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Volume 71, Issue 59, Friday, November 18, 2005


Merger sends computer gamers packing

Leet Speak

Derek Lanphier

A few days ago, I was headed to a nearby EB Games store to trade in a PS2 game and a couple of PC games, and maybe pick up something new. As far as I knew, EB Games was the last bastion of good fighting against the injustices of video game corporation evil -- or so I thought. 

So when I walked in, the clerk greeted me with a hearty hello and immediately took the trade-ins out of my hand and started to run them through the scanner. I handed him the PS2 game first, which was promptly scanned, and then one of the PC games and thought nothing of it; however, with a defeated look on his face, he told me that EB Games was no longer accepting computer game trade-ins. 

EB Games' merger with GameStop severed their relationship with gamers wishing to trade or buy computer games. Both gaming stores will now accept only games for systems such as XBox and NES.
Anna Reyes/The Daily Cougar

I was shocked. The reason I usually bought my games only from EB Games was because they did sell and buy computer games. Their evil twin, GameStop, accepted only console games and had very little selection of computer games. 

This prompted me to do some research about why EB Games took a sudden turn down the dark path. Evidently, GameStop and EB Games have struck a deal. Ask anyone from EB Games about it, and they would say that GameStop and EB Games have merged -- ask someone from GameStop, and they'll say, "We bought their bankrupt-butts."

So there you have it. GameStop now controls everything that happens at EB Games, and now there is no store completely dedicated to gaming that will accept computer games as trade-ins. In case you are dying to get rid of some games, I'm pretty sure the Half Price Books around town will take any computer software, including games, but don't expect to get a lot from it.

Now, buying computer games hurts a little inside because you are paying so much for something you won't be able to trade back in for anything. You really have to make a commitment to the computer game or buy it on the console of your choice, if it's even out for it. 

This development furthers my worry that computer gaming is a slowly dying creature. For one thing, the XBox 360 is literally days from release, which is an incredibly powerful system that is just as easy to develop games for as any computer. I'm not saying that I don't want one, but it really is more powerful than many gaming computers on the market right now. 

And since it is no longer possible to trade in computer games to any of the major video game retailers, we may be on our way to waving good-bye to an old friend.

But maybe computer gaming isn't going to totally disappear, although it certainly seems like fate is discouraging the idea. And that's a shame because some of the best video games are on the computer. Look at games such as Dawn of War or World of Warcraft -- those are games that would be unlikely to work well in the console game market.

Despite this, my worries about computer games will continue until I see something happen to make me think otherwise. Something like the computer manufacturers making gaming rigs significantly cheaper -- hint, hint.

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