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If I ran my own games shop...


Sigourney Beaver
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If I ran my own games shop I would have the console games at the back of the shop, the handhelds in the middle and the PC games at the front. The staff would have to be at least 40 years old and not smell. There would be no "radio" stations playing in the store and any music would be game soundtracks. There would be no cosplay on the release date of a big game and the stores wouldn't open at midnight. The staff would be instructed not to ask any customer if they need help. There would be no reward cards.

OK, now you :)

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If I ran my own games shop I would have the console games at the back of the shop, the handhelds in the middle and the PC games at the front. The staff would have to be at least 40 years old and not smell. There would be no "radio" stations playing in the store and any music would be game soundtracks. There would be no cosplay on the release date of a big game and the stores wouldn't open at midnight. The staff would be instructed not to ask any customer if they need help. There would be no reward cards.

OK, now you :)

I would have wall to wall monitors and consoles and charge people by the hour to play test games. If they then decided to buy said game they would get a discount based on how much play time they had. It would be more of a gaming cafe than a shop. I wouldn't have trade ins, but would have a swap shop based set up, where people can swap games with other people, they would pay me £1 to host the title they want to swap and find a willing participant. Hygiene for my staff is a must.

I would run a weekly competition on a certain game with the prize at the end being that very game, it would cost a small entry fee and that is all.

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If I ran my own games shop I would have the console games at the back of the shop, the handhelds in the middle and the PC games at the front. The staff would have to be at least 40 years old and not smell. There would be no "radio" stations playing in the store and any music would be game soundtracks. There would be no cosplay on the release date of a big game and the stores wouldn't open at midnight. The staff would be instructed not to ask any customer if they need help. There would be no reward cards.

OK, now you :)

To be honest, that sounds like my local GAME, honest. The only thing that differs is the staff, who are in their 30s, but they smell nice.

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On a side note to all this most of the indie shops I go into these days just appear to copy the general look of Game. Shelf upon shelf of titles with minimal displays. Yet back in the 80's early 90's you would find them with gaming area's a sofa with a selection of games to try out, vending machines, arcade cabs in one corner, full displays of gaming figures etc Whats the most interesting gaming shop you have been in lately and what makes them stand out from the rest?

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If I ran my own games shop it would be as follows:

The practical shop

No cash without at least 10% of the value given being used on hygene products.

No scratched games. By scratched I mean gouged as fuck, light marks are acceptable because otherwise you wouldn't have any fucking stock.

Knowledgable, tidy, clean staff.

Well merchandised shelves, with sufficient space given to the money makers as well as clearly labelled pre-owned stock.

Bright, clean, well ventilated and, most importantly, nice smelling.

Music at the appropriate level of volume, music in shops should be background noise. Probably remixes of video game music .

The money is no object and I don't want to turn a profit shop

Large glass windows, vast floor space. Sega and Capcom have thier own sections within the dedicated console sections

Flat screen TV's showing the best games in the last 10 years.

A 'lounge' section with sofa's and coffee bar, cordoned off with security which stop the scrubbers from getting their filthy chav fuck hands on my nice clean pads.

Same volume level as before, but only the finest in background ambience.

No scratched games. Not even blemishes. Only games with manuals and any special editions must be complete.

A gallery of the best POS (yes, there are nice game posters and standees out there) around the top, framed and nice.

A resplendent Retro section, NO battered stock, reasonably priced.

Sigh.

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On a side note to all this most of the indie shops I go into these days just appear to copy the general look of Game. Shelf upon shelf of titles with minimal displays. Yet back in the 80's early 90's you would find them with gaming area's a sofa with a selection of games to try out, vending machines, arcade cabs in one corner, full displays of gaming figures etc Whats the most interesting gaming shop you have been in lately and what makes them stand out from the rest?

PCWorld would be closest to this. My local has a section with each console and a rocker to sit in.

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I would call it "Jeu", buried in the corner of the middle-class, affluent student district. The building would be unmarked with an unlisted number. Tinted windows and the smell of coffee being loftily piped into the street. We open on bank holidays but would position gunmen on the floor to discourage customers. Children would not be granted entry. Mothers looking to purchase Wii games or GTA4 for their children would be blacklisted. Students would be charged 10% extra. Only people with personality would be hired; interviewees who flaunt their geek credentials would be beaten and, no surprise, it would help if they were exceptionally attractive. Demo pods would feature prominently and alcoholic beverages would be sold in moderation. Comfortable sofas jotted around with only the best music being played; no chart music whatsoever (not particularly adverse to it, just wouldn't prompt the right atmosphere). No game music, no fucking chip music. Staff would be encouraged to promote PSP games under pain of sexual abuse. High-profile releases like Halo will not be granted shelf space and need to be specifically requested. Respectable game-related merchandise would be sold; no Master Chief suits, gaming t-shirts or hentai busts of Evangelion. Staff are fired as soon as they succumb to illness.

It would be fucking rubbish.

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If I ran my own games shop it would be as follows:

The practical shop

No cash without at least 10% of the value given being used on hygene products.

No scratched games. By scratched I mean gouged as fuck, light marks are acceptable because otherwise you wouldn't have any fucking stock.

Knowledgable, tidy, clean staff.

Well merchandised shelves, with sufficient space given to the money makers as well as clearly labelled pre-owned stock.

Bright, clean, well ventilated and, most importantly, nice smelling.

Music at the appropriate level of volume, music in shops should be background noise. Probably remixes of video game music .

The money is no object and I don't want to turn a profit shop

Large glass windows, vast floor space. Sega and Capcom have thier own sections within the dedicated console sections

Flat screen TV's showing the best games in the last 10 years.

A 'lounge' section with sofa's and coffee bar, cordoned off with security which stop the scrubbers from getting their filthy chav fuck hands on my nice clean pads.

Same volume level as before, but only the finest in background ambience.

No scratched games. Not even blemishes. Only games with manuals and any special editions must be complete.

A gallery of the best POS (yes, there are nice game posters and standees out there) around the top, framed and nice.

A resplendent Retro section, NO battered stock, reasonably priced.

Sigh.

Pretty much what I want, but put in a lot more detail.

There is a gaming set up in Colchester that I want to visit when I next go back to my home town. That sounds similar to a business I would love to set up, if I had the capital to do so.

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Retail is finished.

If I had a game shop I'd close it down and turn it into something else. A pie shop or something.

In it's current guise it is. Gaming is social again, lets bring it back to the high street. Lets have arcades that are aimed at a new age of gaming, that have both arcade cabinets, console and PC gaming. Make it something where you can go spend 30 mins or all day.

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I would charge mailorder prices, try to have every guide ever published in stock and not take any trade-ins. I would also sell modchips / flashcards and stuff like that along with my own guides to installing and using them. It would be an expert shop, so I'd sell some collectables or fun things, but I would not put up any major cardboard displays, demopods or arcade cabs. I'd rather have people come in, buy what they want and get out. No desire to have smelly kids hanging around the store all day.

I would probably be sued / bankrupt within 6 months.

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All the latest games would be priced competitively with the cheapest online prices. Plenty of retro stuff and a model/toy section. Maybe a Nintendo themed coffee shop as well. Oh, and an Anime/Manga library with booths and comfy sofas where people can hang out.

I'd have a family friendly arcade section with UFO catchers, whack-a-mole, Taiko, pop-n-music and plenty of vs. cabs for tournaments. Maybe an online gaming section as well, the one in The Trocadero seems very popular. Lurking drug-dealers and aggressive chavs not allowed.

A separate area for trading in your old stuff and absolutely no mobile phones/mp3 players or PC-bits.

Can anyone lend me a few million to get it off the ground?

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I would, of course, put stickers on most of the games in my shop, with 'SHIT' written on them. People would ask me if Super Turbo Hyper Wombat Daddy's any good, and despite the glowing reviews, I'd mention how shit it actually is.

Shortly thereafter, I'd be skint.

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I ran my own game shop for 4 years (albeit mostly board games, CCG's, D&D etc).

It was as much a place for people to gather, talk about and play games as it was a shop and it worked suprisingly well. You would get the odd person who would take advantage of the situation but nowhere near as much as I first feared. CCG's and the like lend themselves better to this format but I'm sure you could transfer a similar model to videogaming.

I can't see newer releases being a high priority though. How could an indy compete with etailer prices and make a profit? Part-ex would be the main gaming revenue and when I saw the amount of crisps, drink and chocolate people went through it opened up another avenue. In fact because of how gaming sales are now you would need to find other revenue streams and maybe not even bother with newer releases. Something along the lines of a gaming cafe or club would be my ideal.

The biggest problem would be the people. While it would be nice to pick and choose your customers, that's unrealistic. I had my fair share of kids, but after that my average customer was in the 15-19 age range and came from the emo/skater/geek camp. The problem, for me anyway, was that these guys and gals had little in the way of spare money and it was the mainstream/casual/chav who had the money.

The mistake a lot of places make is inadvertedly or purposely putting off the average bod.

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I sit at a desk at one end, fingering the tap from which flows the real ale that I sip throughout the day and quaff every night. Occasionally displaying a passionate love for the games that surround me, I most often exert myself only to privately berate and publically scold the filthy, uneducated, unappreciative masses for their publicity-led choices.

One asks for Halo 2 in its limited edition, and it flares again inside me. I toss him the classics release, it's the same game inside and that's what matters. He mumbles something about his display, and I close the shop in disgust. It is 2pm - time for a drink.

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