Metacognition: The Way to Shop

We’re back with our “thinking about thinking” series! If you’re interested in our previous deep thoughts, check out the Metacognition series.  Join us for some deep thoughts (and maybe the occasional not-so-deep thought) about gaming. If you find one you’d like to answer, you can either comment below or write a post and share the link so we can all read your fantastic thoughts!

Do you prefer shopping at larger stores (e.g., BestBuy, GameStop, Amazon, etc.), online, or at local stores for games? How do you make this decision? Are there local stores near you?

To be honest, I used to predominantly shop online for games from Amazon because most often they had the best prices for both new and used games. More recently I’ve found myself drawn to brick-and-mortar stores in a sort of one-woman crusade against online shopping. There’s nothing wrong with online shopping, of course, but there is something to be said for not only the familiarity that comes from being a regular at a store, but also knowing that you are helping to keep people in your community employed that is a big draw, at least for me.

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There aren’t a lot of options in my immediate area for games; most places that sell games are chains like GameStop, or huge multi-department stores like BestBuy or Target. There is one small video game lounge near me that is trying to make a go of it, and the consoles and games are there on consignment, but the few times I went there, the selection was low and, upon hearing that I am an RPG fan, the woman who owns the lounge told me that she doesn’t get many RPG customers… Which is a shame, because I do try to support local businesses.

I also tend to not frequent stores that aren’t for a specific thing, like Target or WalMart. BestBuy has run every other electronics store out of town so I often have no choice, but when it comes to games, I side with the only store specializing in games, and that is – to the horror of some of you, I’m sure – GameStop.

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Sure, maybe it’s not a great place to work. Sure, maybe it exists to make money like businesses do, and has a questionable PR department. But I know the people who work there, and they greet me by name. They know not to try and upsell to me, or try to force pre-sales down my throat. The store that I go to feels less like a giant, impersonal store and more like a local mom-and-pop shop, just because of the people. These are people I want to help keep employed, so I pay the few extra dollars (compared to, say, Amazon), and support my local game store.

The other GameStop I go to when my usual store doesn’t have whatever it is I’m looking for has a similar feel: they don’t know me by name, but they do know me by my N7 jacket and welcome me back. There are, of course, other stores near me, but they don’t have that personal touch, like the two stores I go to have. So, I don’t go to those other stores. At the end of the day, at least for me, it’s all about the personal relationships with the people who work in the stores, more that almost any other factor, that leads me to shop at one place or another.

What about you? Where do you shop for games? Are there local game stores around you? If there are, do you give them your business, or stick with the convenience of online shopping? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~Athena

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