I figured that it might be interesting for us to recount our experiences as gamers, because - as is the case with any hobby - the hardcore will generally go to sometimes embarrassing lengths to satiate our needs. So, let's share the weird things that we've done throughout our history as gamers that non-gamers might find to be particularly strange, whether it involves getting your hands on a particularly sought-after item, sneaking in a quick game when you shouldn't or...well, anything gaming-related that you think non-gamers would consider to be abnormal, really.
Now, my first story involves a visit that I made to a local store that happens to sell a lot of older games (and older consoles), as well as newer items. I was browsing through the selection of Genesis games when I came across what appeared to be an in-box copy of Streets of Rage. Now, I realize that this game isn't exactly a rarity by any means, but the selection of complete-in-box games that I've found nearby has been pretty lacking to the point that this was pretty damn exciting at the time. Once I got one of the store associates to open up the display case for me, I took the Streets of Rage case out and opened it, obviously feeling a bit down whenever I saw that some ASSHOLE had actually traded the case in with a copy of the original Sonic the Hedgehog inside. I looked around in the case to see if I could find the actual cartridge, but it was nowhere to be found.
No big deal, I figured. I mean, after all, I already had the cartridge at home. All I needed was the box. (I don't think that the manual was inside, either, but meh.) I asked the store associate if I could buy the box, and you could tell that he had no idea how to respond. After he locked the display case back up, we went up to the front of the store, where another employee was waiting at the register. I told her about the situation, and a look that can only be described as a cross between a look of complete confusion and the sort of look that you'd see on the face of someone right before they he/she something to the effect of "Wow, what a fucking loser." crossed her face. Not knowing how they could really charge me for just the box (which happened to be one of the plastic ones, not the cardboard ones), however, they ended up just taking the price sticker off of it and giving me the box. Haha.
My next story involves the (at the time) upcoming launch of the Xbox 360. I was working at CompUSA at the time, and our store had just gotten its Xbox 360 display kiosk in. Needless to say, I was interested. I managed to keep my distance as one of my managers set the unit up, but I was pretty much right there whenever he finally turned the thing on. Now, I can't remember exactly what started playing shortly after the console booted up entirely, but I recall maybe footage from PGR (although I'm not sure whether or not it was mixed with footage from other games or if it was a trailer dedicated to that one game) with various camera angles of footage being displayed in each split-screen panel on the display.
By the time, there were maybe one or two other employees around, in addition to the aforementioned manager. As I walked closer to the kiosk, I just blurted out, "Oh my God! Is that pre-rendered footage or is it running in real-time?" (I must've said this in a strange manner, because I was getting some stares.) Not knowing what the Hell I meant by that (which is sad, considering the fact that this is a MANAGER of an electronics store that we're talking about, as well as the fact that he's a gamer to an extent, as well), he just quickly retorted by saying, "HOW THE HELL SHOULD I KNOW?!"
I then took a few seconds to educate him on the fact that pre-rendered video should have visible compression artifacts, whereas pre-rendered footage should look a bit clearer. Still not knowing what I was talking about, he just said, "You're right there! Look!"
Alas, it did turn out to be pre-rendered footage. (I was mostly curious because of how many angles were being displayed at that level of detail.) I've gotta say that was probably the highlight of my first experiences with Xbox 360. It's also one of the best examples as to how fucked up that particular store was. There I was, a person who was supposed to be stocking shelves (or just counting inventory later on), while the sales staff (with a few exceptions, obviously) and the management knew considerably less about damn near everything in the store. For the record, our demo kiosk turned out to be faulty, with all sorts of crazy geometry and shit appearing at random during game play (in CoD2, at least).