☆☆Adventures of an independent video game store owner☆☆

Hey everybody.

Sorry it's been forever and a day since I posted, but... uh...um... OK fine, I suck at keeping up with this stuff.

You guys were right about a couple of things. Yes, I did accidentally leave the word "store" out of the title. My bad. Also, I put the stars in the title not to help me get more views, but because I just really like stars. Also, I am pretty sure that the nickle arcade is gone. Shame too, because it sounded like a fun little place. And finally, I am happy to say that we are still going strong.

Business has been, in the famous words of Homer Simpson "not to shabby". We are by no means making huge money, but we are making enough to make the store worth while. I am stoked to hear that some of you guys have actually been in here, and want to let you know things are on the up and up. First off, we are up to having 5 TVs for people to play. Right now we have an NES, a SNES, a Genesis, an Xbox, a Wii, a 360, a PS3, and a Virtual Boy that are all playable. The 360 and the PS3 are hooked up to our 41" LCD so people can sit on the couch and play. The other systems are at smaller TV's kind of like kiosks. People really seem to enjoy the fact that they can come in and play Castlevania for a little while.

As for our stock, I would say that it has more than doubled since my last post. So much so that not only are our shelves full, but I am trying to finish building another set of shelves. (I can't finish them today because they are made out of maple and the only place to get maple is from a specialty wood store.) Anyway, we literally have enough games to fill the new shelves already, but cant build more until we sell some of those games to pay for more wood (Nice wood is f'ing expensive).

Someone asked how we plan to steal customers away from GameStop, but the truth is that we don't see them as a force to be reckoned with. Here's why. Game stop specializes in selling new games. And to be honest, there is almost no money to be made in new games. Especially for us. You see, for us to get a new game shipped from our distributor, it costs between $55 and $60. And then after that, we have to factor in our cost for selling it. So ultimately, we make no money. Instead we use new games as a way to help bring in trade-ins. We give people an extra 20% value if they use store credit to pay for a new game. So ultimately, someone is able to get a new game from us for about $53 (after taxes) if they pay for it in store credit. Add that to the fact that we try to offer more trade-in value than anyone else, and people end up getting their games for cheaper. "But what about pre-order bonuses" you say? Because we are cool, we are able to offer the same bonuses as GameStop, BestBuy, or anybody else. So I guess ultimately, we will end up "stealing" customers from them, but that is not our focus.

You see, we believe that if we do the right thing, people will come to us on their own. We try to do the following:

1) We do NOT pester customers to "pre-order this or buy this". We don't like game stop either because they bug you about stuff, and we figure that if you are just chill with people, they will enjoy shopping at our store.

2) We always try to be cheaper than everybody else. We actually use game stop as a way to price our games. Then we set our prices usually 10% to 15% lower. We know gaming gets expensive, and we want to help people get the most game for their buck.

3) We try to offer more trade-in value for games than anybody else. While we aren't always able to offer more, we usually do. We typically find that we offer more than GameStop. Sometimes up to 3 times as much.

But most of all, we just try to be cool with everyone, and treat people the way we want to be treated. Isn't common sense awesome!

So all in all, we find that we really only have 1 real competitor, it's another independent video game store that is about 5 miles away. However, while he has been in business for eons and has almost every game you can imagine, people always come to us and say how much they don't like him and his prices are absurd. That's what the customers say... not us. It comes down to the fact that if you really want a game and are willing to pay out the a** for it then he's got it. I want to be clear that I am not bashing him just stating what others say. I'm not like that.

I can't think of anything else to say, but I promise to try and update more than twice a year. I know I suck at this. Until then have fun playing and we would love to have you stop on by. Even if it's to play games or talk about Jazz the Jackrabbit. Also, let me know if there is anything you guys want to know, and I'll try to answer. Till then...

Love Ya❣❣❣

☆Megan☆

12 Comments

☆☆Kids these days☆☆

So I have a son who is now ten years old, and about to turn 11. He mostly lives with his father, but lately, I have been seeing him more, and learning about his game habits. Something that I have come across, is the fact that he usually will play a game on the easy difficulty. When I asked him why, it came down to the fact that he doesn't want it to be too hard, and therefore a challenge. I have noticed that this trend is a lot more prevalent than I thought. Fortunately, I have been getting him to start actually playing games on at least regular level, and he is dying a lot more. But this has got me thinking, have kids gone soft and wussy these days?

Now I understand that it makes sense to sometimes play a game on easy in order to get the hang of how the game works, especially if you are not already good at video games in general. But when does it become lame to not cross the threshold to a harder skill level. I remember when I was a kid that games didn't have difficulty settings, and they were just plain god-damn hard. It would take hours to get really good at a game, and when you did, you probably had died like a million times. Even today, some games of old are still really freaking hard.

So what are your thoughts? Did you play on easy first, then switch it up a notch, or did you just go straight for HARD? Do you think kids are lamer today than in the past? If so, what are some good ways to teach them that making something a challenge is better than just easily skating through something, and that the harder it is, the more reward?

Well, till next time.

Love Ya❣❣❣

☆Megan☆

52 Comments

☆☆Giant Bomb, so so sorry to see you go.☆☆

As we all have heard, Giant bomb has been taken over (i.e. bought out) by CBS. And while this could mean some great things for the site, it's fans, and obviously it's editors, I personally foresee things going down the tubes. So first off, lets talk about the good.

1) More money to put into the site - More money hypothetically means better content, better behind the scenes operation, less stress on the staffs part leading to more and better content, more publicity for the site leading to more users and blah blah blah.

Thats all i can think of right now (Sorry, I just woke up)

Now the bad. First off, let me start by saying that I firmly believe that CBS is a conglomerate that has no interest in anything but making money; whether it be through sensationalizing lousy media, advertising, or any other of the multitude of things that they do. They do not care about; keeping the purity of something, staying loyal to their fans, or any other sort of altruistic purpose. And trust me, if there wasn't money to be made, they wouldn't buy giant bomb, or run GameSpot. So here are bad things that I know in my heart are going to happen.

1) Loss of control - Now this is the biggest drawback that comes with being owned by a major air-quote "information" network. While, I'm sure that there is talk about how creative control and what not, will ne'er be changed, this however just doesn't happen. Money, and power change things. As the saying goes "absolute power corrupts absolutely". We see this all the time from shock DJ's bought and tamed, to movie rights distorted from original vision, to music being bought and turned into standard fair, to whatever else you can think of. Simply... now that CBS controls the purse strings, there will be disagreements over how things should go down. And while these will start off small, it will ultimately lead to a complete and utter changing of the guard on this site. "So what?" you say. Well, what is it that you enjoy about this site? Now what if those things were not there anymore, or changed drastically. The things that I really appreciate about this site over others are;

A) Unbiased reviews. But what happens when you add money. No longer will GB be able to remain true to the notion that it can offer fair and unbiased reviews. Now advertisers will be paying big bucks, and therefore, giant bomb will be forced to give good reviews less they loose that advertisers money. And even if that advertiser doesn't give funds to this site, CBS now has a vested interest in affairs on this site. What if a publisher threatens to pull it's money from all of CBS, just because a website gave it's new and upcoming product a negative review. Wow... that's weird, it seems that something like this has happened before. Who got fired? "I just don't remember. LOL. So now reviews will be slanted to the 7-10 split. and even if they aren't how can we be assured that the knowledge of CBS having their grubby little hands in the pot won't make us feel like they are.

B) Advertisements - one thing that I have always appreciated about GB is that it is not full of ad banners, crappy video ads, and other just annoying marketing things to visually distract the eye. But hey... there is money to be made. I'm sure that it will happen slowly and gradually; ads will start to be here and there. Nest thing you know, ADS EVERYWHERE. But don't worry they will do what they can to make sure that you don't even notice the in your face advertising becoming progressively in your face. And hey, they can always sell you a subscription that will keep all the ads away.

C) User interaction and created content - CBS bows down to the FCC. They have too. If they don't, then they get shut down. Now yes, the FCC doesn't control the web YET but, they still have managed to put the fear of censorship into CBS. Unfortunately this means that the overcautious management will ultimately coerce the staff of Giant Bomb to censor the content to some degree. Also, this could mean that it will become much more difficult to submit user created content that does not fit the definition of CBS's standards.

D) Sillyness - I really like the fact that content on this site is not button up and stodgy. It makes me feel as if the staff is much more similar to me, and therefore I can trust what they say more than I do. I highly doubt that the content will change that much in this facet, but I am concerned that there will be a little less of the goofy fun going on, due to the more uptight nature of a huge corporation calling the shots.

Well, I am temporarily out of things to say. Except this. I truly hope that I am wrong about all this, and that things only change for the better. I have enjoyed Giant Bomb so much, and I hope that it continues to rock like it does. But I must say that if things do change for the worse I will sadly have to say "Aufwiedersehen".

Well, till next time.

Love Ya❣❣❣

☆Megan☆

24 Comments

☆☆State of Affairs☆☆

Hey guys and gals,

I know it's been a while since I posted, but things are finally starting to get off the ground. After months of struggling to survive, we are now close to breaking even. I figure by the end of March, we should finally be able to pay all the bills, and maybe have a little extra for some food. I must say, though that it has been really stressful, but alas I talk to much.

Anyway, we are trying to figure out how to get people to hang out more in the store. See the idea, is to create a place where people can come hang out and play games without feeling like they are being pressured. The thought is that if people are happy hanging out, then when they want a game, they will already know where to go for their game.

So what are your thoughts? Do you like the idea of having a place where it is not an issue to hang out and play games, and maybe meet some other cool people? Tell us what you think.

Well, till next time.

Love Ya❣❣❣

☆Megan☆

6 Comments

☆☆Clearing Publisher's House☆☆

So today, we were talking about how publishers like Activision should go out of business. Yea, they produce some great games, but it is so apparent that all they care about is profits, which while important are not in my book as the be all end all goal. Case in point... Activision is notorious for pushing out so many clones of a popular franchise ad nauseum that they ultimately kill off the series. For instance, there have been so many Call of Duty games, that they are loosing any meaning. I mean there have been 18 reprisals of this game since 2003. That's more that 2 per year. Once people start getting sick of this crap, they will just kill off the whole division, and we will never see another release.

Another example is the Guitar Hero Series. There were so many iterations of this game, that now people don't want anything to do with them.

So really, it comes down to the fact that these publishers only see the greedy dollar signs in the now, and fail to see the long term of a project. This in my opinion is bad for the video game industry because if this continues, we will end up with a loss of creativity; leading to less titles being released in a given year and just more renditions of the same old crap.

Now, luckily, there are some new kids on the block that are making their mark. I think that the ability for small producers (like Pop Cap) to put out fun and cheap games, will help keep the current available selection stable, but we must make sure that as they grow, they don't turn into the Capcoms and Activisions of the future. So I say, to show your loyalty with your $ and let's try to make sure that the industry doesn't become stagnant and boring. After all, we want our kids to have a better gaming experience that what we've had.

Till next time.

Love Ya❣❣❣

☆Megan☆

2 Comments

☆☆Adventures of an independent video game owner☆☆

Hi everybody,

First off I would like to take a moment to give a little background info. My name is Megan, and I am the owner of a brand new video game store located in Colorado Springs, CO. The Store is called Vidja Games. Yeah that's right! It's meant to sound like the way old people without their dentures say "Video Games". As in "You crazy kids and your vidja games". Anyhoo, I am going to start a blog detailing the adventures that me and my business partner (Nick, a.k.a. GoneZombie) go through on our quest to give Colorado Springs, CO a truely great place to come and get all things related to video games. I will try to post an update as often as I can, but to be honest, I've never done this before, and don't know how well I'll be at maintaining the blog. So come on over to my page.

Anyway, hope you find our thoughts interesting.

Love Ya❣❣❣

☆Megan☆

24 Comments