Monday, October 02, 2006

GAME STORE CONFIDENTIAL ~ A visit to the Dark Side

37 miles.

That's what I had to drive in order to attend the Grand Opening celebration of the newest game store in southwest Idaho. Am I dedicated or what? There is a whole subculture of board gamers that would call me stupid for not just logging onto the net and buying from or one of the other circling vultures salivating to feast on the carcasses of the dying B&M retailers.

Actually, now that I think about it... there's a lot of people who have called me stupid. Usually because I didn't give them what they wanted, or sometimes demanded. But that's another story. A long one. It's so long it makes Robert Jordan and his snoozefest Wheel of Time look like amaturish and truncated.

Anyway... a gaggle of long-time gamers who all have shopped and even worked part-time at my old game store opened their own store. I hate the name of the place. I think the location sucks. They don't have enough board games. They bought way too much Warhammer and not enough Reaper miniatures. They need to finish their game room. They have their stupid-looking Manga crapola out front and some of the better games buried on low shelves. They sell putrid Japanese-manga-anime-freak-boy snacks laced with seaweed and fish oil. There wasn't a Snickers Bar or Coca-Cola in sight... just tiny little bottles of Japanese-manga-anime-freak-boy liquid that, for all outward appearances was dredged directly from the sewage outlets in Tokyo harbor, bottled and sent to the USA to meet the vomitous demands of Japanese-manga-anime-freak-boy wannabes.

Let's see... did I miss anything? Oh yeah... and to top it all off, the whole place was full of frickin' gamers!!!

What a nightmare. It's been many long months since I've subjected my fragile soul to a large group of gamers and believe me... I was woefully unprepared for the shock, intensity and sheer unruliness of it. Some sort of counseling will probably be needed now if I ever expect to be my good ol' normal self again.

Now I understand the snobby, holier-than-thou, self-satisfied and soooo obviously superior gamers out there who cast one derogatory comment after another about how unsavory the clientle in game stores is. It's like a whole new world for me. I'm now a customer, not an owner. I have seen the light! I have had an epiphany of epic proportion! I am a new man! One of the exalted few!

Yes... it's true... I have ascended to the envied level of Homo Gamus Novus. I can now say with certainty that the only reason game stores exist is so the common, little people can have a mean and rude place to mingle, touch and breath in the awfulness of other human beings.

Yes... I am now... better than you!

I'm a customer! I now wield the white gold (which, in this case, is actually a PayPal card, but that's splitting hairs). I'm happy that I inadvertantly exposed myself to a game store experience this early in my ascensionhood. Some might say I'm now damaged goods as a patronizing know-it-all, but I disagree. It didn't kill me, so, according to that weird French dude, it made me a stronger jerk that I might normally have been at this stage in my arising. Here's a list of the ruffians and miscreants I exposed myself to. That I survived this mob of lowlifes ought to prove I was ready for this sudden elevation to better-than-you-ness:

An engineer... no, make that three engineers! Oh, the horror!

A doctor. Obviously a quack and a lowbred, who else would run a "family practice"?

A high school basketball coach. Probably a perv, or worse, a Commie.

An IT guy for Public Television. If it quacks like a Commie... well?

At least four females. Most likely lesbians or controlling bitches, otherwise why were they there instead of home cooking, cleaning and primping?

A couple who own a health juice bar. Ugh! If it tastes healthy it's probably laced with drugs.

Three call center employees. Certainly not up to our standards, trailer trash for sure.

Someone driving a Honda Hybrid. Ugly is as ugly does.

Half a dozen employees of Micron. Corporate drones and not suitable for much else.

A guy who is some sort of mamby-pamby youth counseler. Most likely deals drugs on the side.

I heard rumor several other Commie teachers had been there, it's like a swarm of evil.

One large, scary looking guy in an overcoat. No trace of BO, but at least he was scary.

One small scary looking guy sans overcoat. My customer since about 1985, despite being both small and not having an overcoat he still is kinda creepy looking.

A series of teenagers who for all appearances were definitely teenagers. Suitable only for shunning and a possible drubbing because they are beneath us Royal types who have standards.

It was awful. Several of these people were fat. Others dressed poorly... sheesh, a doctor in high-tops? Who's he kidding? While no pit stains or visible aromas were present I'm certain they were there. I suspect I haven't been exalted long enough to develop a fine sense of how others aren't as good as me. But I'm working on that.

At one point I was forcebly penned in by four of these minions-of-lessness and they made me play a new game. I pretended to have fun because I knew I was outnumbered, but my laughs rang hollow and my face hurt from constantly forcing a fake smile. My god! I thought I'd never get out of that horrid place and back to my calm, quiet and barren ivory tower. Any other of you Game Royalty out there who want to gen me in on how to properly equip a barren ivory tower and set alarms so the common folk never get in, I'm up for suggestions.

So after nearly 5 hours of this nightmarish experience (well, the cookies were good... home baked... but probably festering with germs) I drug my weary bones out to my gas-chugging truck and made the long, dangerous, 37 mile trek back to my barony.

Finally, I am one with the superior gamers who have seen that gaming is so much better if it only involves a small, hand-picked selection of people. Certainly they will have have all been tested for disease and are known to never fart in public. They must have creases ironed into their jeans, wear matching socks and be able to speak and even laugh in German. They most likely never go anywhere but work, to the game night and to the online deep discounters. In short, I have finally finished traveling the long and arduous path that has led me to understand that gaming is only really good if you don't have to actually touch or see gamers in their natural environment. My god! I am so glad I discovered how unruly real people are.

Yes... I think I'll go back though. It's like studying a lower lifeform. Maybe I can figure out the source of their sickness and somehow remove the taint they all suffer from... the taint... of ... human contact!



Anonymous said...


I am concerned that if you make the trip to Idaho Falls in two weekends for the first ever Idaho Convention for Boardgamers, it may destroy your recently ascended mind. I hope you will strengthen yourself with a few additional visits to this new game store so that you can withstand the shock of something like a boardgame convention.

Funny stuff, as always.

Paul Kidd said...

DW, it almost seems as though you are being sarcastic, but I know that must not be true as there are no emoticons at all. Therefore, I must express shock and outrage at your shameful and offensive putting down of other gamers and the game store and give you a five minute rant about being sensitive in public fora.

But maybe I won't.

Anonymous said...

You running out of good eurosnob material. I think it's time to update your act with another target. What could be the new evil in the gaming world recently? I'm feeling dreamblade game is becoming an over hyped cult status. Maybe they will make for good fodder. If you're lucky they will all be Washington lobbyists thet work for the newly formed Georgia Christian coalition tobacco growers. Wow, that would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Dame Koldfoot said...

As much as I enjoy your writing, I really must take issue with your comments regarding women. First, I am a female gamer who has never once thought about batting for the "other" team. The idea of fooling around some crack-addict skinny, dreadlocked, vegan chick is just plain repulsive (excuse me while I vomit). I'm much too fond of my big, hairy (but appropriately groomed), meat-eating Coldfoot. Second, I guess I am a controlling bitch. I control the roads, the ports, the armies, the wharfs, the bridges, the commodities, and the El Grande. Third, why can't women cook and clean before game night, primp, then kick the crap out of the guys? I always say that I never beat Coldie enough.

As far as dealing with the Game Royals, feed them the good snacks (save the El Cheapo generics and store brands for the commoners). Then get a yourself a good title like the Sheep Baron or Overlord of San Juan. How does the King of Spuds sound?

DWTripp said...

Ah, Michael suggests I lay of the EuroSnoots. Well, I have. Now I'm picking on people who are too good for game stores... but you knew that didn't you?

From Dame Coldfoot:

I always say that I never beat Coldie enough.

Wow. If that's not a classic line, what is? Thanks Missus Coldie for making me laugh early in the morning. And I don't view any lovely lady as "less" because they are control freaks. It's part of the allure ;)

Wish I could make the Idaho Falls trip, but that's the week-end I have to go to LA for some non-gaming related biz.

Spud King huh? I remember those potato sacks with that guy on them.....

Anonymous said...

Hey, well at least we both hate the Manga-Anighey crap infesting the game stores lately. If I see one more goth-dweeb sucking on some japanese twizzle stick trying to show me crappy fan art of some big eyed rabbit-human queer clone named "Isukicockura" I may have to give out a hurtsdonut.

Anonymous said...

Are you planning on going to Fandemonium then?, Its an anime/gamer con in August. Hope to see you there. =D

Anonymous said...

Ahh! Sorry. That was the wrong site.