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Changes In Physical Media And Its Impact On My Existence Over The Last Few Years For Lack Of A Better Title


A poorly put together post about being a hoarder.

So I stopped working at GameStop eight months ago after four years and eight months of selling games, consoles, accessories, and (more recently) pre-owned apple devices
.  I was unmotivated and convinced I would never be promoted.  I lost any and all desire to consume games and complete them; my 360 (the special edition Resident Evil 5 console, painted red to match the blood of fallen zombies) and Wii were gathering dust and my PS3 was primarily a vessel for Netflix.  When I left, I thought I would never buy another game again.  I stared at my gigantic collection of multi-generational Playstation games and sighed.  “Why did I buy all of this crap?  I’m never going to replay all of these PS1 Final Fantasys!” (Final Fantasies?)  My heart was filled with serious and undeniable regret.  My collection was ridiculous and I had spent a ton of money on things that merely decorated the shelves in my living room.  I started to wonder just how much of the collection was because I had lived in a culture that praised hoarding and collecting rarities, oddities, and the obsolete.

imageThis is my living room.

Hard copies of media are becoming a thing of the past, be it music, movies, or games.  Cloud storage seems to be the way everything is going; console gaming culture will follow suit services similar to Steam.  The convenience of having everything at your fingertips at any given moment is fantastic, especially if you find yourself in a community cut off from major media retailers and outlets.  It is just unfortunate to not be able to share and swap your games with friends thanks to the DRM movement.  The same can be said about online codes for console games.  I understand that EA and other companies don’t want GameStop to sell their games used (they make no money off the preowned copies), but in the end it just renders the hard copy obsolete after that code is used.  People wonder why the PC section in game stores is under-represented.  Is it dying out?  No.  It is nearly 100% online.  Why buy a hard copy of a game if you’re only buying a code and some packaging that you’ll need to throw out later?  Why even leave your house?  This isn’t laziness, it’s convenience and common sense.


I watched for nearly five years as the game industry changed.  I watched the six by eight foot PC wall slowly shrink to one side of a four-way gondola in my store.  I was excited to never have to sell another PC game again.  I was excited to never have to take trades for PC games.  This was a good move.  This was going to help store stats.  News of Blockbuster and Rogers Video going out of business also helped sales and trade-ins.  And then EA’s 2011 sports line up came in and every single game had a one time use code for playing online.  EA wasn’t the only company.  In 2012 THQ did the same with WWE and UFC.  Ubisoft did it with Assassin’s Creed.  Everything was going downhill.  The used games went cheaper, but not cheap enough to merit purchasing them along with Xbox points or a PSN card.  Then the used games became recycled games and the store went green.  The company tried to focus its energy on fantastic customer service and preowned apple products, but that wasn’t going to change the market.  In the last month I was there (July of 2012) there were talks of cellular kiosks stationed in our stores.  Times were changing so quickly, I was barely able to recognize my own store.

Three months after I quit, head office shut down my store.  It was the second highest volume store in the district, Pacific Centre.  It won’t be long until this happens everywhere.  Game stores, like music stores, are a thing of the past.  They are being replaced with cellular kiosks in order to feed the growing mobile market.


Taking another look at my ridiculous game hoard, I now know how my mom feels about her CD collection.

A good read and first hand account on the shifting relationship between gaming studios, retailers, and consumers.

Filed under video games media discussion gamestop eb games gentlenina vidya media evolution ps3 sony microsoft nintendo