Friday, June 24, 2011
No Sir, I'm Sure I Don't Want To Pre-Order Madden
So, there I am in a local Gamestop...I'm not shopping for anything in particular, just wanted a new game or two. I approach the employees of this establishment and ask a few questions about some games. My inquiry must have led them to believe I was interested, so in an almost crudely blurted out fashion, one of them asks if I want to pre-order the latest incarnation of the only modern NFL simulation on the market, John Madden NFL Football. Now, I don't have a problem with being asked this as I am at the register, but not while I am asking questions about a puzzle game that's releasing next month or a handheld that I'm considering purchasing. I don't want to make assumptions as to why they thought I wanted to pre-order Madden, but I will suggest that the decision to yell that out to me pretty much solidified my desire to not pre-order a game there that day. As I have said over the years, places like Gamestop are far more concerned with pushing pre-orders than providing competent assistance to gamers looking to buy that game that will typically not set the world on fire sales wise, but offers a break from the norm. Another reason I take issue with being badgered for Madden pre-orders is the same reason I don't like being followed around when I go into my neighborhood corner store. I make these comparisons because there is a stereotype associated with African American video game players. Apparently, according to most folks who sell video games, all African Americans tend to play are Sports games and First Person Shooters, and sadly, I know a lot of folks who fall into this pigeonhole. It's funny when someone finds out I'm a gamer, but I'm not buying Madden or Call of Duty every year. The reactions are even funnier when those people find out I play things like Katamarti Damacy, Robotron 2084, Ikaruga, Secret of Mana, or any other extremely random (or old) video game I come across. A person will like what they like, and my tastes should have no bearing on the purchasing and gaming habits of another, but my life would be a little bit better if I wasn't stereotyped at a video game store.