Archive for the ‘Misadventures in Funcoland’ Category

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Misadventures in Funcoland: Hot Sauce Trippin’

September 27, 2010

Store: Ann Arbor

Notable Gaming Release: I dunno

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted one of these, but this story jumped into my mind grapes the other day so I figured I would jot it down. This one isn’t really related to any game in particular, but more about the ecosystem that exists in a store like Funcoland.

I had been working at the Ann Arbor store for a couple years at this point. Well, off and on, it would be my second year at this store while working back at other Funcoland’s over the summer. Anywho, the store next to our store was this cool little wine and gift shop called The Blue Herron.

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Misadventures in Funcoland: Sexism in Clayland

October 5, 2009

funco

Store: Ann Arbor

Notable Gaming Release:  Not really sure…

Most of my stories have dealt with new release type stuff, and while there are great stories to be told, what brought some of the most interesting folk into Funcoland were those who were looking for used games for older systems.  The kind of people that would come in looking for these older games pretty much ran the gamut.  There would be the collectors who were looking to complete their collections… obviously.  We had this guy that would come in, I’m not sure of his real name at this point but we’ll just say NESCollector.  He was working towards purchasing every single NES game made, like EVERY one.  He would come in with a list of games he was still looking for and eventually we got to the point where we would just let him come behind the counter to look through what we had since it was quicker and we were pretty sure the guy wouldn’t rip us off.  He eventually got hired part time.  NESCollector was a big time ICP fan, like a straight up jugallo, or how ever you spell it.  I found out a few years after leaving Funcoland that he became a born again christian.  Like cleaned up and sold his entire collection.

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Misadventures in Funcoland: Wait… Your Name is What? / Abandoned Merch

September 16, 2009

funco

Store: Clinton Twp.

Notable Gaming Release: Driver (PS1)

This story takes place in the summer of either ’98 or ’99.  Summer is usually the slowest time for gaming as you probably already know.  So it was not uncommon to be working alone during the day at any of the stores, even though the Clinton Twp. store was generally one of the busier ones.

I was working alone… obviously… and was playing around with Driver for the Playstation.  It was a great game, kinda beat GTA to the 3D sandbox style of game play that GTA 3 would eventually take to the masses, even if it was a bit crippled, but Driver was an awesome game.  The story was advanced through this repeated FMV between levels where the driver would pick up a phone and you’d see him from behind and the frame would freeze.  You’d see the guy standing there listening to someone give him his mission over the phone, it was a pretty ingenious way to save resources since it looked like your guy was just standing there listening.

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Misadventures in Funcoland: Gotta Catch Your Breath

July 24, 2009

funco

Store: Sterling Heights
Notable Gaming Release: Pokemon Jungle Expansion Packs

So this story takes place the day after my last story about the brawl that ensued in front of the store.  It’s pretty much the same setup as the day before… I’m bored out of my fucking mind playing QIX and I’ve got yesterdays events still fresh in my head.  I kinda hoped that I would see the return of the family from yesterday, if only to find out what happened to the two kids in the end.  It also woulda been cool to have the mom apologize for breaking the door and for the crazy behavior of her kids that no doubt comes from a lack of solid parenting, but alas, I did not get such a treat.

Here is what I got.  This story actually does start out just the same way.  I’m playing my game, back to the front door, which if you haven’t read my previous post, is being held closed by two pieces of puffy two way tape since the hydrolic door closer is broken.  Also just like yesterday, I hear the sound of little feet running, so I pause up my game, close up the GXTV, and get ready for it.

Few seconds after I turn around, what looks like a 10 year old boy comes running up to the door alone.  Expecting him to fling the door open has me sadly let down.  While yes he does rip the door open with all his force, he grabs it and closes it behind him, I’m a little amazed.  He comes running up to the counter and I toss my greeting at him, and this is when it gets interesting.

The kid looks like he’s hyperventilating, breathing rapidly and can’t seem to catch his breath.  He’s leaning on the counter with one hand, and has the other hand on his chest and tries to speak.

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Misadventures in Funcoland: Gotta Catch Em All

July 21, 2009

funco

Store: Sterling Heights
Notable Gaming Release: Pokemon Jungle Expansion Packs

Just another day at the Sterling Heights Funcoland for me during the summer.  The job has started to take a turn for the worse at this point.  For a brief time, my girlfriend at the time got hired to work with me… baaaaaad idea since she was bossy and I was a higher rank than she.  Maybe I’ll tell that story some day, but it’s not that great.  The main thing that started to make the job suck was that we had expanded from just video games and video game accessories to selling Pokemon cards.  This made the job get really bad.  For one, there was no commission on these things.  You can’t even try to tack on something for commission on them.  Kids coming in with pocket change to buy a pack was killing my Average Dollars per Sale (ADS) which while you wouldn’t really get in trouble for having a low one, you would catch some shit for it.

So anway, it’s about mid day at this point.  These new Jungle Expansion Packs came in first thing in the morning, I popped them out of the box and put them on display.  Did my usual morning dusting and such and then it was time to game.  I had gotten bored with most of the games so I decided to turn my attention to the Gameboy.  I had never owned one of my own so I figured there would be a wealth of cool games to try out, and sure enough, I found one… QIX.  I won’t go into details, but you should really check this game out if you dig puzzle type games.

JungleBoosterNL

So I’m actually getting more brazen at this point with playing my video games.  Knowing that I’m only being checked up on once a week, I’ve started to hook up systems to the GX tv that shouldn’t be there.  So I have hooked up an SNES and am playing QIX with the Super Gameboy adapter.

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Misadventures in Funcoland: The Dream(cast) Van

February 24, 2009

funco

Store: Ann Arbor
Notable Gaming Release: Dreamcast System

So since Sega did the memorable thing of releasing the Dreamcast on September 9th, 1999 (9.9.99), I can tell you that this story takes place on September 8th, leading into September 9th.  I don’t think this will be as long and drawn out as the other stories I’ve posted, but hey, those were supposed to be short quick stories too.

So it’s the day before the Dreamcast launch.  We’ve had a demo system in the store for about a month now which was really cool of Sega to do.  Come to think of it, I can’t think of any other system launch that has put a demo system in stores before the system actually launched… but I digress.  We started receiving all the games and accessories for the system about a week ahead of the launch and had them all ‘splayed out on the wall with the rest of the new gaming stuff.

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Misadventures in Funcoland: The Long Haul

February 13, 2009

funco

Location: Sterling Heights, MI.
Notable Gaming Release: Quest 64 for the N64

It was the summer before I went off to college at Eastern Michigan University and I was working at the Sterling Heights (SH) store, almost completely alone.  Mon – Saturday, open to close, just me.  On sundays, ManagerPart2 would come in and take care of the paper work that I wasn’t able to do.  I mean, after all, I was only 19 and running the store pretty much by myself, can’t expect me to know how to balance the books on my own can ya?  If there is any one thing about the Sterling Heights store that you should know, it is that it was one of the slowest stores in the entire company.  I think on a good day I would sell $50 worth of shit unless someone bought a system.  So as you can see, this store was really really really slow.  I spent maybe 1 hour every morning straightening up and dusting after a couple weeks of organising the place.  The rest of the time… playing video games!

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