DID YOU READ

Recommended: Confessions of a Gamestop Employee

Recommended: Confessions of a Gamestop Employee (photo)

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Full disclosure: Scott Jones and I used to work together at the late, lamented Crispy Gamer. He’s a good friend and a great writer.

His latest magic trick is pulling back the veil on what it looks to work at GameStop, the dominant game-seller in the United States. In a four-part series that ran on The Escapist, he tells of how he made the acquaintance of “Ben,” a former GameStop employee and tells Ben’s story of ungainly employment.

It’s always a weird thing to be a games journalist and be in a Gamestop when a sale is happening. People turn to the chain’s staff for advice on new games, but the sales associates don’t get significant time with titles before they come out. That’s actually a critic’s bailiwick, as we can see and/or play a game up to three of four times before it comes out. However, on the flip side, the men and women working in GameStop talk to game-buying consumers every day, giving them a level of insight that any game developer or exec would kill for.

Yet, it’s this quote from Jones’ piece that will ring through your head long after you’ve closed the browser window:

Gamers like to gripe about how obtuse videogame publishing companies seem to be, about how out of touch they are with our actual wants and needs. But what gamers usually fail to realize is this: Every job in this industry – and I mean every job – where decisions of a managerial sort are being made, is almost always occupied by a person who did not grow up playing videogames and who does not currently play videogames. I love games. You love games. But for these people, this is just a crappy job, or worse still, a crappy career path that they never wanted. It’s a paycheck, a way to pay the bills. They have no history, no deep-seated, emotional connection whatsoever to what they’re selling.

Here’s another excellent snippet:

To my surprise, we were never given any sort of crash course in videogame knowledge. When it came to games, we were always on our own. I relied on what I knew already, and to a lesser extent, on what I learned while doing the job. This is why so-called “fanboys” always make for the worst kind of GameStop employees: They only know what they like, and they can’t possibly fathom a customer’s personal wants or needs.

It’s a massive 7000-word oral history of one man’s time in the bowels of video game retail. If you’ve ever bought or traded in a game at Gamestop — and chances are that you have — then you need to read the entire series.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.

via GIPHY

It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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