Games Store Stories - "Walking Wikipedia Boy"

Games Store Stories - "Walking Wikipedia Boy"

Games 4 U was a video game store I frequented back in the late 90’s in Southern California. It was a small local mom and pop retail store mainly focusing on second hand sales. Like with many of those stores, really good deals could be found every day and older games could be traded in for store credit or cash. I spent a good chunk of time there, even riding my bicycle for a full afternoon to the  store just for a chance to pick up a new game before I was able to drive.

Before long my best friend started working there once he moved down the street from the store. Then he ended up taking over and owning it. Before too long he fell on some hard times and was looking to get out. That’s when the store was then purchased and I stepped into the role of taking it over. To say that my time there was awesome would be an understatement. It was hard work, and not all “fun and games” but I did end up making lots of friends, and many different choices that would lead me down the path of life I am on today. So I'll be putting out a few tales from the Game Store, Here is article the first of hopefully many stories from the game store.

The Walking  Wikipedia Boy
YouTube was still in it’s infancy back in 2009, but there were a few select people making videos about games, ScrewAttack and Angry Video Game Nerd were the most popular. While I enjoyed their videos, I didn’t obsess over them like some others who would constantly come into the store and talk to me about them. There was one kid in particular, that was roughly around 10 years old (I’ve always been bad about judging someone’s age). He would come in regularly enough, but I never knew his name. His mom would drop him off for an hour at a time while she went shopping at the TJ Max in the same shopping complex as my store was in.

He’d walk around and look at the games in the case and just start talking. Usually no one else was in the store, and it was just me behind the counter. I could never tell if he was trying to start a conversation or if he was just talking AT me instead of TO me. Nevertheless, he did end up spouting off a list of accomplishments and random facts about the games he was looking at in the cases. I’d ask him what his favorite part of the game was, or if he enjoyed a particular character more than another, but he would always look at me like I somehow offended him. After a long pause he’d start up again and just continue rambling off little known details.

One day as he was looking and talking to the air about Mega Man, I walked over to the counter and picked up the game he was looking at. He asked me what I was doing with the game. I told him that I was gonna let him play it till his mom came and picked him up. He again looked at me with near disgust in his eyes, and said No. Puzzled, I asked him why not, as he sounded like he knew the game and would like to play a bit of it while he passed the time. He then told me he’d never play video games, he just watched them and read about them. Floored, I stood there for a moment thinking of how someone would know so much about games but never play them themselves, but he did just that.

Soon after this, he would come in more often and talk to me constantly about the same handful of games and continually tell me the same stories. Reciting games facts day in day out. I then had the bright idea of looking up the game on Wikipedia just to see if some of these things were true, as I never knew some of these facts either. Low and behold, he memorized the wikipedia article on some of the games, and would come into the store reciting the entries verbatim. It was quite odd, and I ended up offending him so much one day with a simple question that he told me I was the worst storesman ever and he’d never visit my establishment again. He was a nice kid and I felt bad, but at the same time, it was an exhausting event every time he’d come into the store.