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!
Cattails is a charming exploration game full of cute pixel cats and winsome personality! Many describe it as “Stardew Valley but with cats” and I would agree to a certain extent– mainly in the environmental design, the sacred temple (similar to the community center), and the wake-sleep, daily gameplay loop. Though a bit rough around the edges with room to grow, I found the game entirely enjoyable and addictive.
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.
I used to play a lot of competitive Overwatch. Like, a lot. I’ve lost track amount of times I’ve been harassed in a game of Overwatch while the other four people on my team quietly listen to someone say absolutely vile things to me completely unprovoked. It feels awful that bystanders often don’t seem to bat an eye as they observe what is essentially verbal assault. It always makes me wonder, How can they listen to this and say nothing?
Cleaning up the toxicity in competitive gaming communities will be an ongoing, group effort. This guide will teach you how and why you can and should help when you encounter harassment in one of your games.
Playing Koral left me feeling ambivalent. It is safe to say that Koral is best approached as a “zen game” in that it is a visually appealing yet simple game good for relaxation. Its dazzling graphics and mundane puzzle gameplay co-exist in discord. This game will only be a good fit for some and that’s okay.
I’ve updated my Nintendo Switch backlog! With the long holiday weekend coming up, I thought I’d ask if anyone would like to see a review or impressions post on one of the specific titles from my backlog?
I’m happy to take requests!
The top left is closest to complete and the bottom right is the farthest. If there are no requests, I’ll just keep plugging away at Final Fantasy XII HD, which I somehow missed during my PS2 days. Loving it so far!
Next week I’ll be doing a prompt review of LittleFriends Cats and Dogs for the Switch after receiving it on Tuesday. It’s a spiritual successor to Nintendogs by the dev studio who made My Time at Portia, so I hope it’s good. 🙂
I’ve also got two more gamer culture pieces in the works, as well as another installment of Tales From Video Game Retail. Lastly, I set up a Ko-fi for those who would like to support me and my content.
Get ready for some culture studies and anthropology jargon with this one. I’ve tried to soften it up, but a lot of support for this piece came from my past academic writing, so please bear with me!
The identity of video game culture is shifting thanks to a relatively recent, positive change in mainstream perspectives about the value of the gaming as a pastime, profession, and about video gamer stereotypes. As a gamer you’re immersed in the culture, you’re used to it, but have you ever taken a step back and and looked at the big picture? What exactly is video game culture these days and how is it changing? Here’s your crash course!
The day all retail workers fear. The day the crazies come out. The day you work until you can’t stand and then work some more. One year I was on the long graveyard shift for Black Friday. I came in at 4AM and worked until 2PM. At 5AM, one of our point-of-sale computers freezes for no discernible reason. Aww jeez. We have a line out the door and around the corner, and the store is packed and sweltering. We really can’t afford to be down a register. No me gusta, amigos. Suddenly, another computer freezes. FULL RED ALERT!