Putting the F-U In Fun

June 12, 2007

Store: Funcoland
Location: North Haven, CT
Employee Description: A veritable retard rodeo
Submitted By: Chris Kohler

So as bad as EB Games and GameStop employees get, these days, just be glad you never have to go to a Funcoland anymore. Good gravy. That store (now part of the great EBGameFunSoftwareBabbageColandStopGames Etc. monolith) was a hundred times worse, since there didn’t seem to be any oversight at all against rampant employee hoarding and awful customer service.

Employees could and often did take any game that was any good (remember, this was back when the store carried everything all the way back to the NES) and put it in a drawer for themselves until such time as they felt like buying it. Then they’d brag about it; I remember one employee actually showing me a perfect copy of Baku Baku for Saturn, which he was holding on to until the price dropped in the system.

They seemed to hate all customers. Here’s a typical incident, which occurred as I was buying Panzer Dragoon Zwei:

Guy: Hey, would you like to be a Fun Club member? You get a subscription to Game Informer.

Me: I’m not interested.

Guy: (Mock incredulity) You’re not interested in knowing what’s going on in the video game industry?

Guy: Naw, he likes reading all those magazines filled up with ADS.

Remember, this was in 1995, back when Game Informer was one giant ad.

One more before I get back to work: In the summer of 1999, all Funcoland stores got Dreamcast demo units with Sonic Adventure. So I headed in there to see if our branch had one. Nothing. Just as I was about to leave, the employee’s three buddies walk in and I hear him say to them, “Hey guys, wanna play the Dreamcast?” So he goes over, unlocks a display case, and there’s the customer demo unit — kept locked up for the enjoyment of the employee and his pals. Of course, having just given away the secret, he pretty much had to let me play it. But he wasn’t happy.

The store’s still there, except it’s a GameStop now and not nearly as awful a place to be. I’ve never been so happy to see a brand get dismantled.

What the hell is EDTV??

June 11, 2007

Store: GameStop
Location: Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, CT
Employee Description: I don’t remember, but not Thor…
Submitted By: Nick Utter

GameStop employees have to be aware of all things video game, I suppose. That can be tough in this broadband/HD/audiophile world. I actually involved myself in this conversation briefly. In short, a customer and an employee got in a conversation around televisions (as the 360 had just launched and the PS3 was believed to be just around the corner). The employee assured the customer that any TV with “Red/Green/Blue” (Component) cables in the back, was HD. It doesn’t matter if the manufacturer says it’s HD, HD Ready, or an HD Monitor; if it has spots for those cables it’s HD.

I hopped in explaining the difference between HDTVs, and HD Ready sets. I noted the existence of EDTV and that even some SDTVs had these inputs. I lost them at EDTV, I suppose. Sure, they were dying at the time, but the employee just started laughing and asking what the hell EDTV was. I let the customer know that I stand by what I said, but he was going to stick with the guy with the cash register and believe that his 4:3 set was an HDTV based on the video inputs.

Store: EB Games
Location: Buckland Hills Mall in Manchester, CT
Employee Description: Too much turnover to remember
Submitted By: Nick Utter

This was right about the time that GTA was finally announced for the Xbox. I was browsing the store looking for God knows what and a mother and her small child entered the store. The boy couldn’t have been more than 10. Anyhow, mom noted that she wanted a videogame system for her boy and that he wanted two games. She looked down at him and he noted that he wanted Grand Theft Auto and Halo.

After the parent of the year ceremony ended, the clerk let her know that she’d want a PS2 for her boy. He noted that GTA was a Sony franchise and that those games weren’t going anywhere. As for Halo? Microsoft was going under and Sony was already in position to buy the rights to the Halo franchise…