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Do you miss the experience of going into game stores to browse and buy games?

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
Nov 13, 2013
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I’m sure some of you still go in game stores from time to time, but so many people now just buy games digitally or have games shipped to their home that arrive on release day.

So I was curious if anyone misses the experience or if you prefer not having to go into game stores anymore.

Part of me does miss taking a trek to the nearest game store, and talking games with the people who worked there, but at the same time I do think it was apropos of its time. Less games were being released so it was a lot different back then browsing games to buy, but in today’s age in gaming last time I went into a GameStop the only thing I could think of was getting out of there ASAP.

I think the Saturn/ PS1 days were when game stores were at their apex. I do miss it due to nostalgia, but today I’m glad that I can get games delivered right to my home.
 

TKOFromTokyo

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Jul 20, 2020
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I don’t miss going into game stores to buy games. I do miss going into Toys R Us or Service Merchandise to buys games. Sears was also fun back in the day when the games were in the kids section. Also, way back when, Kohl’s was awesome when they had an electronics department. I hated them after they got rid of it.

The pandemic has made shopping in the games section at Best Buy, Target, or Walmart even more sterile than the past. It’s depressing.
 

DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
Nov 13, 2013
8,049
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I don’t miss going into game stores to buy games. I do miss going into Toys R Us or Service Merchandise to buys games. Sears was also fun back in the day when the games were in the kids section. Also, way back when, Kohl’s was awesome when they had an electronics department. I hated them after they got rid of it.

The pandemic has made shopping in the games section at Best Buy, Target, or Walmart even more sterile than the past. It’s depressing.
Back in the day I can’t remember if it was toys r us or clover had a liquidation sale of Saturn games and I went with a friend and bought all the good stuff. Burning Rangers, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Shining Force 3, etc.

Didn’t have the concept of flipping back then or I’d have bought more than one of each, but I remember going back a week later to browse some more stuff and almost all of the inventory was gone.
 

16bitwarzvet

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Jul 20, 2017
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For sure!!! I hated when ToyRUs closed. While their prices just got outrageous, I enjoyed browsing the isles. And while my kids were very young when I took them, the joy on their faces was priceless. I still do visit the local retro game store from time to time. Sometimes I will pick something up but Mercari has sort of spoiled me.
 

Punished Miku

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Jan 13, 2018
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We still have a Gamestop and 2 local stores downtown for used games. It's fine, but I just rarely end up buying stuff. I don't mind the act of looking at a store, but the main holdups for me now are just lack of stock or not priced competitively.

I buy so many games on day 1 that I rarely find stuff at stores I'm interested in buying; or if it was actually good it probably sold fast. Physical stores can't really compete with giant online retailers either, so often the prices aren't that competitive either. Still nice to look around, but I don't really do a lot to help them stay in business.

I usually swoop by Wal-Mart electronics out of habit when getting groceries. And actually, they price a large amount of their new games $10 cheaper.
 
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I miss it, but it's pretty much only nostalgia for me. I loved going to the video game store when I was a kid!

We couldn't afford many games so me and my brother shared a Sega Mega Drive, and we used to go to the store to trade one of our old games for another used game.

It was so exciting, looking at the back of the boxes, trying to get a sense of the game. Quite often we manager to pick a shit game and had no choice but to play it constantly until the next time we would go to the store 😅 (usually like 6 months).

I miss that feeling of excitement but it's much more convenient and reliable to watch YouTube and read some reviews before deciding. I still always buy physical though, and pick the game up at a local store after ordering.
 
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NahaNago

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Aug 29, 2014
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yeah, I use to go to a gamekrazy inside of a hollywood video and would just go into to see if they have any new and interesting games to buy half the time. I always felt like I was searching for some hidden gem anytime I went. I barely go to gamestop these days. The selection of games they have are a joke. Buying physical at stores whether it be games or movies use to be a lot of fun especially at used stores since you would never know what they would have each week. Since all of the movie stores have died all you really get are movies from best buy or walmart these days at used stores.
 
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DonkeyPunchJr

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Nov 1, 2020
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no, not at all. Even before I switched to mostly digital, I found GameStop to be a bad experience.

Last time I went there to buy a game was Halo 3 launch day. The clerk asked me if I preordered (no) then gave me shit about how it was a hot game and he might not have enough to cover preorders.

I walked over to the Target next door and they had a fucking mountain of Halo 3 copies. Since then I’ve either got my physical games from big box stores or Amazon.


That said, I do have fond memories of shopping for games at Toys R Us, Electronics Boutique, and Funcoland back in the 90s
 
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Alter_Fridge

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Aug 8, 2016
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Would have to be pre Internet days where you didn't know every single game that was coming, out and could target accordingly

What I miss is going into Blockbuster or Video Ezy and finding a game to hire out for the weekend
 
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nullpoynter

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Nov 10, 2013
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I don’t miss going into game stores to buy games. I do miss going into Toys R Us or Service Merchandise to buys games. Sears was also fun back in the day when the games were in the kids section. Also, way back when, Kohl’s was awesome when they had an electronics department. I hated them after they got rid of it.

The pandemic has made shopping in the games section at Best Buy, Target, or Walmart even more sterile than the past. It’s depressing.
Oh wow, Service Merchandise! That's a blast from the past. I remember going there as a kid. Children's Palace was another good place. I remember going there to buy Super Mario Bros. 3 on release day. Dang, I feel old!
 

Fbh

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Dec 6, 2013
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A part of me misses the time when we just didn't know everything about a game before it released.
Aside from the stuff I owned, the only games I knew were basically those my friends owned , the ones I'd see in the magazines I got from time to time or the ones I'd have played on some demo disc. Going into the store and seeing dozens of games I had never even heard about was exciting.

Same with movies. Just going, browsing through a bunch of movies you'd never heard about and picking something up because it looked or sounded interesting. No rotten tamatoes, online buzz, IMDB, etc
 
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SafeOrAlone

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May 22, 2018
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I miss the idea of it, but downloading almost any available game is way too good. I think we've just built a tolerance to how awesome we have it.

Going into the game stores with friends is a fond memory though. Picking up the cases and asking each other if we've heard anything about a certain game etc.
But it's just silly to think how common it was to go in for a certain game only to find out they don't have it, and walk away disappointed. That's just so rare now. Unless something has been de-listed, you have complete control over what you want to play.

Also, it was common to have a lame experience at GameStop. I don't know, first-hand, what it was like to actually work behind the counter there, but it sure wasn't pleasant to shop there. The endless offers and baiting, mixed with the occasional aggressive employee who is hell-bent on getting you to pre-order, to the point of snark. Eh.
 

MachRc

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TKOFromTokyo

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Back in the day I can’t remember if it was toys r us or clover had a liquidation sale of Saturn games and I went with a friend and bought all the good stuff. Burning Rangers, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Shining Force 3, etc.

Didn’t have the concept of flipping back then or I’d have bought more than one of each, but I remember going back a week later to browse some more stuff and almost all of the inventory was gone.

This reminded me of when GameStop and EB Games were trying to unload their NES and SNES used game stocks back in 2003-2004. I bought a lot of classics for cheap. Too bad I didn’t know more about the games back then. I’m sure I passed up some eventually valuable games, but I feel pretty good about picking up games like Earthbound for $20.
 
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Mar 28, 2021
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No. Digital is better and I don’t want to be near any of you in real life. people I’ve seen in game shops are some of the nastiest and cringiest people I’ve had the displeasure of being near.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

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A part of me misses the time when we just didn't know everything about a game before it released.
Aside from the stuff I owned, the only games I knew were basically those my friends owned , the ones I'd see in the magazines I got from time to time or the ones I'd have played on some demo disc. Going into the store and seeing dozens of games I had never even heard about was exciting.

Same with movies. Just going, browsing to a bunch of movied you'd never heard about and picking something up because it looked or sounded interesting. No rotten tamatoes, online buzz, IMDB, etc
Definitely agree with this. It was exciting when you’d go just to see what was new and stumble on to something you didn’t know existed or didn’t know was released already.

Lunar 2 (Sega CD) and Persona 2 are a couple examples where I had no idea they were even available until I went to EB, and walked out of there feeling like I just won the damn lottery. Good times.
 
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BigBooper

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Feb 28, 2018
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The only game stores we had around here was Gamestop, and no, I don't miss them. General electronic stores are good though.
 

ThatOneGrunt

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Feb 23, 2015
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That's how I felt about PC games. Especially because for a time there, they were putting a lot of extra work into their packaging. I loved going to COMPUSA and discovering PC's running games like MechWarrior Mercenaries, Fade to Black, or Freespace. I do miss it, but I also love Steam and digital downloads.
 

AJUMP23

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Sep 29, 2020
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We had some great employees at the local GameStop, held some rare Amiibos for me, because I was nice to them. I appreciated it. We have a retro store as well that has really improved over the years.
 
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Matsuchezz

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Feb 27, 2020
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Games are delivered at my home from the gamestore in 2 hours. I really do not have time nor I want to go to a game store where some teen is asking me what do i need or what i am looking for now that i am 42 years old. When I was a kid in my country there were no videogames stores as such, There was only one Nintendo Store and the prices were ridiculously expensive. So when we got to travel to the US, we were amazed to see video games in walmarts and other stores. We had nothing like that in Mexico. The novelty has passed so many years ago, I still enjoy gaming a lot.
 

Punished Miku

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Jan 13, 2018
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A part of me misses the time when we just didn't know everything about a game before it released.
Aside from the stuff I owned, the only games I knew were basically those my friends owned , the ones I'd see in the magazines I got from time to time or the ones I'd have played on some demo disc. Going into the store and seeing dozens of games I had never even heard about was exciting.

Same with movies. Just going, browsing through a bunch of movies you'd never heard about and picking something up because it looked or sounded interesting. No rotten tamatoes, online buzz, IMDB, etc
I literally walked into a store and found FFX in the cabinet. I didn't know it was coming out. I didn't see any previews. I just saw that jaw-dropping NA cover art and flipped out.

Ran home with it and was greeted with that insane blitzball opening, and my mind was blown.

It's like the ultimate in not having any spoilers enhancing the experience. The less you know, the better your enjoyment.
 
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teezzy

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Mar 18, 2020
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I much prefer being able to make informed purchases and not resorting to blind buys, etc

Steam has been awesome as far as the new standard for men in purchasing games is concerned
 

Metnut

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Jul 18, 2017
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I don’t really like the modern GameStops but going into the Electronics Boutique in the mall (when I was otherwise dragged there by my parents) was always a cool experience. They even had lots of PC games. Aside from Nintendo Power (in my case) it wasn’t as easy as today to see all the games that were available, so browsing in the store was always fun.

I do admit that it’s fun nowadays to be drunk and/or stoned at 11pm and to be able to pick a game, buy it online, and have it DLed and ready to go in half an hour or less in most cases.
 

MachRc

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Mar 19, 2021
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Its cool that we've (the olds) have collectively gone through so many phases of gaming.

From walking 4 city blocks to go to a mom's and pop's video rental store to rent a nes game, ..based on nothing but cover art, because the games were so expensive


To borrowing floppy disks ( and copying paper copy protection) or going into an eggheads store to check out the latest pc games
like aces of pacific or willy beamish


to then have mum and dad drive us to a Blockbusters for SNES/genesis/TG16/3DO/SEGACD/N64/ps1/ps2 games to try out before buying...

and to buying games at Toys R us and now Gamestop.


Now, I cant be bothered anymore to ask a store associate while I am at target to open up the glass so that I can grab a copy of a popular game.
I probably already got the XCI or NSP version of said game, or already have it downloaded on my PC already if its multi plat,
I have already downloaded it off steam, or the consoles' respective online store. Only peasants ask for the associate to open the glass at target.
Ultimately.....for most of us..
Amazon and for used games ebay.

We are right now, like right this minute experiencing the NEW "being in the store and browsing for our next game"
Its all done via online forums and game news outlets, and discord or something. I like this better than picking out the wrong game based on cover art.
welcome to the future.
 

Impotaku

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Jul 26, 2014
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Nope not at all really as i rarely if ever bought games from retail stores, i have grown up playing & buying import games from japan so it's not like i'm getting to pop on a plane to japan and go browse in person.
 

llOswaldll

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Feb 24, 2021
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Yes. The journey to and back from the store built up the fun anticipation a bit. I liked it.

Or being in the second hand store, picking up a random shitty game based on the cover art was fun.
 
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Jul 29, 2013
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I used to love going to Toys "R" Us as a kid, and eventually worked there. It was a fun place. Now actual video game shops like Game Stop, VG+, EB, etc. Those places were shit and the employees almost always complete assholes.
 
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DragoonKain

Neighbours from Hell
Nov 13, 2013
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One thing I do remember is The Legend of Dragoon released on the same day as my last day of my sophomore year in high school. I was too young to drive then so I was still taking the bus, and I had it pre-ordered and I remember taking the bus all the way home, it was like a 45 minute bus ride, excited to pick it up. Then I took the bus up to EB to get my copy, and then I took it home, cranked on the AC, and knew I had an entire summer ahead of me with no school in the way to play the game.

Life's simple pleasures.
 

cireza

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Jun 1, 2014
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It was fun because we were not informed of every single game being released. So we would look at the covers and pick up stuff, and sometimes make great discoveries.

It became pointless when getting the information became easy (internet).