8) Retail Game Distributor
We at GamesRadar would like to preface this section by saying that a fair share of us have worked as these fine men and women on the frontlines of gaming at one time or another. And because of this, we feel compelled to say that the game store clerk is a major threat to videogames.
First and foremost, far too many of them have what we like to refer to as "High Fidelity Syndrome". Have you ever walked into a game store, asked for a game, and then gotten an eye roll or some sort of judgmental attitude or comment considering your choice of digital entertainment? If you have, and we're betting pretty much most people have, you know what were talking about here.
You: "I'd like a copy of Metal Gear AC!D 2, please. I heard it's kinda cool and really different."
Them: [with disdain] "No, it sucks. I wouldn't even call it a game. But considering PSP isn't a real system, it kinda makes sense. Would you like to purchase our discount card with that? It comes with this free Game Informer subscription."
That's a real conversation we saw take place. Now imagine how that would feel if you were a newbie? Might be little off-putting huh? No one should run the risk of ridicule just because they're buying a game they want. They just wanna play something fun.
While the clerks' better-than-you attitude might be discouraging, it doesn't hurt us as gamers as much as the dirt bag corporate policies of these retail chains. They buy used games for way too little and sell them for way too much - and to be honest, the used games market ravages the finances of publishers and developers (who don't get a dime of profit on previously-used games) so much that it's really not worth the five bucks you save. Then there's the truly disgusting practice of actually pushing games on people for profit, and not just the small amount made off the sale.
Check out our Confessions of a Game Store Clerk - they actually are paid by game companies to try to get you to buy certain games. Trust us, clerks are not trying to save you money by pushing used games or sale merch. They're just trying to meet their quota or get their district manager off their backs. Yet, if you read their confessions (and our follow-up nightmare stories) you'll see that they deserve a little sympathy. After all they deal with the rest of the folks on this list on regular basis.
By the way: retailers are also the ones who constantly hand M-rated games to eight year-olds (albeit often with parental permission). Which is bad because it demonstrates to politicians and parents that our industry is too irresponsible to police itself so they'd better just make it all illegal. Which sucks.
How do we fight him?
That's easy. Buy new instead of used when you can, and listen to yourself, your friends, and press sites like GamesRadar instead of retailers. His job is to take your money. Ours is to help you decide how best to spend it in the best way for you. And if you hear a clerk dropping some broken knowledge and you can offer something to the conversation, jump in and shoot off your own two cents.