5 reasons why going to the shops in games doesn't suck

Real-life shopping. Unless you enjoy shambling about like an extra in a Romero flick, it's a mostly soul-destroying activity that ranks somewhere between 'watching The X Factor' and 'tasting vomit' on our list of Things We'd Rather Not Do If We Can Help It. So it's testament to the subversive qualities of games that they can make shopping not suck. How do games do it - what makes shopping in games so much more enjoyable than shopping in real-life? We think these might have *something* to do with it...

The customer is ALWAYS right. Otherwise people die

Shopkeeper not providing a satisfactory service? Kill him. Then nick the money out the cash register. It's retail therapy at its finest.

Buying guns is more fun than buying socks

Games have an extremely relaxed approach to the trading and ownership of dangerous weapons. It doesn't matter that we're playing as a bare-chested, extravagantly coiffured teenager - if we want a 7ft broadsword we can buy a 7ft broadsword. And no virtual shopkeeper has ever demanded to see a gun licence before handing over a pair of shiny new Desert Eagles. Even cute little cel-shaded Link can wander into a bomb shop and fill his inventory with explosives. It's not socially responsible, but shopping is officially better when it involves stockpiling weapons.

The shopkeepers are way more interesting

Snarky demons, entrepreneurial raccoon dogs, OAP ninjas, aggressive parrots... unless you're on a Fear and Loathing dosage of mind-bending narcotics, real-world shopkeepers are pretty grey and boring compared to the bizarre array of vendors that video games have to offer. The weekly shop would be so much more bearable if the dude at the checkout spoke like a pirate and had a trench coat full of weapons.

You can go shopping and come back with MORE money

The worst thing about real-life shopping is that you'll return from your encounter with high street commerce with far less money than you started out with. That's how shopping works. And we hate it. So we love the fact that in the upside-down world of games we can take any old piece of shit that we happen to find lying about the place, take it to a shop and they'll buy it. It's a brilliant system that we wish our local convenience store would adopt.

You never have to wait around to get served

Sure, video games take some perverse pleasure in making us wait around for mandatory installs and the next level to load up, but at least we get prompt service in their shops. We're always the only customer that seems interested in actually buying anything, so we never have to stand about in queues with all the other consumer mental bovines. And the staff are always ready to serve - you'll never find Tom Nook 'out the back' jerking off over some dirty tanuki porn.

February 11, 2010 

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  • iNSANE - February 13, 2010 1:39 p.m.

    You can sell eny thing and everything!
  • Fiirestorm21 - February 13, 2010 10:46 a.m.

    Haha. Number 4 does it for me. If game shops were real they'd go broke (factoring in Number 5--that I'm their only customer apparently). And then comes along games where merchants have limited cash for buying your stuff. Bah, what nonsense.
  • venomman01 - February 12, 2010 3 p.m.

    The merchant skill is so useless....
  • TheWebSwinger - February 12, 2010 8:57 a.m.

    Does that say "Hella"? I didn't know the Brits knew about "hella"...
  • camelfro - February 12, 2010 7:54 a.m.

    awesome article guyzz keep up the gud work!!
  • Cwf2008 - February 12, 2010 3:53 a.m. we really want some guy in a trench coat packing automatic weapons and/or deadly missiles serving us? Umm no thanks i'll take the shopkeeper that doensnt have the ability to blow me up
  • lewis42025 - February 12, 2010 3:44 a.m.

    lol, "UNDER 21? BUY SOME BOMBS!" hilarious article, but xboxrulez is just as funny as always. it's okay buddy, others may not get you, but i do...i do.
  • bbrinko - February 12, 2010 3:05 a.m.

    You do indeed raise some very valid points there. Jess
  • GameManiac - February 12, 2010 2:52 a.m.

    Whoever wrote this article forgot reason #6: Buyers tend to have abysses for pockets. (Just my opinion). I loved the humor, and the truth, in this article. You can buy whatever you want, and keep on coming more often than normal! Take that USA and your economic recession! (Not's just a joke.)
  • Cyberninja - February 12, 2010 1:28 a.m.

    i wish the customer was allways right in castlevaina that way i could every thing for free like potions and the soul eater ring
  • Ninja-KiLLR - February 12, 2010 1:10 a.m.

    "how about some hard drugs?" lolz that made my day GR
  • Wriggly - February 12, 2010 12:49 a.m.

    One of the reasons it's bad is because of the re-sale value of any item in games is always a lot lower than the buying price. Recaptcha - extremes Bench
  • DrRock - February 11, 2010 9:28 p.m.

    The only gave that I really enjoyed dealing with shopkeepers was Fallout. My locker at my Megaton home is full of useless stuff. When I would play evil I would totally kill merchants and take all their goods. That should be an option for the completely useless video game vendors. Shot to the head and exploding gibs.
  • Yeager1122 - February 11, 2010 8:21 p.m.

    Not all shopping in games is fun sometimes its a boring pain in the ass but i agree most of the time its really fun.
  • DriveShaft - February 11, 2010 8:07 p.m.

    Now if only we could hock a bottle of cola for $11 in the real world x] Damn you Fallout 3!
  • jackthemenace - February 11, 2010 7:44 p.m.

    yeah, i agree with rxb, that always annoys me >X( but i loved the dirty tanuki porn bit. only thing is, thhese articles should be longer!
  • Bloodstorm - February 11, 2010 7:06 p.m.

    not to mention they restock daily if they have to restock at all. You can always find what you are after.
  • oryandymackie - February 11, 2010 5:44 p.m.

    And in Dead Rising you can hide in Ned's Knicknackery when you feel overwhelmed by the unded...I just use it to stock up on katanas.
  • Dolan88fan - February 11, 2010 5:31 p.m.

    yeah i remember how interesting the shopping in fallout 3 was. buy all the stimpacks and sell them ammo for guns i wouldnt use
  • TRAVthe3RD - February 11, 2010 2:58 p.m.

    i loved how in the zelda games (not sure if it still happens in the newer games) but in the game boy games if you stole an item from the shop if you returned the keeper would be absolutely pissed an swiftly kill you.. bit harsh but funny as

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