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The Biggest Lie I've Read All Week

And I guess I'll throw in the runner-up, while I'm at it.

MAD FAKE
From Stephen Totilo's interview with GameStop VP of merch, Bob McKenzie:

Multiplayer: And if someone drives themselves to a mall this Christmas season and sees on one end of the mall a GameStop and on the other a Wal-Mart or Target or any of your competitors, why should they walk into your store and buy the games there?

McKenzie: They’re going to have the best experience shopping at GameStop. Our people are passionate about what we do. They’re very knowledgeable and they’re going to be able to help the customer get into the right gaming experience.

This inspired a Kevin Pereira-like "really!?!!!?" out of me. Are you telling me that the same chain of stores that is trying to ram pre-orders down my stupid throat every time I get within 40 feet of the store is the "right" gaming experience? That the store that sold me an open copy of The World Ends With You as new because it was their last copy, but still charged me the full, new price is the "right" gaming experience? That the store that once tried to sell me on a third-party N64 controller by claiming that they came from the same mold even though you could clearly see that the controller was not at all like the official controller contains "very knowledgeable" people?

(OK, old grudges die hard, I guess. But that N64 controller was total garbage.)

Point being, I usually feel sort of filthy after leaving a GameStop.

For the record, I don't actually think that Target or Wal-Mart are much better, since you often have to flag down some shiftless wage-slave who's too busy trying to shake last night's bong session out of his brain to open the stupid glass case and get you a game. At least they usually share my sentiment of really not wanting to be there.

The runner-up for the lie of the week is only really the runner-up because it doesn't make me all outraged. It's technically way bigger and way more interesting. Cheap Ass Gamer apparently held some sort of secret sneaky contest through its podcast to trick gaming blogs into running a hoax. The hoax concerns a fake document that talks about a name change for the Xbox 360.

A bunch of blogs ran the story, and some of them got all pouty about it once it was apparent they'd been fooled. If we had been, you know, awake, we almost certainly would have run it, too, so please don't mistake this for some sort of holier-than-thou nonsense. Instead, take it as pretty firm evidence that the battle between speed and accuracy continues to rage on inside us all.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
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Posted by Jeff
MAD FAKE
From Stephen Totilo's interview with GameStop VP of merch, Bob McKenzie:

Multiplayer: And if someone drives themselves to a mall this Christmas season and sees on one end of the mall a GameStop and on the other a Wal-Mart or Target or any of your competitors, why should they walk into your store and buy the games there?

McKenzie: They’re going to have the best experience shopping at GameStop. Our people are passionate about what we do. They’re very knowledgeable and they’re going to be able to help the customer get into the right gaming experience.

This inspired a Kevin Pereira-like "really!?!!!?" out of me. Are you telling me that the same chain of stores that is trying to ram pre-orders down my stupid throat every time I get within 40 feet of the store is the "right" gaming experience? That the store that sold me an open copy of The World Ends With You as new because it was their last copy, but still charged me the full, new price is the "right" gaming experience? That the store that once tried to sell me on a third-party N64 controller by claiming that they came from the same mold even though you could clearly see that the controller was not at all like the official controller contains "very knowledgeable" people?

(OK, old grudges die hard, I guess. But that N64 controller was total garbage.)

Point being, I usually feel sort of filthy after leaving a GameStop.

For the record, I don't actually think that Target or Wal-Mart are much better, since you often have to flag down some shiftless wage-slave who's too busy trying to shake last night's bong session out of his brain to open the stupid glass case and get you a game. At least they usually share my sentiment of really not wanting to be there.

The runner-up for the lie of the week is only really the runner-up because it doesn't make me all outraged. It's technically way bigger and way more interesting. Cheap Ass Gamer apparently held some sort of secret sneaky contest through its podcast to trick gaming blogs into running a hoax. The hoax concerns a fake document that talks about a name change for the Xbox 360.

A bunch of blogs ran the story, and some of them got all pouty about it once it was apparent they'd been fooled. If we had been, you know, awake, we almost certainly would have run it, too, so please don't mistake this for some sort of holier-than-thou nonsense. Instead, take it as pretty firm evidence that the battle between speed and accuracy continues to rage on inside us all.
Posted by pause422

yea...what bullshit.

Posted by PLWolf

All the quotes coming from the Gamestop hierarchy has been complete crap.
The more crap they spew, the more I realize they have no clue about what's really going on in the world.
I think Sony needs to give them a big FU and launch Socom: Confrontation on the PSN at the stroke of Midnight on October 14th for $29.99.

Posted by aurahack

I was in the US over the summer and went into a GameStop to buy a copy of Disgaea on PSP. The guys at EB here (Montreal) are pretty cool. They'll ask if you want to protect your game for a year but if you say no, they brush it off. Anyways, when I went up to the counter, the guy asked me if I wanted to protect it for a year. I said no. He asked me if I wanted an EB Edge card. I said no, seeing as how I'm from Montreal, his card wouldn't work back home. He told me it would (This was a lie, I asked my local EB's manager). He asked me if I wanted to subscribe to Game Informer. I said no. He asked me if I was looking to buy a new Memory Stick for my PSP. At that point, my patience ran out. I slammed my hands on the counter and told him "NO! However, I AM looking to buy a car! Got one of those? I'm interested in Nissan. OH! And I need to get some food for later. Sell any pizza?! How's about a CHILD. My girlfriend and I want to move further in our relationship. CAN YOU HELP ME WITH THOSE, HUH?"

Astonished, the store clerk said nothing and gave me my game, my change and I left. I was greeted with something like, two high-fives on my way out.

Posted by mawfu

I was walking by a Gamestop and I started to look at the "bargain" bin. I saw Fable for 17.99 which I could swear you could download off the marketplace for $15.

Posted by TheHBK

Suck my balls Gamestop!  That whole crap about the last copy being open happens so much.  And they take advantage of the parents who don't know better during the holidays, I feel like stepping in so many times to help them out.  Best buy is the best place to get games, because its less of a hassle and you don't need to ask anyone to open a game case, unless they just have a bunch of copies in there.  But even then, in my experience, you get to talk to someone who is a real gamer like yourself and just like talking about what set up you got and doesn't pressure you into anything because they understand the crap that goes on at Gamestop.
I remember one instance where a guy at a Gamestop got a call about a 360 getting the red ring and told the guy he couldn't help him cuz he didn't buy their warranty.  He was such an asshole when he hung up, he laughed and said, "shoulda bought the warranty!"  What a jerk, they know those warranties are crap, especially now that the MS warranty itself is a year and up to 3 years with RROD.

Posted by Irishjohn

I just can't go to Gamestop anymore.  It's all about the Bestbuy, or my local gamecrazy.  Luckily for me, they're half decent in there.

Posted by FCKSNAP

I buy my games online. 'Nuff said.

Posted by duxup

I'll take Best Buy or Target any day over Gamestop.  I haven't shopped there in years.  There is nothing they provide I can't get somewhere else with less hassle at the same price or  sometimes at an even lower price.

Posted by AaronBelfast

Kotaku got their ass handed to them. I love it.

Posted by Mortono

Well I use to work at a game stop and I can tell you it sucks balls. There is always pressure for the employees to get magazine subscriptions and game reserves, otherwise they get fired. Every body you talk to, you HAVE to mention the magazine and the card and ask about reserves. And of course customers hate it. I felt like a used car salesman. Those stores are always so tiny, crowding everyone together and making it feel more like a zoo than a store. And because they don't keep games out on the shelves (just empty boxes), there's always the problem of a box going missing (people steal the boxes of course). Honestly, how hard would it be to get a scanner in the front door. It would be so much easier. But I remember the worst part of working there was that you had to find the game that goes in the box within the mess of colored CD packets or "somewhere" in the back room.

Awful experience.

Posted by dtran1212

all corporatations are alike, they're there to make as much money off of you as possible and thats their bottom line

Posted by Kraznor

I don't know, the clerks at the local Gamestop equivalent EB Games (same company, in Canada so they aren't changing the name) seem pretty knowledgeable about a lot of things. When I mentioned Odin Sphere they immediately knew what I was talking about and after stating there is no way I'll ever find it went on to describe how awesome it is. They also complimented my Katamari shirt so they seem alright to me. Granted, this may be one decent store out of a chain of hundreds.

Posted by SuperMuchBrown

I loved seeing Brian cry like the little puss he is.  LMAO!!!!

Posted by gamer4life

I love how all the gaming blog sites are acting all hurt cause they ran a fake story.  Just admit that you got fooled and learn from it so this dosent happen again and be done with it instead of bashing the website it came from.  Im sure if  the guys here at GiantBomb would have posted this story they would have just said it turned out to be fake and would have forgotten about it, which is the right way of handling it.

Posted by deadgopher

My Gamestop must be like a shimmering diamond in a sea of dog shit. The employees there are fantastic. Yes, they ask you for pre-orders but they don't force or degrade your if you choose not to. They know their shit, too, which to a gaming news blog addict like myself, simply means I don't have to speak to idiots when I go in to pick up my latest fix. Perhaps my opinions of this store are raised further by the knowledge that ALL game shops rape people on trade-in prices -- when I trade, I use Goozex or eBay -- so I don't have some sort of resentful grudge against them for offering fifty cents for last year's Madden. Even in a situation like that -- yes, the price is bullshit! -- it is one's own god damn fault for accepting the deal.

Any Gamestop executives reading this comment: before you pick up the phone to have all these guys fired for more mindless number-jockeys, please consider the fact that because these people are so friendly, knowledgable and pressure-free, I currently have 8 pre-orders on file with them (two of which fully paid collector's editions). If they weren't there, or if they were fired, I'd just buy from Amazon and never spend another dime in that shop.

Posted by ThomasP

 "Shake lastnights bong session out of his brain. "


I've never known someone who has had a hangover from a bong and had to shake anything from their brain... maybe after drinking copeus amounts of rum on the job, but not after smoking pot. :)

Yeah, a lot of poeple are bashing on Kotaku for reporting the rumor and I believe that is them doing their thing. I think it was a cool contest by CAG though.

GameStop sucks. Always has and always will.
Posted by Silver

The stories posted on video game Web sites based on the Cheap Ass Gamer story show why it is important to fact check before publishing, and why the video game press rarely gets any respect (and rarely deserves any respect).

Report something with no real source as a rumor if you'd like, but when even the rumors you report often turn out to be untrue, claiming that they're rumors isn't going to help your credibility.

(I am not singling out Giant Bomb with this comment. It applies to a good portion of the video game press.)

Posted by d0x

The people at my local gamestop have about zero knowledge other than the fact that they need to bug me every single time about trade ins, and pre-orders.  Honestly I got into GS almost every single day on my break at work and everyday they ask the same crap...they should know damn well they are bugging me since I always say no.

I know they have sales goals to meet but I am what you would call a regular customer..I spend an asston of money in there every month and I dont fall for their crap.

I also hate when they open a copy of a game and sell it as new.  I went in for a game last week and they had about 20 copies open and on display.  I asked for a sealed copy and they didnt have any.  What the hell possessed them to open so many damn copies?!  Screw Gamestop...maybe I should stop spending my money there.

I have joined Goozex which is amazing and its quickly getting me to stop trading anything in at GS.  Full value is far better then the pittance GS gives.

Posted by MrKlorox

So sick of Jeff's biased hate speech toward folks that enjoy THC. I call bullshit on your "don't mistake this for some sort of holier-than-thou nonsense" line, regardless of what context it was used.

Posted by mrfluke
YEA
Posted by Emandudeguyperson

GameStop is awesome the people there are just taking advantage of you because you're a reviewer.

Posted by Torb

GameStop?!? I'd venture to say I'd rather buy games online than from an actual game store...

At a GameCrazy once (which is connected to Hollywood Videos, which in turn are like alternate Blockbusters) I had a guy beg me to get his dumb store card so I could "save money" on trade in's and used games and such. The worst part was I wasn't even living there at the time, and where I did live there were no GameCrazy stores. I told him this, but he continued to try and make me buy it and wouldn't hand me my game for something like 5 minutes. He finally gave in after lying to me about how someone had evken gone so far as to donate to him the shirt off his back because he was so poor.

What a loser.

Posted by gow

I agree, and wrote about this myself: http://www.groupsofwords.com/2008/09/15/death-to-retail/

Retail, which is summed up by the word GameStop, sucks. Every time I have to go there, I walk out a hater.

I say: amazon ftw.

Posted by Player1

Gamestop pisses me off almost every time I go there. But the reason I keep going back is simple. They usually have everything in stock. Its quick, painless, and there is no stupid walmart people you have to flag down. 

I also loled at the guys who are passionate doing. How can you be passionate about something if you don't know what your talking about. 
Posted by RHCPfan24

Honestly, Jeff, if you walk into a GameStop and they have no idea who you are, I don't think they know much about video games.

With the exception of one, all the Gamestops I have been too are very unorganized and demand preorders for games that they don't even know about.
Posted by ahoodedfigure

I think we had a decent sales experience at one of those mall game stores all of once, when the sales gal and I were trying to say "Gamecube Gameboy Player" and insisted on using the full title in all seriousness as we were trying to talk about it.  She spent the time, and knew what she was talking about, and we left happy.

All the other times I've gone there, you know they picked a game store to work for because they play a single game, sometimes.  Most the knowledgeable people probably don't work there.  Seeing other customers being treated with barely disguised disdain was bad enough, but then I got some prick chiding me for buying a cheaper copy of the re-released Outlaws from Lucasarts (really fun game as it turns out).  After that I basically had no tolerance for the stores' frequent practice of hiring little twerps instead of helpful sales people.  I'll be damned if I should have expected any better, but no frigging way is Gamestop any kind of shopping haven.  At least in Best Buy you're not trapped once they realize you're not going to buy a computer, and you can always hide behind the aisles if you're trying to avoid people, or get help if you have to.  Target can't really compare.  Any place that sells lawn furniture is a frigging crap shoot when it comes to games, anyway.

That's the way these lies work, though.  If even a small fraction believes you, the lie has got you some sales.  Hooray.

Posted by Mourne

You're not alone, Jeff. I almost think the GameStop employees who say, "Do you need any help?" are joking with me.

Posted by AnEternalEnigma

Kotaku's immature response to getting hoodwinked (I would say "punked" but I'd rather not think about Ashton Kutcher if I can help it) by Cheap Ass Gamer has been extraordinary. Gizmodo ran the gag too, but instead of making a further scene out of it, they just deleted the post.

Kotaku is furthering their idiocy by updating the original article, claiming that CAG now has no more credibility. Question: Who the hell goes to Cheap Ass Gamer for gaming news? I sure as hell don't. I go there for gaming deals. To make matters worse, this "news" just came from a random forum user. It didn't come from, you know, the actual people that run the site.

To make things triple stupid, Kotaku is now banning anyone who posts a comment that is not pro-Kotaku on the issue, no matter how professional and clean their comment may be.

I should be insulted by this, but watching Brian Crecente be an idiot and then whine like a little bitch about it has made my day.

Survey the carnage.

Posted by MasturbatingBear

Yeah I bought Final Fantasy III from the gamestop at my mall used when it came out. I had gotten alot of money for my birthday and dropped 40 bucks on it. It was their last copy so they just got the display case I was looking at earlier(a kid actually dropped it soon before I picked it up to look and put it back) and took the cartridge from somewhere in the back. And its a square game "new" so 40 dollars... I also bought Baten Kaitos (1st one) the day before my 12th birthday I spent 50 bucks on it new and it was good condition and sealed and everything but the next week toys r us came out with a deal for the game coming with a soundtrack and a little Kalas poster for 20$! not even a preorder bonus and the game was out for a couple months by then. ridiculous.

Posted by TheHBK

Silver I dont know what your problem is but these sites report.  And if there is a rumor going around, then they report that there is a rumor going around.  When an announcement is made, they report that.  When a new game is released, they report that.  They don't present the rumor as truth and for what it is and their take on it.  Geez, if rumors stopped being reported, there would be less hope or good talks about gaming going on.  Rumors are part of the fun and they do try to get the real story out of it.  Now what would be bad would be for a site to start a rumor itself and then report that.

Posted by TEAMHOLT

I don't really expect any better out of Crecente or Kotaku. I remember they ran a story about the last Fall Dashboard update that was full of totally false information as to what was in the update, then when the spring time rolled around, pretty much did the exact same thing. Basically the same bullshit news story from, more than likely, the same bullshit source. It was even worse the second time, becuase there wasn't even a Spring update to begin with.

Just a constant stream of misinformation and straight-up lies, with Brian Ashcraft and some of their other editors posting all sorts of creepy shit in between.

Posted by KingHippp0

Kotaku has a problem with the cag rumor, but not the crazy "Diablo before Starcraft" or "Xbox relaunch on 9/25/08" rumors. Just because they didn't get B.S. confirmation, doesn't mean those rumors weren't B.S.

And, no they aren't banning everyone who comments against their decision.

Also, Game Stop is the Wal-Mart of video game stores. Find something locally owned, shop there instead, you'll be helping your economy, and you'll probably find better deals too. For example, the shop down the street sells NES games still, can't get that at the mall.

Posted by zophar53

I agree with you Jeff!  I always hate myself the whole rest of the day after buying anything from GameStop.  The only way I can shop there and still sleep at night is the fact that 99% of my purchases there are new games.  As I'm sure you know, a store makes almost no money on new game and system purchases.  My wife used to work for Best Buy and Circuit City and said that the store only made about $0.50 with every system sold.

Posted by John

if you read the comments over at kotaku you can see that crecente got pissed as hell. heh

Posted by Afroman269

I feel your pain Jeff. I feel like I have to repent to God every time I leave Gamestop as if I committed a sin. Wait no, I probably did commit one just by going there.

Posted by bjorno

why are people upset at a practical joke? ffags.

Posted by Metamorphic

For once I agree completely with Jeff.

I understand mang...

Posted by xionpunk

For the most part I go to Best Buy and get stuff brand new. I've found that the employees there tend to actually more helpful and interested. I Bought my PS3 there along with most the games I own for it.

Really, gamestop is ony useful for trying to find older games (though only because I hate buying online, I want to be in a real store). I'll take it over buying from walmart or target though.
Posted by Crono

Yeah I hate Gamestop too.  I have an old DS and my charger broke and I couldn't find my other one.  So I walked in and bought a charger (I never buy games there).  Well I bought the charger and when I got home and found out that this only worked on the DS Lite, seeing that I never bought a DS Lite out of owning an original, I had just assumed that Nintendo would have the chargers be compatible... anyway I was looking in my storage closet for a flashlight, and I found my missing charger.  This all happened in the same day. 

Well I thought "I know they never let you return games but let me look at the receipt, see what they say about accessories," well at the bottom of the receipt it says you can RETURN OPENED ACCESSORIES WITHIN 7 DAYS.  I went in the very next day of the purchase.  The same guy wasn't there, some girl was, and I presented my accessory and receipt to her.  She told me she couldn't do a return.  I pointed to the receipt and read the bottom for her.  She told me that wasn't what it meant.  I asked her what her reading level was.  It turned into a bitch-fest and they refused to do the return despite what their return policy said.  So that sealed the deal, now not only do I never buy games from them, but I never buy ANYTHING from them.

Thankfully there is a Play-N-Trade only an extra 5 miles from the mall.  I don't know much about these guys but they hold tournies, clean discs, and actually do returns (or so I hear) so I am hoping they are as good as I hear.  I really want someone to take down Gamestop and I hope these are the guys to do it.  For too long they have had no real competitors for video games.

Posted by CurtisManCannon

As a longtime Gamestop employee, i have only one issue to contest.  If we sell you a new game and it isn't wrapped why should you get a discount?  Because you were the last dude to buy the game that week, you hit the lotto and get a discount on a game that has been played exactly, hmmmm, zero times?  Take issue with our press to get you to reserve games (But for real, guys get fired for not asking, so you do the math.  "Pay bills, or stop annoying customers, what ever do I choose???"), take issue with awful trade in values, but please don't get petty and ignorant with your level of disgust.

Posted by sneaky77

I've never had a problem at a gamestop, if they ask me about pre orders, then I say no and move on. Is the same way in any retail store you go to, even best buy the moment you walk in the door you have someone asking, how can I help you today? Looking for anything today? is all the same shit..

Posted by BornOfAsh

The only reason I shop at Gamestop is because they carry more obscure titles than Wal-Mart or Target in my area. By obscure I mean, Gears Of War and Grand Theft Auto...yeah, that's right, the Wal-Mart in my area doesn't even stock these titles. That's what I get for living in the sticks, I guess.

Ugh, and the glass case thing just pisses me off. I work nights so if I do want to grab a game and Gamestop is closed, I have to check if Wal-Mart has it...even if they do, though, I still have to find someone to get it for me.

So is this a weekly thing, Jeff, or just a one off to vent your frustrations?

Posted by albedos_shadow

Woah, what's with the Target hate here, Jeff? I work in a Target electronics department, and I understand most stores just let any idiot work the boat and don't care if he knows what a 360 is let alone if we have any, but not all. My store is full of people who actually know what they're doing and actively play games so they can help customers decide what's right for them. I can't speak for Wal-Mart, but some Targets actually do care about what they're doing. Just thought I'd put that out there, no hard feelings.

Posted by MrKlorox

@BornOfAsh: Protip: If you have a Walmart, a Target, and a Gamestop in your area, you are officially not "in the sticks."

I, however am "in the sticks," by the example that there are two stores within a radius of 30+ miles from my house that sell games: A non 24-hour Walmart, and a Hastings (video and book shop)... and both stores carry ample copies of both GTA4 and Gears of War. Could it be that more people in your vicinity purchase games from non-Gamestop stores than you realize?

Posted by jakob187

The moment that I heard an associate refer to Dr. Muto being an excellent game with tons of replay value to a 16-year-old kid, I knew one thing:  Hell had come to Earth, and it wasn't anything like Pinhead made it out to be.

It was worse.
Posted by Replica23

I know what I want and I only buy what I want. Aside processing the transaction I have no use for any employee. Trying to sell me aditional products/servies results in a livid mood swing.

Posted by DrRandle

I'll say that I love my local GameStop. I've been in there so often the guys know me on a first name basis, and they're pretty cool to talk to. They also hook me up with swag now and again, so yeah. Good times. I like going to Best Buy, too, but I rarely get any real help from them. Plus they always crank really obnoxious music at full blast. As for Wal-Mart? I got no real beef with them, I just hate that most their games are behind glass.

Posted by BornOfAsh

@ MrKlorox

Nope. I've checked with the employees, and they don't stock it, because the town I live in is fairly small. The Wal-Mart isn't 24 hours (it actually closes @ 6pm), and the Target is decidedly understocked on anything that isn't clothing in this area. My guess is that they don't stock certain things because they're quite conservative. I think they restrict anything that's M rated, or something. I'll have to ask about it, but yeah, that's the only reason I can see for them not carrying the title.

Posted by selfdestroyer

I used to use Gamestop religiously.. but I had a friend that worked there and "took care of me" .. but now that he's moved on I now get better deals on used games at places like Blockbuster or Play N Trade. I still use Gamestop as a place for crappy controllers to gut and use for custom arcade sticks if my local thrift shops are bare. I feel you pain...

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