GameStop is typically the go-to gaming haven for most gamers and has been for many years. Originating in the mid-eighties as the once popular software and video game store, Babbage's, GameStop has change drastically over the past few decades. What once seemed like a central hub for all your video game needs eventually became what seems more like a glorified pawn shop for video games and video game accessories.
While plenty of stores offer the same services that GameStop offers, many gamers still find themselves flocking toward GameStop, whether it be based off familiarity, brand dedication, or convenience. Despite this, most gamers would argue that GameStop is a company that has gone downhill in recent years and partakes in various poor business practices, and it cares more about making a profit rather than actual customer service.
With any company that has received so much customer backlash, the internet has probably documented most of these poor business practices. Yet gamers are a somewhat different breed, and while many customer bases would likely boycott a store they disapproved of, gamers have marched toward the internet and created a much less effective method (albeit humorous) of showing their disdain: memes. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry, but most of them probably hit just a little too close to home for anyone who has ever shopped at a GameStop before.
I think there is a point in many gamers' lives where they thought that GameStop would be the ultimate dream job, getting to surround themselves with video games all day. The truth of the matter is that GameStop is just another monotonous retail job that is focused on one thing: sales. It's not overly task-heavy as this meme might portray it as. It certainly isn't going to require a nap by its employees (and with all that expensive stock around, no doubt!) but in complete defense of this guy who the meme is poking fun at... preorders can make a man sleepy and are tricky business! Sure, game advisors can probably dupe the unsuspecting customer into thinking that a game will be rare on launch day, but getting preorders from more knowledgeable customers has to be difficult, especially when you have a quota to fill each week. Take it easy, game advisors, you've earned this nap... assuming you've reached your quota, that is.
So maybe this is somewhat of an over-the-top situation that you probably wouldn't have to worry about shopping for a used video game. It's not like you are purchasing used bedsheets off of eBay or shopping for used clothes that a stranger has sweat in for years at Plato's Closet. Yet buying preowned always raises the question: where has this thing been exactly? I doubt that anyone is buying copies of the latest Call of Duty, doing unspeakable things to it, and then trading it in to GameStop just for the sheer thrill of it (then again, these are strange times, so... maybe?) but I certainly understand the irrational fear that comes along with buying preowned. Besides, there usually isn't that much of a price difference between a brand new copy and a preowned copy and sometimes a little peace of mind is worth an extra few bucks.
We've already established that it feels like GameStop is ripping us off when we come in with our games that have been collecting dust the past few months and they offer little store credit as compared to what we had in mind. In this particular meme, a customer walks in with an apparent cure for cancer, yet the GameStop employee only offers $7.50 for it... which is probably still more than most games would cash in for at the store! Have the cure for cancer? Do us all a solid and don't trade it to GameStop, but rather online. That way, you make more than you'd make trading in and the people getting the cure don't get ripped off by marked up priced medicine from the pharmaceutical... I mean from the GameStop corporation. A lot of the times, you can do way better when you bring you're cures elsewhere!
It's hard to be a GameStop regular, but feel like you haven't been victimized by the evil corporation at one point or another. There are times when you come in with a bag full of games to trade in only to leave the store with only one new game (that you probably still had to fork up thirty extra bucks for) and have felt like you were robbed. Kermit the Frog has somehow transcended from a childhood puppet into internet meme culture, yet he seems like the perfect fit, whether he's drinking tea or letting a local GameStop get robbed. In this particular meme, Kermit drives by a GameStop being looted. While most good Samaritans would contact their local authorities, Kermit reflects on a time that GameStop completely ripped him off, only giving him $3 for 20 games. There's a bit of truth to the meme though. Maybe karma is a thing.
This isn't technically at the fault of GameStop and is more so a problem of Nintendo's distribution methods, yet seeing as GameStop is a major retailer and go-to store for video game accessories, I'm sure many customers have left the store shaking their fists in frustration. Getting certain Amiibos is tough and usually requires being online at the right moment to place a preorder or lining up in front of the store hours before opening, as Nintendo seems to only send eight specific Amiibo to each store at launch and seemingly disappear altogether after that. Hoping to just casually walk into a GameStop and find a Rosalina? Highly doubtful, because GameStop likely only has a surplus of Waluigi Amiibos, and secondly, Rosalina was an exclusive to a completely different store. That's okay, though. Perhaps you'd be interested in some discounted Animal Crossing Amiibos?
We've all been there: wanting to pick up a game on the fly or simply get a game right at its midnight launch and rush home to play it only to be slowed down by GameStop's aggressive upselling strategy. It's no secret that GameStop employees rely on seeing certain numbers each month for the sake of their job, whether it is through preorder sales or selling used copies of video games rather than new. We understand that this is part of the job, but that doesn't necessarily make it any less infuriating... especially because we already know there isn't much reason to preorder a game or could repeat their sales pitch verbatim. Taking a quote from the Halo series, this meme has us agreeing with the Arbiter that "Retrieving the icon" is the only concern of most gamers. Besides, what are the chances that you'll actually need that disc protection plan unless you're playing frisbee with your copy of Fallout 4?
Downloadable content is something I still haven't really accepted yet, even a couple generations later. Truthfully, by the time DLC releases, I've moved on to the next video game so I usually skip the add-on at a game's launch, but GameStop likes to try and shove those sales in when we purchase games anyway. The joke goes that many games these days feel incomplete and now we have to purchase DLC for a complete game. Where certain games have expansion packs that add on all new content, there is also DLC which are minor add-ons that could have just been in the game at launch. For every game that has great DLC that fleshes out and adds to the game such as The Last of Us, we get a title that feels like it is bare bones and the DLC should have been included such as Star Wars: Battlefront. Using your typical burger joint as a metaphor, it's hard to believe that you wouldn't be given a full burger with all the toppings and would have to pay extra. Then again, I did get the cheese DLC for my Whopper the other day, so maybe we're heading down that route.
It is unfortunate that GameStop does not price match, otherwise they would probably get way more business from me. Unfortunately for them, I like to shop around and look for the best bargain. If you are purchasing a game at launch, you can probably expect to pay the full $60 asking price, with the exception of a few special retailers like Amazon. Yet if a game has been out for a few months, you can usually look up prices online at various stores and find that the prices have dropped or there are certain deals and often times, GameStop doesn't necessarily keep up with what other stores are selling their games for. With that said, the same thing could be said for other locations while GameStop has the deal. Don't be a victim of high prices. Get online and look for deals!
While "Power to the players" has become GameStop's official slogan over the years, this meme depicts a local GameStop location with possibly what most shoppers would think of as a more appropriate slogan for the video game retailer. Everyone's been in a situation where they've felt like GameStop was taking advantage of them, whether it was by giving us minimal trade-in credit or duping us into purchasing a game protection plan that we didn't need. GameStop seems like it is the epitome of an evil corporation and that goes for both its customers and employees. Basically, it feels like GameStop is screwing its clientele, yet we still shop there regularly. Maybe with a more honest slogan like "Bend Over!" we'd be less likely to shop there.
Pricing has always been very strange at GameStop. While GameStop doesn't always seem to follow the most logical business practices, sometimes their pricing hierarchy is completely out of whack. For a company that is always trying to push preowned games, they certainly make the mistake a lot making new games actually end up cheaper than used ones. While some customers might easily miss this in the store, it is always a riot when you ask for a new game at the counter and they try to sell you a preowned copy, only to realize that the new copy is significantly lower in price than what they are offering. It kind of nips that whole "saving money" sales pitch in the butt now, doesn't it?
This meme has seen a couple of variations on the internet and while it may not necessarily speak about GameStop itself, this particular version goes along with the stereotype that all gamers are overweight nerds who live in their mother's basement. Another variation features a super built bodybuilder who you most likely wouldn't want to throw down against. The meme asks the viewer what they would do and this particular person were to slap your girlfriend's butt? Surely, every situation would have to be analyzed differently. In the case of the body builder, I would shyly back away as my girl questioned my masculinity, but in the case of the person above? I would kindly ask him to exit the store with his cigarette because secondhand smoke kills and he is being rude to not just his lungs, but everyone else's as well.
We all know how little we'll get when we trade in games to GameStop, yet this meme puts a particularly funny spin on the meme, channeling one of our favorite new minor characters in the Star Wars saga, Unkar Plutt. Unkar was a minor character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and would purchase scrap metal that scavengers would bring in from destroyed battleships after the Battle of Jakku. Early in the film, we see Rey bringing multiple valuable parts to Unkar only to be disappointed and angry at the amount of ration packs that Unkar was willing to part with, despite Rey's need for the food. In one scene, he lets her know that her scraps are worth one quarter portion, barely enough food to survive. It's at that point in the movie that it's hard not to feel a kinship with Rey, as Unkar Plutt is pretty much the GameStop of Jakku.
It's time to get real for a second here. GameStop has made it far too easy for its customers to hate on. They do a lot of business practices that are questionable and make it feel like they really don't care about their customers, and while most people will complain about their trade-in values (which we've seen a few couple memes focus on in this list), no one is actually forcing you to trade your games in to them. Yes, their trade-in values are kind of a joke in most cases, but so is someone bringing in a bunch of PlayStation 3 games that came out in 2008 hoping to make some bank. If you see a copy of Metal Gear Solid 4: Sons of Liberty selling for only a few bucks preowned, your copy isn't likely to net you any more than a couple of quarters, so you really have no right to be upset about it. So we get it, internet. GameStop's trade-in values suck. Now stop trading your games in to them and maybe they'll actually do something about it.
There are plenty of this type of GameStop meme scattered across the internet, stemming from standard customers being frustrated with random experiences that they've had at GameStop. The meme evolved into the ridiculous as more and more memes came to fruition depicting more ludicrous situations, each one more absurd than the one before it. These stories are typically posted on 4chan and are generally over the top and fake experiences from customers, usually beginning with the customer simply trying to purchase a game but then having to deal with a difficult game advisor, whether it is dealing with GameStop's notorious upselling strategy or having the clerk trying to flirt thus leading the customer to having to explain that they aren't a girl. No matter how outlandish and ridiculous these memes have grown to be, there is no doubt that most GameStop shoppers have left the store at one point or another and have muttered against the store under their breath.
There have been plenty of times that I've walked into a GameStop with a stack full of games and have walked out without even being able to cover the full cost of a new title. Sometimes, GameStop's trade-in values are absurd and they feel like we are getting completely ripped off... especially when you buy a new $60 dollar game only a week before and GameStop only offers about $15 (if that) in store credit. The truth of the matter is, most times, it is better to just take matters into your own hands and sell your games yourself online. Sure, it's convenient just taking your games into a store and selling them there, but you are typically getting ripped off and GameStop will likely turn the game around and sell it for almost the full price you paid for it only a week ago... something gamers could do themselves if they weren't so obsessed with the idea of getting instant pocket change.