A Dancing Spartan & The Little Guys

So the other day I was driving back home when I look across the street and see a dancing Spartan. A dancing. Freaking. Spartan.  So I of course immediately decided to change my plans and see what the heck it was all about.  All I knew was that if Master Chief had needed to resort to Tax Return Service peddling, then the economy would have indeed hit rock bottom.

Instead I learned that the young super-soldier was out trying to drive traffic into her dad’s small video game store. Wanting to further reward their good taste, I headed inside.  I had a good look around at Replay Video Games, and a nice chat with the guys working there.  While I am not a Gamestop = Evil Empire proponent, it was very refreshing to see a stand-alone shop sticking it out and doing fairly well for themselves.

I’ll be totally honest. I don’t hate Gamestop.  I love the culture of midnight release parties with tons of people. But that being said, I don’t want to have a Wal-Martian situation on our hands. I LOVE the small stores, not to mention, they usually give you WAY better trade-in value on your games.  But I digress…

So Grimlins, what is your experience with the small fish? Do you have a local shop that you are loyal to?  I just might…

❤ GrimBrother One

8 responses

  1. ZackDark

    Actually, we don’t have big game retailers down here in Brazil. Import taxes on games are too big.

    Almost-100% big…

    I mean, who in their sane mind think games are “superfluous products”?!

    Oh…right…

    November 29, 1999 at 7:00 PM

    • Brazil is a place of moderation?

      March 6, 2011 at 9:12 PM

  2. Eric

    I’ve been going to my local game store for years. They may not always have the greatest deals on new games but I’ll fork out a little extra because its a great environment and they’re always super friendly and helpful.

    And sometimes they dress up their children. Awesome.

    March 6, 2011 at 1:23 PM

  3. David

    I can’t think of a local games retailer near me (or, at least, a local games-only retailer). There are two Gamestops within five blocks of each other by my apartment. I don’t hate them either (mostly because I don’t go for the trade-ins) but it is sad to see a lack of independent outlets. I think it’s just the nature of a small, independent business–they have more to lose by being assholes and they’re also passionate about what they do, so you’re more likely to have helpful and courteous people staffing them.

    March 6, 2011 at 1:44 PM

  4. Eric, couldn’t agree more. Once I found out it was his daughter, I definitely had to go in and check it out, lol.

    And David, I think the customer service aspect of it is an excellent point you bring up. People don’t really tend to directly associate the staff of a large chain with the chain itself, while in a privately owned store, the staff IS the name.

    Grim One

    March 6, 2011 at 2:09 PM

  5. Is there really such a thing as “mom and pop” video game retailers? In such a hi-tech industry with multi million dollar marketing budgets is there a real place for joe’s game shack? There was a viable day for this back in the 80’s and 90’s but they can no longer compete in the market now. Gamestop has rewards, promotions, release parties. You could make a game store but you have to sell the experience, not the games. Basically a small storefront in a strip mall cant compete with 3 gamestops, 2 targets, and a Super Wallmart unless people want to go to the store because its “the place to be.” Note, why dont game stores have areas to play games and be a hang out?

    March 6, 2011 at 9:20 PM

  6. http://gamersentertainment.com/

    It’s our only locally owned game retailer. Other than that we have a Hastings Entertainment (which is all forms of media) and of course Gamestop.

    I went in to Gamer’s Entertainment a little while back to show my girlfriend an item there which I wanted… while there, they brought up the fact that they knew I wrote for http://www.forwarduntodawn.com and offered me a freelance writing job for game and product reviews. The first time I’ve ever been payed for my writing. Needless to say, they have my support, even if none of my reviews are up yet.
    Unfortunately they don’t have very many games, so I had to show my support by buying something else I wanted (since all the games I was looking for weren’t available there)… in other words, the item I went in to show to my girlfriend, one of the 1000 Cortana hologram busts from Weta Workshops. It’s got my name on it in the shop, and I’m working to pay it off slowly. Probably going to take some of the writing pay off of that instead. 🙂

    Gamer’s Entertainment hosts game tournaments weekly, and are just now expanding to a second store in Tuscon, AZ. Support local businesses, you’ll never beat their friendly atmosphere (in most cases)!

    March 6, 2011 at 10:45 PM

  7. N'gauragt

    In a hole in the wall next to a Starbucks and a store boasting school spirit, right before you enter Kent State University territory, there is a shop called The Exchange. In that store, there are a variety of really nice college folks, who like goofing off and talking about games of the vidjea. Every year, for five years, I would bike up from the far end of Stow to that store, on a little less than a rat bike (an hour long ride, by the way), just so I could talk to the guys working there, or grab a few games, or just see if they heard anything new. When I get back, that’ll be one of my first stops, in Kent, Ohio. Pop right in and show off my sweet beard.

    March 7, 2011 at 10:52 AM

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