Sunday, July 12, 2009
Humboldt County's Shop Local Campaign Fails Gamers
I've always had a soft spot for Samurai Shodown. I remember spending countless quarters playing it at various locations in Redding, California. Months ago I heard that Samurai Shodown Anthology was set to be released for the PS2 at a $14.99 price. How could I resist that?
Lately the push to buy local has been running full steam ahead here in Humboldt County. I've been a critic of the movement as I think it is less than truthful about its intentions. My attempt to get this game showcases part of the problem with this movement.
I put the game on my Amazon wishlist. If this game had come out a few years ago I could've gotten it at Crasty's, a local video game store that, after several location changes, went out of the bricks and mortar business. Unfortunate, yes. But I did have other options. Namely, Gamespot.
Anyone who has dealt with Gamestop knows what a headache the place can be. On the weekend of the game's release I called them and had this conversation.
Me: I'm looking for Samurai Shodown Anthology for the PS2. Is it in?
Manager at Gamestop: We haven't had that game in a long time.
Me: It just came out Tuesday.
Manager: Oh, right. We have it for the PSP I think.
Me: What about the PS2? Your store's e-mails indicate it is in.
Manager: We don't have it.
Me: When will you get it?
Manager: We won't. It's not ever coming in.
Manager: You can wait until it comes in used ...
So I checked the other stores, which were unfortunately parts of national chains. F.Y.E.. Target. Nothing. Eventually I got it on Amazon.
Shop local pushers would have you believe it's easy to keep all your money in the community. As this shows, however, that isn't nearly true. The local, independent video game store had long since gone under. The local big box retailers and national retail stores never got it in and nor did they try. Amazon, however, not only gave me with free shipping (I bought $25 worth of stuff), but it arrived earlier than Amazon had predicted.
What should I have done? Deprived myself of the game in order to keep 45% of my $14.99 here in Humboldt? Wait for the game to show up used? No. Instead I went with the first person who wanted to sell me the game at a good price. Was it local? Nope, but not due to lack of trying.