Today I picked up Dragon Quest Builders 2 for Switch at J&L Game, a local independent game store in midtown Manhattan. The store, like many of its kind, is awesome. It’s filled to the brim with gaming history. It has pretty much any console you could ever want. They have all sorts of special edition and rare items and keep a large stock of games from every generation. The walls are so stacked with games it looks more like a wallpaper design than items for sale.
These are the types of stores that keep the culture and history of games alive. They exist for collectors, for fans, for hanging out, for game appreciation. The people who worked there were happy and chatting about games to each other and to whoever walked in. This is the type of thing that corporate America destroys in its obsession over what’s new and marketable. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to find the best deals at Amazon, Walmart, Gamestop, Best Buy, etc. but I gotta try to cut them out as much as I can. I already generally try to do that, but I realize now that I hadn’t seriously considered doing it for games until today. Independent game stores are so rare that, while I knew they were around NYC, I never really accepted in my mind I could just walk in and buy games. We get so accustomed to the internet it’s hard to break out of that online shopping mindset.
Sometimes we need to look for sales because we just can’t afford a lot, and huge corporations will always offer the biggest sales because they can afford it. But if you’re going to pay full price for a new game, or just want to support your local game shop that truly cares about video games and the history of them, consider buying from local shops. They rely on us far more than Amazon does. I’m kind of embarrassed it took me this long but I’m excited to visit more shops in the future.