A year ago, I was reading about what was being offered for Record Store Day, a one day event where people are encouraged to visit a record store to either buy something from them or buy an exclusive release specifically made for that day. Record or vinyl stores have seen a steady decrease over the years, people just aren’t that interested in buying vinyl anymore.Â Thanks to Record Store Day, though, people are buying newly released music on vinyl once again and some of the popular record stores still exist today as we speak.
The Unforgiving Sad Story
Every time I go on vacation, I seek out indie game stores. Two weeks ago I went to Parma Heights in Ohio to visit my wife’s cousin and saw an indie game store nearby that showed up on my Google Maps. When I finally arrived at the store, at around 1 pm, it was already closed. Standing outside the door, I saw hundreds of NES and other past generation games, it was like a hidden treasure. I knocked on the door and finally a guy that looked like he was pissed off cause I was there opened the door. He told me that they were closed but if I was looking for anything specific to just let him know. After a short conversation about various things, I finally asked why they were closed so early in the day. The answer was that they are closed for good. His wife didn’t look very happy in the background while they were packing everything.Â She was so upset that she couldn’t even look at me. I asked why were they closing and the answer was because Best Buy had started to take video game trade ins. This coupled with other online stores, including Amazon.com, are taking a big chunk of the used games business leaving them with nothing at all.Â So I started to wonder, how many more game stores are closing this year because of reasons like that? One thing that no big box retailer would ever have in their inventory is the Pokemon Box for Gamecube, which this indie store had on display. I was not able to buy it that day because their asking price was too high, and I didn’t have the heart to offer less.Â At the end of our conversation, I ended up making a purchase knowing that I was the last customer (a Gold Zelda 64 cart and a few N64 controllers) and that I would never be able to look through their treasures again.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a day, or maybe a week, dedicated to independent game stores everywhere? The Record Store Day was a brilliant idea, and it would be nice to have something like that for indie game stores. Why should we be forced to shop at these big box retailers all the time? GameStop and Best Buy aren’t the only place to find games! With a huge decline of mom and pop stores and independent game stores across the U.S. and probably in Canada and other parts of the world, I feel like it’s only natural to give this kind of attention to the stores that also helped build this industry. As an avid video game collector, the survival of these stores is part of the fun and the experience.Â I will never have the same conversations, share the same admiration for games and the evolution of gaming, and I will never find those games that we cherished when we were young at a Best Buy, Game Stop or other big box retail store.
For now, this is just an idea. It would be nice if we, as a gaming community, could pull this one off. This project will not take off without any help from the video game community.Â Think of the impact this could make.Â It’s history in the making! This is obviously a big project and we would need a lot of people to make it happen.Â If you want to become part of this project, please send me an email at phear3d at gamesniped.wpengine.com with the subject “Project: Indie Store Day”. I’m looking for graphic designers (to design a logo at least), a website, maybe even a message board for now. If you have other talents that can be useful, send me an email.Â If you just want to be part of the movement, send me an email.Â I would like to start the project in the United States (maybe Canada too) and if there are enough people and enough stores that would like to volunteer, it could possibly become a reality.