Okay, this one is a doozy and was the first and worst thing I ever experienced in video game retail.
It was my second week on the sales floor. I was innocent and hopeful, not yet jaded by years of entitled customers demanding discounts for no reason and being generally clueless or rude about everything. I had not yet been snapped at like a dog or had anyone yell in my face, so that was nice. Such a sweet summer child…
We had a regular at my second video game store who would come in multiple days a week to hang out for hours on end without buying anything. No one felt comfortable asking him not to loiter because he was a young veteran discharged with an injury, and he was nice, if oblivious. The main problem was that he would follow either me or my female supervisor around the store constantly, talking at us and preventing us from getting work done.
Now, I say “talking at” and not “talking to” because he didn’t particularly care if we returned conversation or not. I think he was lonely, but we had work to do, man.
During College I used to work at a Best Buy and then later a GameStop. If you have ever worked retail you will understand the pain. Customers are almost never right. I took a little time to write down some of my most memorable stories and interactions. I hope you enjoy some of these more than I did when I experienced them!
Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is a charming, gorgeously animated Metroidvania title about a brave priestess trying to rid her village of a withering curse emanating from the country’s royal palace. Lovingly crafted with rich, detailed pixel graphics, Momodora: RUTM is a short and sweet adventure worth your time.
Cosmic Star Heroine offers a wealth of content considering its base cost. This scifi romp is a skillfully crafted, complete package of JRPG-style goodness that remains faithful to its 16-bit roots, and it has a great sense of humor to boot! With the polish of Octopath Traveler and gameplay similar to that of Chrono Trigger, if you liked either of those titles and you love scifi, then Cosmic Star Heroine is a game you will doubtless want to add to your collection.
The Banner Saga Trilogy held my attention from the moment I picked it up! I would describe this series as a hybrid of Oregon Trail and Fire Emblem, nestled comfortably in a Norse mythology-inspired dark fantasy setting. The Banner Saga presents the player with a high stakes story full of make or break decision making, with the player positioned as the reluctant, elected leader of a caravan full of survivors fleeing the end of the world.
One of the central themes of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is whether or not Blades should be considered a race of people rather than weapons or tools, or if it is fair to treat them as weapons even if it’s their nature. Are they slaves no matter how well their Driver treats them? Just because a Blade and Driver have a good relationship, even a loving one, does that make it right to use them? On the other hand, is it acceptable to leave them dormant forever, in effect unalive?
The Red Strings Club is a fantastic little point and click adventure game by Devolver Digital that can be completed in one sitting. Running about three to four hours long but with great replay value, The Red Strings Club provides a quality, succinct cyberpunk package fortified with superb dialogue and sprinkled with the tendency to make your question your own opinions.
Gwent! I used to play it a lot, the stand alone Witcher CCG. I have been admining a large gaming community Discord for two years that originally started as a Gwent group, then eventually branched into general gaming of all kinds. It’s called the Lodge of Sorceresses and we provide a woman-focused, LGBTQ friendly environment in which video game players of all types can improve their game and connect meaningfully with other gamers.
I wanted to extend a invite code to my new friends and readers in the video game blogging world. The Lodge of Sorceresses Discord community has a great base of friendly, active core members, with around 600 in the Discord total (only around 100 are active at once). We’re multicultural, international, and love intellectual discussions. The mod teams never censors controversial or sensitive topics as long as everyone is discussing civilly and respectfully with an open mind. Please note the server is 18+.
The Gwent cards and playing board I custom ordered for giveaways and spectator entertainment at a Gwent tournament I helped admin in Philadelphia last year. It was a blast! The maker is WolfSchool on Etsy, whom is a wonderful craftsman.
Why a Sphinx for the community logo? “It is who we are. All of us belonging to the Lodge, we are like the sphinx. Silent, strategic, perilous, hidden, mysterious, wise and occult. Strong and brave. Fearless, timeless and powerful. Yes, the sphinx should be the symbol of our Lodge.”
– Assire’s thoughts on the Lodge, The Tower of the Swallow
Originally released on the Xbox 360 and PC in 2007, BioShock has blown many minds with what is widely considered one of, if not the best narrative twists in video game history. It features the most well-integrated exploration of philosophy and morality/ethics in a video game story to date. If BioShock is still on your to-play list, beware of the MASSIVE SPOILERS ahead. It’s time to revisit Rapture!