Friday, September 24, 2010

Video Stores PWN Gamefly

So, today is Friday and I couldn't think of anything to write about. Then I got struck with a huge bout of nostalgia, and thought back to my younger days as a gamer. Back then, I got most of my video game exposure thanks to the assorted rental stores in my small town, and they came through like a champ. I got to play so many now legendary games because of rental stores, and in some cases, got to test systems before I bought them. Because of Rental Stores, I was able to beat the first three Castlevania games, get the hang of Mega Man 2, and discover hidden gems like Power Blade and Metal Storm. Without these places selling off old stock, I would have Contra Force and Mr. Driller in my collection. The rental stores in my area also make Saturday gaming binges a ritual with me and several friends growing up to the point where we were easily beating 2-3 games a week. I wouldn't have found out that most of Acclaim's catalog was trash without rental stores, but I also wouldn't have played single player Smash TV using both NES controllers without them. You see, while services like Gamefly are cool, they are ultimately impersonal, and most of the few rental stores are rendered obsolete now because of game demos and the laziness that makes online renting so popular. However, my issue with Gamefly is that they will ten to send you what they want to send you, and if you haven't updated your queue, then you might be stuck getting a rental that you may have already bought. I said all of this to say, I miss going to a place and renting a video game. developing a relationship with the clerks at those stores that allowed me to get the new stuff first, get free rentals, etc. But, personal interaction is antiquated now, and the experience of not hiding behind a computer screen has become a novelty, not the norm. For that, I say, these new gamers missed out.

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