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.

1 comment:

  1. You know after working for EB Games/Gamestop for over 2 years you find this problem is usually avoided by the simplest things. One technique we used to avoid that was to just talk to the the customer, let them tell you they want. But then some in particular stores reps just tend to not want to open their eyes and tend to be driven by District Managers or stereotypes. I can honestly say that our store had top 5 madden pre-order numbers yearly company wide with out pushing the pre-order when I was there. We listened to our customers and referd them to the right product. If they wanted to come in and pre-order Madden we did as such.

    A game store is what its appellation points it out to be. There are more games other than Live, and Madden... Somebody may want to play Rez every once in a while. Some people just need to understand that when they come to work.