give uninformed consumers (non-gaming girlfriends, mothers, etc) a freaking *list* so they don't ask any half-baked questions and get you like a Genesis or something...

Re:Bad questions, what did they expect? (1)

PeterFranks (523503) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812986)

I was wondering how good looking she was, because that's half the issue here. If she was butt-ugly, I'd guess some guys wouldn't want to answer her questions at all, no matter how intelligent or knowledgeable she seemed.

Though this of course raises the question of why the EB Games guy was so rude...

Re:Bad questions, what did they expect? (1)

iocat (572367) | more than 9 years ago | (#12817941)

Those particular EB guys are horrified by non-gamers. In their opinion -- and I can't really disagree -- non-gamers should not shop at EB.

Re:Bad questions, what did they expect? (2, Insightful)

Vo0k (760020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810957)

Bad questions or inability to answer them?
There are plainly bad questions and plainly terrible customers who are clueless but act informed. But there are clueless customers who know they are clueless and seek your help. In this case they don't know what are the questions they should ask, but formula "What questions should I ask about this", or "Tell me all I should know about this" is not one commonly acceptable, so they start with just such questions like the girl presented.

Suggested route:

Spy: Which gaming system is the best to buy for my boyfriend?

Clerk: PS2 and Xbox, depending on what type of games he likes to play. [Launches into enthusiastic speech on the merits of each system.]
[wrong. Customer gets lost at once. The right, and expected answer is: "Depends on what your boyfriend wants to do with it." followed with a series of questions mapping capablities of the available models into real life applications. With a series of answers you know the answer and you can say "this" model has most of what you'd need.

Spy: Which is the most powerful?
No need for such a question after that. It wouldn't happen.

Spy: What about the GameCube?
You give answer, which of its capablities didn't match the list.

Spy: Does it play movies?
Yes, from DVD.

Spy: My boyfriend said something about progressive scan? Whazzat?
Just a marketing buzzword. If you want, I can go into all the messy technical details, but it really doesn't matter that much.

Spy: What about the handhelds? Would you recommend buying a DS or waiting for the PSP?*
Again, what do you want to use it for?

Spy: My boyfriend says more polygons are better. What are those?
Something like horsepower in a car. Ability to display lots and lots of things, fast. But there's much more to a good console than polygon count.

Spy: Do any of these hook to a PC?
Answer. Though this probably wouldn't happen after initial question - connectivity with PC should be one of them.

Spy: What about sports games? Which is the best for them?
Depends on your, or your boyfriend's taste. We have... I personally like...

Spy: Do I need anything besides the system and a couple of games?
Just a TV set. [yes, you don't know HOW clueless the customer is, but don't make it sound rude] - but if you intend to ..., then you will need ... (play together with your boyfriend - get a second controller)

Spy: When are the new systems coming out?
Give estimate dates. This way she may return and buy them later, at that date. Say rather later than early because it's better to sell the console a month after it arrived, than say "sorry, not yet, try in a month".

Spy: So are the prices of these systems ever going to come down?

Spy: Is the GameCube just for kids?
Shouldn't happen, but just answer.

Spy: Does Nintendo make games for the other systems?
AFAIK, no. (if it looks the customer DOES have some clue after all, you can mention emulation)

Spy: Can you surf the Web on any of these systems?
Guide towards "what do you need" series of questions.

Spy: Is that that football hockey game?
Explain.

Spy: [Picks up Manhunt.] Is this game good?
I don't know, I didn't play it.

Re:Bad questions, what did they expect? (1)

karnowski (313582) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812464)

if you act like a moron, you'll be treated like one

You treat any customer like they're a moron and you lose a sale. If you deal directly with customers you need to have a helpful attitude. After the article's author's experience where do you think she'll buy the product? Gamestop first and EBGames last. Who gets the revenue? You were the EBGames employee and you lost. I would have fired you.

Working in retail is about making sales. Working in any business is about treating your customers well. If that's not your first priority where-ever you work then it's time to move on.

Re:Bad questions, what did they expect? (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12814949)

Actually, you're wrong. Working in retail is, like in any business, about maximizing profit. That often means maximizing sales, but not always.

Best Buy - who I daresay knows something about retail - has basically fired a whole bunch of "problem" customers. Certain customers simply were not profitable for them, and they decided to tell those customers to take their business elsewhere.

Here's a simple example:

Customer A comes in, picks up a $50 item, pays for it, and leaves.

Customer B comes in, asks the sales-clerk a clearly ignorant question about a $500 item and becomes irate when the clerk tries to politely educate him, so that B can make an informed decision. B takes 10 minutes of the clerks time, is making other customers nervous, insists on speaking with the manager, and basically makes everyone who works there hate their job. Customer B eventually buys the thing, but bitches to every single person he knows about how horrible that place was, and takes every opportunity to scream at the support staff if there is even the most minor of problems.

Which customer would you rather have? A, who spends less but creates absolutely no ill-will, doesn't take up a lot of time, and won't poison the well amongst his friends, or B, who will cost you more money to support and try to placate and will DEFINITELY cost you more money than they spent in lost sales?

And yes - people behave like that - it's like they think retail people are there to abuse and insult, and are sub-human creatures who should be berated when they dare to correct someone who's about to plonk money down. In fact, if you'd like some proof - take a look at many of the comments in this story: "What do you expect from someone so stupid they have to work retail" or "That's what you get from people who make $8.50 an hour."

People are assholes - retail just brings it to the surface.

Re:Bad questions, what did they expect? (1)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 9 years ago | (#12816249)

you're an asshole. because of people like you I have to fix my less computer-saavy friends' computers after they buy the wrong product. a customer's ignorance is not an excuse to be rude to them, its an opportunity to educate them about the product that is right for them, so that they buy the right product, causing you to have a valuable, less-ignorant, and hopefully REPEAT customer. its people like you that make the rest of us (the helpful ones) look like elitist assholes.

Re:Bad questions, what did they expect? (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 9 years ago | (#12816660)

You clearly didn't actually get the point of what I wrote. Of course, I didn't write out some kind of essay on retail and interactions, covering every possible situation.

Let me clarify: I've no problem at all with people who are ignorant and can admit it - "Hi, I am not sure about what to get, perhaps you can help me" - is a fine thing, and I would work with someone like that. They don't have their ego invested in seeming like they know something they don't. They are genuinely looking for information and help.

Then there are people who begin a conversation like so: "I want more RAM for my AGP slot." My first response would be friendly and helpful: "Let me make sure I know what you're asking for so I can give you exactly what you need - do you mean to say you'd like an AGP video card that has more memory?" Now, about 25% of the time, I would get a "Yes, thank you - that's what I meant" and the exchange would go fine. The other 75% of the time I would get "Don't start trying to confuse me with your jargon!" or "No, you idiot - I want more fucking RAM to put in my fucking AGP slot!" When I would then - patient and friendly - explain that one does not put RAM directly in one's AGP slot, and that if they want more RAM or a better video card I'd need to look at selling them entirely different products, they proceed to get more agitated, demand to see the manager and in general make huge pains in the ass of themselves.

So, given my experience with people: 25% of the time they behave appropriately and with common courtesy and 75% of the time they flip the fuck out and treat me like shit despite the fact that I am doing my level best to help them... Well, as I said, I used the first few questions they asked as a guide to future behavior.

Let me also point out that you began your interaction with me by saying "You're an asshole." You've never met me, I've never said the first rude thing to you - in fact, my response to your comments was polite and explained what I did not make clear in my original post. So, the situation we have is this:

1) I make a post in which I address specific behavior by some customers. I make no personal attacks on anyone in that post.

2) You call me an asshole and then rail on me.

3) I politely explain what I meant, despite a personal attack and insults.

In short, one of us has indeed been an asshole here, and it ain't me.

Re:Bad questions, what did they expect? (1)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 9 years ago | (#12820983)

true, i was rude to you. sorry.

Now that i've gotten that out of the way, you never said that you were that way to aggressive asshole customers, you said that you were that way to ignorant customers. if they claim to want more ram for their agp slot, you ask a series of questions to get the gist of what they really need, and point them to the product that can provide that. if they're insistent and beligerant, point them the memory corner of the store and let them go on their way, or simply tell them that you don't carry "AGP RAM".

guess what? i work in sales too. I get the occasional clueless customer, and you know what I do? I enlighten them. this encourages them to buy more, sometimes more than they initially thought they needed, sometimes less, but they usually leave my store with something after talking to me. do you know why? because i'm kind to them, I explain the situation, I help them figure out what they really need instead of ridiculing them for not knowing. when i do get the occasional beligerant customer, who won't listen to reason, i'll let them know that we can't help them with that, and send them on their way.

the majority of PC users don't know the inner workings, just like how the majority of of automobile owners don't know how to repair a transmission. some people may think that they know, even though they don't. in one of your other responses, you said that "it's like they think retail people are there to abuse and insult, and are sub-human creatures," and if you lose your cool and treat your customers without respect, or make fun of them for asking irrelevant questions instead of guiding them to ask the proper ones, then I'm pretty sure you had it coming. If you worked where i worked, you'd be fired in a heartbeat.

ENOUGH OF INFOMERCIALING THAT GAY SITE! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12809681)

fuck, thanks for another informercial you smelly cunts.

This is fucking news? You waste my time, now I wasted yours by making you smell my nut sack.

Clueless Girlfriend asking for Linux Help. (3, Funny)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810047)

GF: All of the software is free?

Slashdot Guy: Why are you even at the installfest? Yeah, the software is free, as in Freedom. Unlike your spyware windows free beer shit. You can download an ISO image, or RPMs, or yum install, or apt-get, or compile from source.

GF: Um, could you explain what some of that means?

Slashdot Guy: (Big sigh) Oh for fsck's sake! Download it and RTFM. (under breath "Dumb bitch")

GF: RTFM? Isn't an installfest where I'm supposed to be able to ask questions?

Slashdot Guy: Yeah. If you're not a windows 'tard.

Re:Clueless Girlfriend asking for Linux Help. (2, Insightful)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811245)

Yeah. Then:

Slashdot Guy (thinking): Why come I never attract any girls? :(

Re:Clueless Girlfriend asking for Linux Help. (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811253)

Err, that should have been "How come", I changed the sentence after writing it :D

Gamecube for kids garbage..... (1)

Vermifax (3687) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810076)

And still people persist in thinking of gamecube as a kiddy system.

Morons.

Re:Gamecube for kids garbage..... (1)

mausmalone (594185) | more than 9 years ago | (#12813236)

To be fair, they didn't say "kiddy." They fucking said "toddlers." Asshats.

Re:Gamecube for kids garbage..... (1)

snwcrash (520762) | more than 9 years ago | (#12813498)

Obviously toddler is wrong, but Nintendo has for a long time pitched it as a family friendly system (Mario/Monkey Ball etc) where as the Xbox and PS2 have target more hardcore games like GTA and Halo. Personally I didn't buy a cube because it seemed like it didn't have the kind of games I wanted. I know it has some cool Mature titles (RE4), but the marketing of the device was for playing Mario Golf & Tennis.

Re:Gamecube for kids garbage..... (1)

Krater76 (810350) | more than 9 years ago | (#12814114)

Yeah, no kiddy games on the GameCube - like Animal Crossing! I play it regularly and I'm 12! You adults should be busy playing Resident Evil or Metroid Prime.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Ok, I'm actually 28. I really like Animal Crossing and literally used to fight my wife over who gets some play time at night after work.
Me: "I just need to get on and plant those trees before I go to bed!"
Wife: "NO! I have to get on before 10 cause Nook's closes then and I won't be able to buy my stuff!"

Fanboys (1)

Belgand (14099) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810186)

I have to say the the coverage of the Gamestop employee was right on: PS2 and XBox fanboys almost exclusively dominate. Rarely will an employee even consider that a Gamecube is worthy of anything other than contempt. It's clearly only designed for children. I find most tend to be in the XBox camp though. The number of Halo-junkie frat-boy gamers is pretty heavy. Now, finding PC gamers, people who respect the Gamecube for having a strong library, or someone who played anything before the PSX came out are increasingly rare.

On the other hand what can you really expect of minimum-wage earning teenagers who don't give a damn? Ever go into a Blockbuster and start asking them about a movie that doesn't feature explosions or *gasp* came out more than a year or two ago? It's like hitting a baby with a pipe wrench, but not nearly as much fun. Then again I'm lucky, my last two trips to my local video shop got me involved in a conversation about the French New Wave with one clerk and another gave me double punches on my card for picking up Friday the 13th (way to pick out the old-school loving horror fangirl).

If you want knowlegable employees who actually give a damn try shopping at a smaller, local game shop... though honestly I'll admit that they're very, very rare.

Re:Fanboys (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810463)

If you want knowlegable employees who actually give a damn try shopping at a smaller, local game shop... though honestly I'll admit that they're very, very rare.

I just want to point out that "smaller, local game shop" doesn't necessarily mean "independent". I say that because there used to be a smaller, local, independent game shop a few blocks from my house. It was dirty, smelly, and had a piss poor game selection, and I was happy to see it close shop a few months ago. If you go a few miles further out, there's a very good Game Crazy (small and local here, but not independent) with a number of very knowledge guys (and girls!) on the staff who're more than willing to shoot the breeze about games. They're not pro-Xbox anti-Sony, or pro-PS2 anti-Microsoft, or anti-Nintendo. They like good games, and they seem to be pretty knowledgeable. Granted, Game Crazy is pretty much console-only, but I haven't played a game on my PC in over 6 months anyway. Pretty good used game prices, too.

I'm not trying to say that all Game Crazies are this way, or that all independent shops are dirty urine-soaked hellholes. I just wanted to point out that "independent" does not always mean "good" and "corporate" does not always mean "bad".

Re:Fanboys (1)

urbaer (778997) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811183)

If you want knowlegable employees who actually give a damn try shopping at a smaller, local game shop... though honestly I'll admit that they're very, very rare.

My small local game shop was bought out by Blockbuster (you insensitive clod). Thankfully the staff (who are mostly old jaded gamers) haven't left, so the advice they give is generally fairly good (when you buy an expansion pack they ask you if you have the original game) and will give you realistic release dates and so on.

I've never been mocked for buying a Gamecube game or had any bad advice (unlike EB). I think smaller is not better, it about finding those shops that have employees who know thier stuff and are willing to do the best for thier customer.

Seems that most people are on the Clerks side. (1)

aka_big_wurm (757512) | more than 9 years ago | (#12810599)

First this is old news I got it in my EGM months ago. At that time it was kinda funny and points to a problem in customer service.

My wife shops for games and tech items sometimes. She is not dumb and know some about games and tech. But many times when she asks questions she get treated like she is stupid.

Some people are saying that its not clerks fault its just there job, but if I ran a store I would hire people that know about what they are selling or train them.

I admit that I get fustrated with people who cant tell a harddrive from a CD Rom but I dont let on that they are clueless and give them the help they need.

they dindt ask the same ?'s at all the stores (1)

cyrax777 (633996) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811094)

im sorry but thats no the way you do a objective critisism. also some of these places they work on commision so of course there going to hype the psp.

This is why I buy online... (1)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811289)

Most game stores are full of "industry experts" who are only too willing to tell me what they think is the best game or best system that I should buy. They're usually regurgitating the latest rumours they've heard from the internet as facts and they seem to think that by just working in a games shop they must be a much more hardcore gamer than myself. It's that air of superiority they have that makes them think they know more than anyone who comes through the door that frustrates me. They're usually the kind that go to clog up E3 too.

There are a few good guys out there, but there are a so many annoying wannabe "insiders" who just tell you to buy whatever machine they own, which inevitably means a PS2 or sometimes Xbox. The way Nintendo gets completely dismissed is bad as well. Give the customer a choice, don't just assume because you think the PS2 is the "best console evar" that everyone else will agree with you.

I had a similar experience. (1)

Jagasian (129329) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811749)

I had a similar experience when I went to buy an N-Gage QD at Gamestop. The price had dropped (to $99) on this second revision of the much hated N-Gage. This new revision fixed allot of the issues with the old, and I wanted to get a phone with more than 2 built in games. A little internet research showed that the N-Gage QD could play mp3s and xvid movies off of standard MMC flash cards, and even better, it emulated various gaming systems such as NES, SNES, and Gameboy Color.

So I figured that it was a good upgrade to my current mobile phone, went to Gamestop to buy it, and the clerks there gave me the most crap I have ever gotten FOR TRYING TO BUY SOMETHING FROM THEM! You'd figure somebody would try to make a sale, not discourage a sale. In a disgusted tone, one clerk asked me why the hell I would want an N-Gage. I replied that I just wanted a phone that can play MP3s, movies, and Gameboy games so that it can replace my current ipod, phone, and gameboy.

The guy looked at me as if I were crazy, and asked "what do you mean", in a tone implying that I am technologically illiterate and the N-Gage can't do that. I realize that you can't know everything about all of the products you sell, but if you don't know anything about the product, don't try to tell the customer that they shouldn't buy it and don't treat them like an idiot for doing so.

best buy (1)

ryu1232 (792127) | more than 9 years ago | (#12811781)

The clerk at best buy forgot to sell her the Monster cables, the wireless setup for the ps2, and the customer dis-service plan. he won't last long. Not like the extra expensive gold plated shieled cabling makes a difference to 99% of the gaming population 15 and under.

article worse than stores (1)

lotsotech (848683) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812012)

Actually PS2 is the only one that doesn't have progressive scan games. Gamecube does 480P on most games and of course XBOX will do that and higher scanrates.

Re:article worse than stores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812731)

And the Dreamcast has VGA output.

Re:article worse than stores (1)

mh101 (620659) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812787)

The original PS2 didn't, but newer models do. Google for PS2 progressive scan for more details.

I don't think all games support it out of the box though. At least with GT4, you have to turn the higher resolution modes on in the game setup.

Re:article worse than stores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812850)

Actually, as evidenced by God of War (480p) and Gran Turismo 4 (480p, 1080i) you are wrong. The PS2 doesn't have many progressive scan games, but it surely has some.

ENOUGH OF INFOMERCIALING THAT GAY SITE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812812)

fuck, thanks for another informercial you smelly cunts.

This is fucking news? You waste my time, now I wasted yours by making you smell my nut sack.
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