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GameStop Manager Suspended After "Games for Grades"

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the remember-you-still-work-for-someone-else dept.

Education 539

mikesd81 writes "A manager at a GameStop has been suspended for instituting a 'games for grades' policy. 'Brandon Scott says he started a unique new policy in his store to promote good grades in school but now his employer has sent him to detention for speaking out of turn. Scott says he's been suspended by GameStop in the wake of his unconventional "games for grades" policy at an Oak Cliff store.' Apparently, on his own, Scott decided to stop selling video games to any school-age customer unless an adult would vouch for the student's good grades."

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Good job commie. (2, Funny)

corifornia (995298) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643687)

Er, rather, no job.

Bad idea (5, Insightful)

Fierythrasher (777913) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643691)

I can understand giving kids a discount for good grades...had he done that and been suspended then that would have been wrong, but refusing to sell? That's just bad business.

Re:Bad idea (5, Insightful)

toddbu (748790) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643829)

Bad business, perhaps, but is it bad policy? I hear a lot of people complaining that corporate America is heartless and doesn't care, yet when one guy tries to do something that's right for the kids then he gets picked on. Why is it unreasonable for a company to say that they're unwilling to promote bad grades?

GREAT Business, GREAT sense (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643937)

Look, fools, you can't have it both ways. Either there are going to be standards, or there aren't. There's already a standard that you don't sell M-rated games to underage kids, this isn't any different.

If he's unwilling to sell games to kids who are flunking out of school? I TOTALLY LOVE THAT STAND. Seriously, think about it. We have major issues these days with schools being fucked up. If kids aren't making the grade, we may love games, but just letting them play the games is not going to teach them to take school (and work) seriously.

Fuck Gamestop for suspending him. They should be putting him on a pedestal and making this a nationwide policy.

Re:GREAT Business, GREAT sense (-1, Redundant)

ak3ldama (554026) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644121)

Fuck Gamestop for suspending him. They should be putting him on a pedestal and making this a nationwide policy.

I totally agree.

Re:GREAT Business, GREAT sense (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644741)

Great contribution!

Re:GREAT Business, GREAT sense (5, Insightful)

Jartan (219704) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644189)

If he's unwilling to sell games to kids who are flunking out of school? I TOTALLY LOVE THAT STAND. Seriously, think about it. We have major issues these days with schools being fucked up. If kids aren't making the grade, we may love games, but just letting them play the games is not going to teach them to take school (and work) seriously.


What's the cutoff though? I agree if someone is flunking and in danger of being held back a year then they shouldn't be playing games. But what about people who are barely passing? Are you willing to go so far as to let society dictate to them a change in lifestyle? Do you even know if the school that person is going to is properly testing the student?

When so many questions are being asked about the institutions supplying those grades (in the US) the idea seems dangerous. A lot of those kids who are barely passing are the smart ones because they aren't buying into the bullshit daycare system they've been shoved into.

Re:GREAT Business, GREAT sense (0, Flamebait)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644233)

Fuck you, who the fuck are you to say that kids who get bad grades lose the right to play video games? Not everyone graduates highschool, and since grades are set based on relative achievement, a certain percentage of kids will always get bad grades.

Re:GREAT Business, GREAT sense (4, Informative)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644265)

My ass. My entire high school time was based on the point system. Everyone in the class could get an A and everyone could get an F.

No one used the curve. Nor did anyone in college.

Re:GREAT Business, GREAT sense (4, Insightful)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644267)

and since grades are set based on relative achievement
No, grades are set based on achievement against a standard. Most schools don't grade on a curve. I used to have university profs say "everyone starts with an A, it's yours to lose".

Props to the Gamestop guy for trying to bring some morality to this industry.

Re:GREAT Business, GREAT sense (1)

japhmi (225606) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644271)

since grades are set based on relative achievement, a certain percentage of kids will always get bad grades.

In most places in the US this is not true. Most places in the US have horrible grade inflation, so kids that are valedictorians end up taking remedial math in college.

Re:GREAT Business, GREAT sense (1)

ameoba (173803) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644375)

Back when I was in HS, the valedictorian of the class that graduated ahead of me didn't even meet the course requirements for acceptance to the state universities.

Re:GREAT Business, GREAT sense (5, Insightful)

fishybell (516991) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644359)

They should be putting him on a pedestal and making this a nationwide policy.

Because, after all, gamestop should be parenting rather than, oh, I don't know, the parents. If parents wants to let their kids play games all day instead of studying they're not exactly right, but more power to them. You can't force people to make the right desisions.

Re:GREAT Business, GREAT sense (1, Interesting)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644433)

They're not parenting in lieu of parents, they're empowering parents to participate in the decision making process on what their kids are playing. Or at least, the guy who got shitcanned was.

Re:GREAT Business, GREAT sense (0)

Jhon (241832) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644535)

Because, after all, gamestop should be parenting rather than, oh, I don't know, the parents. If parents wants to let their kids play games all day instead of studying they're not exactly right, but more power to them.

Ever hear the expression: "It Takes [wikipedia.org] A Village [justpeace.org] To Raise a Child [findarticles.com] ?

Re:GREAT Business, GREAT sense (1)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644369)

It seems like a good idea, but there'll always be another, less scrupulous, store, so ultimately, it won't have any effect, except for the kid being aware that some stores won't sell him any games anymore.

Because it's not his place to do so (5, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644253)

He hasn't the authority to be making those decisions. If the president of GameStop decided to do this it would be fine. When a peon goes behind the President's back and does it, it's a different story.

Re:Bad idea (4, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644469)

Bad business, perhaps, but is it bad policy? I hear a lot of people complaining that corporate America is heartless and doesn't care, yet when one guy tries to do something that's right for the kids then he gets picked on. Why is it unreasonable for a company to say that they're unwilling to promote bad grades?

And when your local grocery store decides that they won't sell to you unless you can show a written confirmation from your local church that you have been there the last Sunday, is that still okay ? After all, being devote fundamentalist Christian, the grocer is convinced that you'll burn in Hell unless you convert, so he's simply being caring and trying to do right for you.

There is a huge difference between caring about people and trying to force your will on them, no matter how benevolent you think you're being. And traditionally, resource starvation has been one of the most efficient ways of coercion, as any army laying siege can tell you. Such enforcement might seem like it's nothing now because it's directed against kids and an unimportant resource; but even kids are human beings and shouldn't be subjected to arbitrary use of power by anyone who cares to do so. Besides, it's best to nip these things in the bud.

That, by the way, is also where the libertarian concept of "only physical force is coercion" falls flat on its face: I can kill you without ever lifting a finger against you if I control some vital resource.

Re:Bad idea (0)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644547)

Corporate America has no place deciding what grades my kids can have and what the punishment should be if their grades don't meet "their" standards. This is as fucking bad as the government wanting to make the whole world child proof, or the whole "someonethinkofthechildren".

Reward for good grades? Ok, fine. Refuse to sell because of bad grades? Screw you, I don't want to give my business anyway. It is the parent's job, not the corporation's.

Re:Bad idea (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644721)

"when one guy tries to do something that's right for the kids then he gets picked on. "

Because he was hired to keep that store making profit, and if the customer is turned away because (s)he is failing, word of that gets around and people stop shopping there. It's pretty simple. If I worked at a store and turned away people who had red hair I might not be turning away many customers, but I am turning away people who came to the store to give us money.

Re:Bad idea (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20643867)

Well - it would have been wrong had he been paying the discount himself. If he was just stealing from GameStop to make up the difference, he'd deserve to be fired too.

In any case, it makes perfect sense that GameStop would want to fire him. He's basically turning away customers for his own moral reasons. I'll bet he got fired because some kid complained to GameStop.

To be honest, I'm not sure I like the idea of refusing to sell games to kids with poor grades. That seems like something the parents should be doing. But then again, as a Libertarian, I think the manager has a right to decide to do it. (Offended shoppers can just shop elsewhere.) And, of course, GameStop has every right to fire him over it - it's their store, their policies. If he disagrees, he can go open his own store.

Re:Bad idea (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644583)

Please read the article. He wasn't fired. He's suspended.

Not necessarily (2, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644277)

If he was the business owner, and he didn't have any franchise agreements that prevented him from doing so, he would be able to refuse to sell to anybody he'd like, so long as it wasn't discrimination. In fact, an advanced retailing technique is to be selective with customers, which usually in turn, drives up demand (think "Soup Nazi"). It's not always bad business to turn away customers, depending on the situation. In many cases, the best thing a business owner can do is to turn away certain customers. It's pretty common among good business owners, in fact.

The sort of customer GameStop Corp. wants (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643693)

"So that's World or Mariocraft at $54.95, Halogen World at $54.95 and ECCH Sofa Soccer '08 at $54.95, with tax is um $202.45"

"Duh, how many twenties is that?"

"How many do you have, ah 12 or 13 should do."

"*drool* Dar, don't I get some change back?"

"Oh Certainly, let's see here's 1, 2, 3, say, what grade are you in?"

"Duh, 10."

"Ah, very good, where was I, oh yes, 10, 11, how old are you if you don't mind my asking?"

"Dur. I'm 16."

"Ah, I should have guessed, so let's see, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, there you go have a nice day! Enjoy your games!"

"Duh, oh boy will I! Buh bye!"

Re:The sort of customer GameStop Corp. wants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20643779)

Yeah I've got a response, uh what?

Re:The sort of customer GameStop Corp. wants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20643837)

Can't do maths == profitable, while mumsy and dadsy continue to pick up the tab.

They can just say that they fired him for lack of (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643695)

They can just say that they fired him for lack of sales and be done with.

Re:They can just say that they fired him for lack (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643763)

They can just say that they fired him for lack of sales and be done with.

There's a high probability that they don't have to give him any reason why they let him go. Honestly, while this might be great and all in theory, I don't see why GameStop wouldn't act the way they did, it would be different if this guy owned his own store and was instituting his own policy. When you work for corporate America you follow the proper channels or you end up like this poor bastard.

Re:They can just say that they fired him for lack (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643893)

Yeah, and that sucks.

Re:They can just say that they fired him for lack (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644085)

Isn't it awful how you don't have a license to do what you wish with other people's money? I know I'd like it a lot better if I could just take as I want, do as I will, and have no consequences for it.

Re:They can just say that they fired him for lack (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644339)

When you work for corporate America you follow the proper channels

If the owner is not you, you OK it with owner first. This is just common sense. This is not all about "Corporate America."

Local news on the fiasco (5, Informative)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643697)

For some reason, Google News (and the original poster) are linking to an Austin TV station's copy of the story, which originated in Dallas -- site of the store and, oh yeah, GameStop's headquarters [wikipedia.org] . Here are some links to the "breaking news story", as I'm sure Channel 8 is touting it:

Before (Sep 13): Store only sells video games to kids with good grades [wfaa.com] . Wow, great guy, good publicity!

After (Sep 14): GameStop manager suspended after 'games for grades' policy [wfaa.com] . Hey, bad boy, hurt sales!

Fortunately, I don't feel the need to stop in at GameStop anyway. Not when the Dallas area has independent stores like Game Trade [thegametrade.com] , with a bigger selection, better prices, more knowledgable staff, and a LAN room in the back.

Re:Local news on the fiasco (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643913)

Let's see, mod you from 4 to 5, or be uninsightful...

Thanks for the link, Robert. I didn't know about that store. I don't buy many games, so I never looked around, but now I'll check them out. :) Looks like I can get some anime on, too. Wonder if I can unload my Jyhad [wikipedia.org] cards there? :)

Re:Local news on the fiasco (5, Funny)

segoy (641704) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644037)

Holy crap! It's the other person who bought Jyhad cards!

Re:Local news on the fiasco (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644151)

Holy crap! It's the other person who bought Jyhad cards!

I'm now enjoying the situation where I can't mod you up funny because I commented, but if I had not commented, you wouldn't have said that.

Good for GameStop (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643699)

Why keep someone employed as a store manager who doesn't understand how a store actually works. (i.e. selling things to people who want to buy and are legally able to do so).

Re:Good for GameStop (2, Insightful)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644015)

Sure, that's how many stores do operate, but why does a store have to operate that way? Read his account he turned down only about two dozen sales, and some of those kids came back and made purchases later after cleaning up their grades.

If he gets parents' support through his policies, that has potential to result in a net increase of sales -- two dozen transactions isn't that may in the larger scheme of things.

idiot (3, Insightful)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643703)

So some idiot decides to abuse his power (for better or worse does not matter) and loses the company money? How is this remotely surprising? He's a bean counter, if he decides anything but which colour beans to count this week he gets kicked out for someone else.

Re:idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20643925)

So some idiot decides to abuse his power (for better or worse does not matter) and loses the company money? How is this remotely surprising? He's a bean counter, if he decides anything but which colour beans to count this week he gets kicked out for someone else.
--
Slashdot tip of the day : Tags are not comments, they're ment to help people search for topics. Write a comment or leave
Maybe if there was a policy like this in place back when you were doing laps in Mario Kart instead of your homework, you'd be able to proofread your own fucking sig. Now get the hell out of my store, you little retard.

J.R. Trollkin

Re:idiot (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644057)

How is this "abuse"?

It's legitimate for a local branch of a business to do spend money doing good within its community as part of a promotional effort -- donating funds and/or employees' time to libraries and schools and such. How is establishing a policy of refusing to sell games to poor students any different? It gets publicity for the store, and has potential to increase sales in the long run -- not to mention an opportunity to garner a reputation as being a good citizen in the community.

Certainly, the manager is responsible for his branch's profitability. As long as he's meeting that goal, what's to criticize?

Re:idiot (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644281)

Right and Wrong.

You are correct, doing the program might do the things you say, being increasing sales, publicity, and positive branding. Let me stress might here - of course you can never be certain any program will work one way or another. That said, that brings me to the part where you are wrong.

This was a horrible program all things considered. All three things you say this program could do; increase sales, publicity, and positive branding, all can be done via traditional marketing. I am 100% sure GameStop has a marketing budget which has these same 3 goals in mind, but in a much better cost:risk ratio. GameStop wants to get the most return on its investment into increase sales, publicity, and positive branding. They have probably done research as to get the most return for the least risk, a common practice throughout economics. Violating the programs designed as a result of that research makes the research worthless and compromises the forecastable success of that location.

Re:idiot (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644625)

There's a reason why a higher mutation rate (within reason) has a positive impact on the evolution of a species, even though a strong majority of them have a negative impact. Why? Because if you rely only on safe, incremental improvements, you don't get anywhere nearly as quickly as if you take localized risks (a small percentage of each generation being nonviable due to negative mutations, balanced against the potential for a positive mutation which then is able to spread). The folks back at HQ are indeed putting money into marketing -- but they're also potentially more risk-averse than the individual store managers. Central planning leaves an organization inflexible -- and relying strictly on HQ to come up with new ideas is indeed just such a beast.

The failure of an individual store doesn't risk GameStop's overall wellbeing. The success of a new model pioneered by an individual store may benefit the entire corporation. Presuming that store managers are adequately motivated to protect their careers (and, should they be franchisees, their investments), the benefits of allowing local experimentation within the small subset of locations managed by individuals with the motivation to affect such changes substantially outweigh the risks.

really? (2, Interesting)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644183)

Idiolistic? certainly. Misguided? probably. But why is he an idiot? He wanted to do have a positive effect on kids in a position that is generally associated with destroying our childrens minds (just ask Jack Thompson). Furhermore, he knew that he was probably going to get suspended and/or fired and was not surprised when it finally happened. So it's not as though he's shocked that he got fired.

Gamestop is famous (or infamous) for having generally odd store managers. You typically get the Simpsons Comic-Book Guy variety, the hyperactive upseller, or you get the nutjob that tells you that he spoke with the Bungie devs and that "Halo 3 is TOTALLY coming out on the Playstation 3 in Q4. You should really pre-order it". So a gamestop manager that wants my kids to have good grades is a welcome change.

  I think Gamestop was justified in firing the guy, but I applaud him for at least sparking a dialog on the issue. If GameStop is smart, they'd find some way to turn this into a promotional deal ($20 off with a straight-A report card etc., etc.).

Re:really? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644239)

> Idiolistic? certainly. Misguided? probably. But why is he an idiot?

Because, regardless of his intentions, he made everyone purchasing games justify their purchase through his approval. If Brandon Scott didn't think you deserved the game because you didn't meet his approval process, he would not sell you the game.

The idiocy comes in whatever thought process he had that allowed him to think that he had any right to continue being employed by GameStop.

Re:really? (1)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644487)

The idiocy comes in whatever thought process he had that allowed him to think that he had any right to continue being employed by GameStop.
Well, according to article he knew that he would get in some kind of trouble. Who knows what his true intentions were but it seems like he wanted to have the issue come to a head and illicit a reaction from gamestop. Perhaps this was his way of quitting. Who knows. I do hate it when people in joe-jobs go on power trips, and I'd fire the guy if I were his district manager. Still though, you gotta give the guy style points.

I'd be interested to see, on the other hand, how many "rogue" gamestop managers got suspended when they powertripped-out and forced people into wii bundles [kotaku.com] on launch day. I'd wager the number hovers around zero.

He's an idiot because it's not his store (3, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644431)

A manager is a person hired to oversee operations for someone else. He doesn't own the store, he doesn't make the policies, he just runs it. If it was his store, great, but pulling that at a place you don't own could even get you sued for lost revenue in addition to fired.

Also it is stupid because it really isn't a store's job to play police over what people buy. If parents don't want their kids playing games, that is their responsibility. It isn't his responsibility to make that decision for them. Maybe a parent decides that Cs are good enough. Maybe their kid isn't all that bright and Cs are all they can do, and that's doing well for them and thus they are rewarded for it.

As I said: If you want to open a store based on this, go right ahead. However don't be surprised if you find your business suffers for it. If you choose to work for someone else as their representative, your duty is to do what they tell you. If their policy is "Sell to anyone who has the money," it is your duty to do that. You were not hired to play morality police, you were hired to do a job. If they had a policy prohibiting all sales to minors, it would be your duty to do that as well, even if it was costing them money.

I get real tired of people trying to play morality police with others. How about you decide how you and your family are going to live your lives, and I'll decide for me and mine?

Tor like oatmeals! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20643715)

Tor like oatmeals!

You're doing it wrong!!! (1)

waterlogged (210759) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643783)

Maybe if he thought about doing the other way, I would have been a huge success. Instead of denying games for bad actions, maybe he should have rewarded good. "If you bring your report card in, we will give you 5% off for every A and 3% off for every B. Strait A's get a free pre-owned or something....

What a tool.

Great idea! (1, Insightful)

bdjacobson (1094909) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643787)

Because, you know, it's not like good grades will earn you anything else in life.

And then the parents wonder why their children aren't ready for the real world-- because they haven't been shown any of it!

Re:Great idea! (0)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644051)

Yeah... I remember the last time I produced a report card showing good grades at the Bank, and to my employer. Good grades don't earn you anything else in life, intelligence does.

This guy is obviously lacking it.

"Parents wonder why their children aren't ready for the real world" -- wtf? You think the solution is to just let any moron with a minimum wage job do the work of a parent? That's why kids aren't ready for the real world? Are you joking me?

The real world is what we make it. The real world doesn't have loser sales clerks demanding good grades -- which is why this guy isn't a sales clerk anymore.

Re:Great idea! (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644691)

You think the solution is to just let any moron with a minimum wage job do the work of a parent
This would be insightful if it weren't for the fact that a large portion (dare I say the majority) of parents make minimum wage or less. Second this was a store Manager, and believe it or not, retail store managers are paid considerably more than minimum wage.

It seems that someone may actually need to experience the real world before they comment on it.

Re:Great idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644255)

Because, you know, it's not like good grades will earn you anything else in life.
Of course they will. The higher grades you get, the better of a college you get into. And because we live in a classless society, its obvious that everyone comes from equal backgrounds, therefore the system is a pure meritocracy. No one has ever gotten into a top college because they have wealthy parents with legacy status, and no one was ever denied because their crappy background drastically inhibited their current capacity for learning despite the fact that they did amazingly well with the little they were born with. And even if that were the case, which its not, it would be justified because the poor are innately inferior to the rich in every way. We have numbers that weren't fabricated by elitists with political motivation to prove it.
So there, grades do have a purpose. Keep those stupid poor people in there place! Er, I mean, Preserve the status quo! Damnit, I meant to say make sure only the most qualified people rise to the top. Yeah, that one.
/sarcastic offtopic flame

lapse in logic (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643795)

Apparently he didn't realize that some games are purely educational. Yes, they do exist and I bet Gamestop sells them. I remember dozens I played in grade school. You'd think he'd want to sell them to kids with bad grades instead of the other way around

Where's the story here? (2, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643845)

Manager decides to create a new policy. The owners don't like it and discipline him. Totally within their rights. If the manager owned the store, he could do this. Since he doesn't, his boss makes the rules.

Now if he had made it a discount, it could have been a win-win. It would save the kid some money (and possibly be an incentive to work harder) and make good publicity for his store. But just stopping is bad business sense. The customer will just go elsewhere.

Re:Where's the story here? (4, Interesting)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644101)

The story is that a policy that's popular within the community where it was implemented was terminated with prejudice by upper management.

It doesn't have to be a legal or ethical violation to be news.

Lesson (5, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643903)

The lesson here is: don't try to be someone's Mom unless you are his Mom.

I wish more people in our society would learn this lesson. I'm old enough to not need a Mom to tell me what to do or not to do. Kids, on the other hand, already have a Mom and don't really need 50 of them.

Re:Lesson (1)

d0rp (888607) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644143)

Yes! It should be the parents making sure that the children are studying instead of playing games if their grades are bad. Parents need to take responsibility instead of trying to pawn it off on someone else, and people need to stop trying to be someone's parent when they aren't.

Besides, what's to stop the kid from walking down the street and buying the game at the next store? Absolutely nothing, so its a mute point.

Re:Lesson (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644319)

Yes! It should be the parents making sure that the children are studying instead of playing games if their grades are bad. Parents need to take responsibility instead of trying to pawn it off on someone else, and people need to stop trying to be someone's parent when they aren't.

Besides, what's to stop the kid from walking down the street and buying the game at the next store? Absolutely nothing, so its a mute point.


Parents need to take responsibility, sure. Most parents do. Some parents don't.

As a society, we can turn our back on our own responsibility, as you suggest. Let the kids roam the streets. After all, if they break the law, we can just lock them up for a few years. They'll learn their lesson in there, oh yessirree!

Saying "people need to stop trying to be someone's parent" in this context is, frankly, a load of crap. Granted, I don't want someone telling my son what he can and can't do in private -- that's my job. But if he's doing something stupid in public, I *do* want someone to tell him to stop being an idiot before he gets someone hurt, such as himself.

So while I'm on my high horse, I guess you'll really get cheezed when I point out that it's a "moot" point, not a "mute" one. Unless you mean it's a silent point, which just doesn't make a whole lotta sense.

Re:Lesson (1)

Kepper (307719) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644659)

are you kidding? did you really just defend your argument with an allusion to kids roaming the streets?

we are talking about kids buying video games. end of story.

if you decide to back this high and mighty manager who sets policy in a corporate store without approval, then where and when would it end?

Would you think it ok, if the person at the checkout line in the supermarket wouldn't sell kids candy without mommy saying ok? or how about not letting the kids into an arcade or skate park? Hell, take away every venue for kids to have fun in altogether unless they show good grades! scholastic acheivement and any punishment or rewards resulting from that, are the duty of schools and parents.. NOT joe shmoe at the baseball card shop.
this is the United States of America. if you dont want kids to buy things without their parental approval than DON'T SERVE MINORS.

Re:Lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644161)

It takes a village to raise a child. The ones who follow this statement knew a thing or two.

Re:Lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644615)

Ya, that might have applied in Greece where children were born from polygamous relations. Since in that case, the village was the parent.

Re:Lesson (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644647)

This case notwithstanding, I beg to differ. Biologically everyone has a mother; practically speaking there are very few children with parents who pay as much attention to raising their children as they should. In fact, I know a lot of kids that could do with an extra mom or two, based on their biological mother's (and father's) performance to date.

This guy is an idiot (3, Insightful)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643911)

No matter what 'system' he came up with, he should be fired for putting another step in the middle of the "Hi I want to buy this", "Here you go" process.

If anybody thinks this guy is a good Samaritan or should be rewarded, you're living in your own little hippy infested lovey dovey moron world. He just made customers go another block to the 'other of a million' game stores and buy there for the same competitive price.

He also took away a pretty basic freedom / right from all of his younger customers. So maybe he's the one that needs to learn a lesson. I wish I lived close enough to refuse to buy anything from this store ever again. If the government instituted the same policy for merchants - there would be riots in the streets.

Re:This guy is an idiot (2, Interesting)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644209)

He just made customers go another block to the 'other of a million' game stores and buy there for the same competitive price.
Some customers. Other customers (like parents, who tend to be the people bankrolling Christmas and birthday gifts) are liable to appreciate the move quite a bit. If (for the sake of an argument) he loses 100% of his non-parent sales but gets 1% of the parents in the Dallas area to go to his store when they want to buy a game as a gift for a child, that's a massive win: When he was "just another game store", there was no reason for people to select his store over others (with comparable pricing and selection) other than location. Making a policy and getting publicity that makes his store stand out, on the other hand, means people might be willing to drive further to get there, and distinguishes him from the competition. From a business perspective, it's potentially a great move.

He also took away a pretty basic freedom / right from all of his younger customers.
Beg your pardon? There's no right to be sold video games. If he were discriminating on the basis of being part of a protected class (age/race/disability/etc), that would be one thing -- but it's not the case here. Deciding you don't want your store to serve children with poor grades until they shape up is perfectly legitimate.

Re:This guy is an idiot (1)

Chr0me (180627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644565)

He also took away a pretty basic freedom / right from all of his younger customers.

Beg your pardon? There's no right to be sold video games. If he were discriminating on the basis of being part of a protected class (age/race/disability/etc), that would be one thing -- but it's not the case here.
Might not be the same right GP was thinking of, but how about privacy for the kid? You know that pesky thing /. is always talking about under headings like YRO. If the GameStop manager can't call up J. Random Memorial High School and asks for Johnny's report card due to privacy issues then he shouldn't be asking John Sr. to vouch for Junior. Just a thought.

Re:This guy is an idiot (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644671)

If the GameStop manager can't call up J. Random Memorial High School and asks for Johnny's report card due to privacy issues then he shouldn't be asking John Sr. to vouch for Junior.
They're entirely different things, in that the latter is a voluntary transaction -- John Sr. needs to agree to provide the information; otherwise, it remains private.

That would still be questionable if the company requiring the information release had monopoly power within the relevant market -- but obviously, nothing of the sort is the case here.

Re:This guy is an idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644213)

I wish I lived close enough to refuse to buy anything from this store ever again.

Couldn't you just refuse to buy anything from that store now? Isn't the net result the same?

No. (2, Insightful)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643931)

He shouldn't have instituted this policy. The trick to business is to sell things to people that can buy said things, not to say "Sorry, kid, your money is no good here. We don't cater to no dumb people."

It's completely insane to deny a sale to anyone for any criteria other than that which makes them eligible to own (i.e. you can't buy this m-rated game because you are 4 years old, or you only have $7). I mean, that's like saying "Sorry, you can't buy this car because you work at McDonalds. I don't care if you can pay in full in cash right now, have great credit, etc, etc."

Having the opposite policy (as some seem to be suggesting) would have been equally as bad. A discount for good grades is just as discriminatory; "Sorry, Mr. Gates, we can't sell you this Toyota - you'll have to go to the Porche dealer down the street."

Re:No. (2, Informative)

Katmando911 (1039906) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644613)

I don't know if it would have been bad to offer incentives for good grades. I remember when I was a kid, the local arcade would give you free tokens for good grades. That seemed to work out great for everyone.

Weird Angle (2, Informative)

CubeNudger (984277) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643947)

Asshole store manager is denying citizens the right to buy things in his store (the original article I read about him had crazy racist overtones, by the way - didn't like "gang members with baggy pants" hanging out in his store, i.e. black people) and his corporate overlords thankfully stepped in and put a stop to the chicanery. I know they're a corporation and all, but props to Gamestop for doing the common sense thing.

Re:Weird Angle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644049)

[off topic] Baggy pants crackdown goes national [cnn.com] [/off topic]

Re:Weird Angle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644075)

"gang members with baggy pants" hanging out in his store, i.e. black people

How racist of you to assume that all black people are gang members with baggy pants.

Re:Weird Angle (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644197)

Asshole store manager was black. Baggy pants not in evidence. Brains not in evidence in slashdot or in manager.

Re:Weird Angle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644199)

Racist against black people? Did you RTFA? It has a picture of Brandon Scott. He is black.

Re:Weird Angle (3, Informative)

Mark_in_Brazil (537925) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644235)

Um, I know this is Slashdot, but if you had bothered to RTFA or even just open the page, you might have noticed a photograph of Brandon Scott that appears there. I'm not an expert on racial definitions, but from the picture, it looks to me like Mr. Scott is black.

Re:Weird Angle (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644373)

"gang members with baggy pants" hanging out in his store, i.e. black people

What planet do you live on?

Re:Weird Angle (1)

whosyourslashdotdad (1158173) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644417)

CubeNudger is a tool, the manager was black. Score one for the pale, friendless, black trench coat wearing virgins that sit in the basement playing video games all day while flunking out of school. The only kids that lost out in this deal were those whose parents wouldn't vouch for them. That means they didn't want them to play anyway... now the kids are back stealing money from their mom's purses so they can buy video games while getting F's.

Re:Weird Angle (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644437)

So someone doesn't want people who aspire to be criminals in his store? How utterly unreasonable is that!

I applaud him (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 6 years ago | (#20643991)

Yeah, of course people are saying that it's bad business, but what he did was with good intent and in a perfect world, could have had a good impact.

The problem is that it's not a perfect world and people can easily just go somewhere else for the same products... His tactic isn't very effective in that situation.

But seriously, I applaud the guy for sticking up for a good principle and trying to motivate kids to perform better instead of being a corporate sales-whore, trying to sell as many games as possible.

Re:I applaud him (1)

neverutterwhen (813161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644207)

Really? So it would be acceptable for a supermarket manager to refuse to sell fat people chocolate? There are many reasons why people get bad grades and the moron who couldn't get a job as anything better than the manager of a games store is not the person I want judging a child's academic or intellectual ability.

Re:I applaud him (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644291)

If you owned a liquor store, would you sell booze to known alcoholics?

Re:I applaud him (1)

neverutterwhen (813161) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644331)

If they were sober when they bought it. It's not a crime to be an alcoholic.

Re:I applaud him (1)

Enoxice (993945) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644371)

If you owned a liquor store, would you ask everyone who walked in to bring a notarized document that proves that they are not, never have been, nor are in any risk of being dependent on alcohol?

Why are we equating bad grades to alcoholism, anyway?

The real problem I see with this is 16-18 yr olds (5, Insightful)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644091)

Example: Someone has a car and good grades, but doesn't like to cart his mom with him. Result: No games for you!

Great idea, bad implementation (4, Insightful)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644137)

Chuck E. Cheese used to have something very similar. You bring in your report card, and you would get free tokens for each good grade. When I read the title I thought this is what the manager was doing and thought it was a fantastic idea. After reading his negative-reinforcement approach, however, I agree fully with his dismissal.

Re:Great idea, bad implementation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644389)

My thoughs exactly, very poor implementation here. The intent was to reward kids for getting good grades. The execution was to have a parent come in with the kid and vouch for him, otherwise no sale. So a straight A grade 10 student could walk in with his report card in hand, and would be refused sale. Meanwhile little Billy, who's not so good in school, simply has to convince his mom to come into the store and lie for him, and he gets service. It's really not the brightest way to do things.

What probably really happened though is he just wanted to kick certain cliental out of the store, so came up with this rule, then media picked it up and put a nice spin on it.

Fsck grades (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644163)

There are other diversions (electronic and otherwise) besides video games. If a student dosen't care about grades then holding their video games won't be much help.

The guy's quite clearly a cretin (1)

goldcd (587052) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644167)

but as has been pointed out, he may have been onto something.
Refusing to sell is a bad idea, but as has been pointed out, using good grades to get a discount could work. Could even conbine this with good old-fashioned gambling. Stick your $10 pre-order for Halo3 (or whatever) down with us and as well as your $10 deposit, you'll get $5 off for a B and $10 for an A.
Actually to expand this a bit further, in the same way stores have loyalty cards have one that get you stuff for grades - money off, discounts etc (The old-crumblies seem to get this stuff merely for coffin-dodging). Back in my youth I was always short of cash and got 'alright' grades. I'm well aware I could have worked for better ones, but wasn't any real point. Got bad ones you'd get a bollocking, get 'fine' ones and everything was 'fine', get great ones and *shrugs* pat on the back maybe. Never actually got anything that was worth the effort.
If nothing else the scheme would be great PR - Company X supporting the intellectual future of the country blah blah.

Really Now? (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644241)

Who goes to GameStop anyway? Those places are dives, and have to put up with being in a mall just to visit them anyway. No thank you.

Furthermore, who cares about grades? They mean absolutely nothing and have little to no bearing on real life. School isn't a place to learn, it's a place to be socially conditioned.

Re:Really Now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644503)

I hate to agree with you, but I have to. I was in GameStop yesterday and the employees there are super pushy about pre-orders. And they're not even good salespeople either. Literally, the young blonde guy behind the counter invariably asked of each customer, "Would you like to preorder any upcoming Wii games?" It was especially annoying because his tone was really high pitched and fake. The dude didn't even know what the "upcoming Wii games" were (plus, he assumed everyone in the store owned a Wii because it's the "best system evarrrrrr!11!@!!")

I simply asked for the release dates of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass and the new Phoenix Wright and they pushed for me to reserve those. The blonde boy even got support from another employee. I simply told them that I was going to buy it off of Amazon and have it delivered to my door and save a few bucks and walked out.

They were also selling PS3 component cables for $25 when Best Buy was selling them for $20. What tools.

Re:Really Now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644523)

This is an argument typically put forth by someone who has very little schooling.

Do NOT condemn the salesman... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644285)

IMHO, he did the RIGHT damn thing. If anyone within Gamestop corporate had a backbone, they should have supported it too. My logic? Simple. Name one other sport in high school that does NOT consider your GPA as a factor for participation. And yes, this is a SPORT now, thanks to marketing giants like the CPL. When EVERYONE starts realizing this, they'll realize how to treat it more and more like any other professional sport.

Re:Do NOT condemn the salesman... (0, Offtopic)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644305)

God damn, I could feel my IQ being drained with every word of your post.

I award you NO points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Re:Do NOT condemn the salesman... (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644477)

I agree.

Failed exam = free vodka (5, Funny)

eknagy (1056622) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644465)

Next to my Uni, there was a pub, where you got a free shot of vodka if you shown your index and there was a fresh "exam failed" mark in it.
Those were the days...

Why is this news? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20644497)

If he were one of my employees, he would be fired. Not "suspended". (What is he, a school kid?)

His idea of not selling games to kids with bad grades was a good idea in general, but not if it isn't his own business. His employer should have decided whether or not to implement something like that.

If one of my employees decided, without my knowing, to refuse to work for "stupid clients" I'd have him canned immediately. So why is this front page news? The headline should read "Man refuses to do job, gets fired."

Faulty logic? (2, Interesting)

Falcon_Delta00 (1156119) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644513)

What's ridiculous about this policy is that it's a denial of access based on the principle that children with good grades should be allowed to play computer games, while those with bad grades shouldn't. What's the assumption that is being made here? Games are the cause of bad grades? OR playing games prevents children from getting good grades? It's true that games can be a huge waste of time, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they should be linked to merit in the educational system. What if my kid isn't that smart and he gets C's whether he plays video games or not. Is this guy at the store going to prevent him from buying a vieo game?

It's the Precedent (1)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644517)

This is not about lost sales. In fact it's actually a fantastic sales idea. Not only do you get the kid (highly motivated customer with little money) to associate his life's work (aka. school) with video games, but you get him to drag in his parent (wary customer with tons of money) to vouch for his good grades. So the kid comes in to get his game and while the kids in the back picking out the latest Pokemon his dad's in the front checking out the latest PS3 release.

No, this isn't about lost sales. This is about fear of federal/state legislation.

If they let this guy run his operation and it became successful then they would be establishing a VERY strong precedent for preventing children from buying games. And the Organization of Out-of-Touch Parents or whoever will jump all over any whiff of such a thing. A short way down this slippery slope is a federal age-limit for buying video games and something of a disaster for the entire gaming industry. And that's why this guy got spanked.

Sounds like a leader. (1)

clubhi (1086577) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644549)

I heard this game stop manager went to MIT. But seriously, every time I go into Gaystop they make me feel like the loser because I haven't played such and such game. Not everyones mother has a nice basement ok.

Enough with the busybodys in retail already. (1)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 6 years ago | (#20644589)

Keep your store clean, your employees in line and your customers happy. There's more than enough to do without inventing new policies on-the-fly.

Everybody wants to be big brother. What's next, tiny plastic cups and a private room to make sure the little bastards aren't toking up before you'll deign to allow them to make a purchase? It makes me ill to think where we're headed.

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