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

TKOFromTokyo

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Honestly, I feel bad for my kids. Sure, life is more convenient now than when I grew up, but you really miss out on experiencing the use of several of your senses shopping in person at stores. What’s left doesn’t have that same aura when in a big box store or purchased digitally. It’s like eating at chain restaurants or having a delivery service deliver from a local restaurant. Sure, they are convenient, but the lost experience is tragic to me.
 

Rat Rage

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Aug 13, 2019
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I miss going to some of my favorite smaller stores in my town, where you could not only get games, but also get imports and even some cool action figures. Some of the owners where pretty cool and I enjoyed having a chat with them.
 

IntentionalPun

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Aug 28, 2019
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Not really.. I still do it for my collection of retro consoles.

But I'd rather they all just have digital stores TBH.

If there is a media-based retail thing I "miss", it's browsing through a video rental store. Had some really nice ones where I live that were massive, and full of a lot of cult classic movies and things like that. Not that I would want to go without the digital store experience, but I do miss the weekly rental store visits.

Game stores it's just a single wall of poorly organized games and a bunch of stinky people crowding into a small space.
 
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Animagic

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Jun 6, 2019
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Yes and no.
The industry has done everything in their power to make the games themselves and the process of buying a game into something completely disposable.

So what if I only bought your game for $4 in a sale. I’m never going to play through it all anyway.
 
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poodaddy

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May 2, 2015
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I miss the memories associated with those times, but not necessarily the activity if that makes sense. I'm past physical games, but I do remember gaming being such a simpler, funner hobby when I was like 6 to 21, and in the past 13 years it's become such a huge overarching business that it just doesn't seem like the business has a soul anymore.

Truth is it probably never did, but my childish nostalgia won't let me acknowledge that.
 

RoboFu

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Oct 10, 2017
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I only miss big carts. If they started making games on big carts I’d start buying physical again.
 

RoadHazard

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It was certainly more exciting. I don't really get excited about buying games anymore. Didn't even really feel excited when I was taking my PS5 home. I just know so much about every game or console before I buy them these days, so I pretty much know exactly what I'm getting. When I was a kid I just bought what looked cool. Sure, I ended up with more crap games than I do now, but it was a more exciting time.
 
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TKOFromTokyo

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I only miss big carts. If they started making games on big carts I’d start buying physical again.

 

Petaya Berry

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Jun 21, 2017
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The only time that I casualy walked into a game shop, I bought Dragon Ball Z: Budokai for the GameCube.
The game sucks so my experience was awful and I do not miss at all.
 

Orta

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Apr 26, 2018
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Nope. I was never one for browsing.

Enter store, find game, bring it to the counter, no chit-chat, pay for game, leave store, go home. Done and dusted in three minutes.
 
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teezzy

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Mar 18, 2020
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I miss having to track down an underpaid walmart employee to open up the locked glass shelves to give me a game.

Bahaha, you're a good egg 😅

Video game fans love to idealize the past so much. I used to manage a GameStop. Believe me, it's always been trash
 
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Kilau

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I have nostalgia for picking the ticket out at Toys R Us and bringing it to the window to get my game but unless it’s a retro shop, browsing has no appeal for me.
 

TKOFromTokyo

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Bahaha, you're a good egg 😅

Video game fans love to idealize the past so much. I used to manage a GameStop. Believe me, it's always been trash

Not when I got all those sweet deals on old games they were trying to dump.

Otherwise, yes, I never enjoyed GameStop or Funcoland before that. Toys R Us, KB Toys, Service Merchandise, Sears, and Kohl’s were a different story.
 

teezzy

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Not when I got all those sweet deals on old games they were trying to dump.

Otherwise, yes, I never enjoyed GameStop or Funcoland before that. Toys R Us, KB Toys, Service Merchandise, Sears, and Kohl’s were a different story.

There was a thrill in retro game hunting back when I was a collector, admittedly

Flea markets, thrift stores, garage sales, etc

It was like treasure hunting
 
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Hinedorf

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Feb 3, 2017
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I used to when I was a kid. I can distinctly remember when that feeling changed and it's when you'd get accosted the moment you'd walk into a Gamespot for preorders/trade ins. The business literally murdered their own customer base through shitty tactics.
 

CyberChulo

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Jan 21, 2009
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As a kid in the 80's in NYC, I used to love going to The Wiz or Crazy Eddie to buy that Sega Master System or Genesis game. But as a 46 year old. I can't be bothered with that stuff anymore. I went half digital on PS3 and full digital on PS4 and PS5. No more waiting for midnight releases especially during these harsh times.
 

Quasicat

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Aug 8, 2019
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When I was in college, I frequently visited the Best Buy that was down the road for deals. It was in the tail end of the PS1, Dreamcast, and N64 cycle and all of those games were clearanced out. Even some new, late gen, releases were dirt cheap. I remember one day walking in and picking up Conker’s Bad Fir Day and Skies of Arcadia for $15 a piece shortly after they were released. I went back a few months ago, since I don’t get into the city much anymore and it was sad to see how much smaller the games and movie departments have gotten.
 
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hybrid_birth

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Bahaha, you're a good egg 😅

Video game fans love to idealize the past so much. I used to manage a GameStop. Believe me, it's always been trash
I believe you. If I want a physical game I order online from Amazon. Though I did get a free $60 game because the gamestop cashier didn't do his job. He put the 2nd game in the bag and gave me my receipt and I left.

It was around the holidays so he was probably overworked. Easy mistake to make.
 
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MastaKiiLA

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Jun 11, 2020
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Back in the states, I ordered everything except groceries online. Grocery shopping requires browsing for me. I like to select specific fruits and veggies, or other items. So a visual inspection is required. But everything was online. Brick and mortar is dying for a reason. Going into stores sucked.
 
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teezzy

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Hook me up to a feeding tube, strap on a diaper, and plop me into a wheelchair with my fightstick to Tekken it up

The future is hella lit 🔥 🙌
 
J

JeremyEtcetera

Unconfirmed Member
The main thing I kind of miss is taking a gamble and renting that hidden gem game.


It's cool that we have services now to replicate that feeling like Game Pass and PS Now.
 

Excess

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Dec 8, 2020
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Yes and no.
The industry has done everything in their power to make the games themselves and the process of buying a game into something completely disposable.

So what if I only bought your game for $4 in a sale. I’m never going to play through it all anyway.

This irony of convenience and ease has ruined so many of our wallets:

 

Swoopsail

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Apr 18, 2021
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Maybe if it was as awesome as I remember as a kid:

I remember in 1995 Mechwarrior 2 was released. It was a big deal for being a step up for its time (horribly dated now). There were lots of small mom-and-pop pc stores you could go to. They had racks of pc video games (ones no one even remembers today) and they used to even have demo computers set up to test these games all over. I got to test out the all new Sidewinder Joystick, which you could use to twist the torso of your mech as you stomped through the earth. It was the first 3D game I ever saw and I was blown away. I had to have it. And sure enough, I spent so many hours of my life tinkering with the tonnage, weapons, heatsinks, and toys of destruction called mechs.

Fast-forward, 1996, and N64 puts out Mario 64 for test displays in hundreds of stores. My first experience ever is Dire Dire Docks with the 3D controller and life has never been the same since. Absolutely blown away. I'd lose my mind a year later when I actually got an N64 and convinced my parents to get me James Bond: Goldeneye. Then I finally dusted off this game that I had also gotten, but never quite bothered to give a try. Maybe you've heard of it? Ocarina of Time :D :D :D. I lost so many hours to that game.

The hype felt golden and felt real. Nothing has come close with digital stores, but I cannot fault the convenience of how games exist today.
 

killatopak

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Aug 29, 2013
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Back when I didn’t even look for news about game releases yeah.

It was the time when metacritic or even magazine reviews didn’t register in my purchasing decisions.

My criteria was always the cover art and the descriptions at the back.

It was surprisingly awesome. So many gems that would be overlooked had I listened to others.
 

aclar00

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Apr 7, 2020
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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.

I missed the excitement of video game magazines more the browsing. I would regularly pay the onshelf price of EGM on a regular basis, depending upon the game on the cover. I also had an occassional subscription of EGM and EGM 2...maybe game informer as well. Reading gaming news today isnt the same...primarily due to being an adult unfortunately....shits just not magical anymore.

Browsing for me was more so for rentals at blockbuster or hollywood video. There was another forum topic on manuals amd artwork. Also miss thosr a bit. Used to read those cover to cover.
 

nush

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Oct 16, 2017
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A long haul flight from wherever you are.
I miss that there were a lot of stores that sold videogames, I could kill time in the shopping centre just walking round them all and bargain hunting. Once I had a good Ebay business picking up all the sell outs and preowned games from the stores. There was an art to it and it was quite time consuming but all the preowned games in the later years just became all bashed up and then there were just two places to buy games from in the end.
You can occasionally find good stuff at car boots and charity shops but that's a different thing from just going to a store.

Now bargain hunting is just scrolling through the games list of console sale day, to be honest digital sales are way cheaper than discounted discs anyway.
 

JayK47

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Nov 2, 2019
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I miss going into CompUSA and picking up new games discounted. They always seemed to have new games around $35. I also miss Funcoland. Used to be a decent sized store with tons of new and old games. Gamestops are all hole in the wall dumps that now hardly have any games.
 

Ten_Fold

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Jan 18, 2017
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I go to Best Buy, Walmart and we got a retro game store. Why would I go full digital? I actually like to socialize.
 

Brofist

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I still buy some Switch games boxed, so I do hit the game shops every couple months to see what's new.
 

Dr Bass

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Jun 6, 2013
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Somewhat yeah. I remember going to Toys R Us and getting that slip for a NES or SNES game ... paying for it at the counter and then going to pick it up from the booth. That just always felt so awesome. I only got to buy like one game a year back when I was a kid so it always felt really special, and something about that process elevated the experience even further. I miss that kind of innocent joy, but that's just a part of childhood that is always lost as you become on adult.

I miss browsing Tower Records for new music too. I wouldn't go back to the old ways if it were possible, but I still think we've lost a feeling of exploration.
 

CitizenZ

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Jan 14, 2021
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There was a store, dont recall the name, but it was huge and is of course OOB. It was broken out into 4 separate areas for music, movies, games and books. I would go there every few months and would spend close to 2 hrs looking for deals. Those were good days.
 
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Rest

All these years later I still chuckle at what a fucking moron that guy is.
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No, I still do it weekly.
 

Rest

All these years later I still chuckle at what a fucking moron that guy is.
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There was a store, dont recall the name, but it was huge and is of course OOB. It was broken out into 4 separate areas for music, movies, games and books. I would go there every few months and would spend close to 2 hrs looking for deals. Those were good days.
Sounds like Tower or Hastings, or any number of regional chains or local media stores.
 

Danjin44

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I still go to my local EBgames since its close to my house but I don't browse, I already know what I'm getting before entering the store and I don't see no point for it, its not like shopping for cloths.
 

6502

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Jan 25, 2021
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Hmmm the specialist game stores? Absolutely not.

EB (from memory) - hey nice game but you should be buying x we want to sell you instead. Those mint second hand games have been scribbled all over too.

Game - good luck finding a game that isn't £20 overpriced, or second hand at just £5 cheaper - despite us destroying it with scribble on the box, manual and disk. We specialise in overpriced nintendo mugs. Its the shelf 20x larger than actual nintendo games.

Cex - hey we dont scribble on the games! We just deface it with god awful stickers. We ensure all games have the original owners suspect stains and dead skin on everything. Only the filthiest shit cash generators refuse will do. Oh btw, that one good retro game in the window is £60 cuz google. No bargains for you.


I don't think we were any better served than when we bought games from newsagents and woolworths.

I get far better bargains from Amazon.

They have made themselves irrelevant to all but lunch time school kid browsers and clueless parents.
 

Aenima

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For years that i usually just buy my games on online shops and get them delivered. Covid did not changed anything about my gaming purchase habits.
 

daTRUballin

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Yeah, I mean, there was definitely something a bit magical about going into a game store as a kid and either trying to see if they had a game you wanted or just seeing if there was anything that interested you without knowing anything about the games.

I still remember discovering as a kid that Banjo Kazooie had a sequel in Banjo Tooie on the N64 when I visited a local game store (that sadly has closed down not too long ago) and my parents buying it for me that day.

Some time later after playing Tooie and seeing the ending cutscene where Grunty promises "Banjo Threeie", without having any access to the internet, I just assumed that there just HAD to be a Banjo Threeie on the N64 too lol. So I went back to that very same store one day and even asked the register people if they had Banjo Threeie. They kinda looked at me like I was weird and said there was no "Threeie" in their store. Of course, once I discovered the internet for the first time and looked it up for myself, I found out there was never a Banjo Threeie and instead there was some weird vehicle-based sequel called Nuts & Bolts on the 360........You can imagine how dumbfounded and confused I was lol

And this wasn't even in the 90's as it was for a lot of you older folks. I'm on the younger side of this site, so this was in the late 2000's. I didn't start browsing the internet until I was about 12 in 2009.
 
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Swoopsail

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I miss going into CompUSA and picking up new games discounted. They always seemed to have new games around $35. I also miss Funcoland. Used to be a decent sized store with tons of new and old games. Gamestops are all hole in the wall dumps that now hardly have any games.
If CompUSA still existed id go there for games. It closed awhile back in my area (might still be holding out elsewhere?). Id go there and then hop in next door to a fancy Borders that let you hear the music albums for sale with headphones.
 

BadBurger

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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.

My older brother has tales of these halcyon days. He said Toys R Us used to have all of the consoles behind glass with numerous displays running demos of games. It sounded like Disney World for gamers. I wish I could have seen it.
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
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not to me, i buy physical copies via online, i dont even need to go out : D