A tiny bit of knowledge

So, having left my retail job, I ventured forth into my newfound “customer” status. For those of you in the tech field, this is somewhat similar to what happens when you call tech support and someone on the other end is muttering the word, “user” underneath their breath.

In a nutshell, I went shopping for video games–and for the first time in a long time, not from my old store. Just for the record, the “old store” is frequently the number one Electronic’s Boutique on the East Coast. I also believe that it is the number one store nationwide. Both are in terms of yearly sales. Store 176, Pentagon City.

I went out shopping for one game, Panzer Dragoon Orta for the Xbox.

The game has an eight year legacy, having been a early title for the SEGA Saturn. It was the pinnacle of shooter excellence. In an industry rife with clones and shovelware, Panzer Dragoon stood out from the countless other action shooting games. It had a fantastic soundtrack, great graphics, simple but rewarding gameplay, and a rich backstory. It had two sequels, Panzer Dragoon Zwei, and Panzer Dragoon Saga, both of which were also extremely good.

Panzer Dragoon Saga can catch up to one hundred dollars on auction sites like ebay, due to its rarity (five thousand copies in the United States) and the fact that it is possibly one of the finer games released during the last days of the SEGA Saturn.

In summary, the Panzer Dragoon series is one of those few games with a heritage. Enthusiasts worldwide have been eagerly awaiting its sequel, Panzer Dragoon Orta, ever since its announcement over a year ago.

Thus, it was extremely disappointing when I went out to buy it, the register monkey behind the counter at EB had no idea what I was talking about. Nor did he know that it was on the Xbox. This is a video game store. It sells nothing else. With some tooth pulling, I eventually learned that the street date had been pushed back one day. Off to another store to see if they had broken the street date. (Retailers frequently receive hot titles a day or two in advance, but are legally restricted from selling them. Larger chains, like WalMart, BestBuy and Toys R Us frequently break street date, due to the fact that their drones–er, employees place product on the shelves as soon as they arrive.)

On to Toys R Us, where I received a blank stare and a recommendation to come back next week if I saw an advertisement for it. So much for their recent restructuring to split their associates into video game specialists.

I’m not even going to talk about Best Buy.

::Must. . . Control. . . Fist. . . of. . . Death:: *

Okay, maybe I’m being a stickler for product knowledge. Maybe I’m some sort of video game freak. But in my experience, these are the kinds of salespeople that sell Grand Theft Auto to eleven year olds without a second blink. Or recommend nothing but Barbie video games to girls. In short, these types of sales associates hurt the gaming industry and create an unsavory image for the companies that they work for.

Ah well. Back to store 176 for me.

*Fist of death ™ shamelessly stolen from Dilbert and zenflea.