Sorry, I don't have any video of this. But I'm quite adept at painting a picture with words, so here goes:

After a disturbing Kotaku article that spoke of ignorant parents purchasing Grand Theft Auto V for their little kids, I had to say something . Now, after an incident at a local GameStop, I'm compelled to respond again.

A bunch of people were waiting to pick up their copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts . When I walked in, the woman in question was third in line. She was slovenly and overweight, wearing clothes that didn't fit her, an insolent look already painting her face. Running around her in circles, banging off the knees of embarrassed and annoyed customers, was a dirty, poorly dressed kid. He was loud, unruly and obnoxious, but the mother didn't make a sound; in fact, she looked at everyone else in line as if she dared them to say something.

When she got to the front of the line, she said she'd be buying Ghosts . The clerk looked at the kid, who couldn't possibly have been more than 7 or 8 years old, and politely asked if she was buying the game for the boy.

"Yeah, I am," she spat. "So?

"Well, it's just that the game is rated 'M' for Mature," the clerk politely responded. "We just want to make sure that-"

"That's fine," interrupted the woman, waving a dismissive hand. "It's just a video game."

"Yes, that's true," responded the clerk. "But maybe it's not appropriate for someone so young…? I could recommend a lot of other games that he might really like, and-"

"Are you telling me how to be a parent?"

"No ma'am, I just-

I didn't come here to be insulted. Now just shut up and give me what I ordered."

It was at this point that the clerk paused. He didn't move for maybe ten full seconds. The woman looked about ready to blow her top. Finally, the clerk turned to the employee next to him (apparently the manager or assistant manager) and asked if he could take his break. The other guy nodded and the clerk left the store without selling the game to the woman. The presumed manager finished the transaction without saying a word, despite the woman lashing into him with several more indignant insults.

Now, let me say this-

I am not an advocate of giving any governing body any sort of significant control over our lives. I don't believe more laws would help. But at this point, it seems as if far too many individuals are so pathetically incompetent, so incapable of caring for themselves or others, that maybe some people – like that clerk – should make moral stands. I didn't know that woman but I know her type: Her eyes said, "I deserve everything and you have to give it to me," and in addition to rampant entitlement of the worst kind, I saw a level of stupidity that was just plain depressing.

Hey, politicians. Want to fix the problem of violent games falling into the hands of impressionable children? Maybe you should tackle the issue of educating the masses of fools who, for reasons unbeknownst to me and the rest of the world, opted to reproduce.

Related Game(s): Call of Duty: Ghosts

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Jawknee
Jawknee
7 years ago

GameStop and other retail stores that sell M rated games have an obligation to refuse the sale. This is why government keeps growing. Because pansies can't grow a pair and take responsibility. Always looking for someone else to do it for them. Would saying no to this woman be unpleasant? (I would actually quite enjoy it. 🙂 Sure, but at least one would have done the right thing. GameStop is a private business, they have a right to refuse service to people like this and should exercise that right. If they don't, the calls from the nanny staters will only grow ever louder and once they get their control freak fingers inside gamers cookie jars, it will be too late.

EDIT: I should note that I'm not directing this at that particular clerk, rather the company as a whole or at the very least the people who run the company. I wouldn't be surprised if he is just doing as he's expected to do. On the other hand I wouldn't be surprised of be acted on his own either. Kudos to the one that tried. At least he made an attempt.

I mean I still get carded for buying R rated movies at Target. I assume if I couldn't provide one they would refuse to sell me the movie. Why should iths be any different?


Last edited by Jawknee on 11/6/2013 11:05:36 PM

Norrin Radd
Norrin Radd
7 years ago

While I applaud the notion, the reality is the shareholders or owners of GameStop frankly only care about the bottom line and NOT in having employees try and enforce the ESRB ratings system.

Jawknee
Jawknee
7 years ago

Which if that is the case just goes to show that GameStop is an even worse company than they let on. If a store like Target or Walmart can make the effort, GameStop could too. But on the other hand, I'm not even entirely sure GameStop's policy is make the sale at all costs. I've been carded at GameStop in the past.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
7 years ago

I think it would be great if the employee took a stand but it isn't fair to put it on him, he just wants to keep his job and do the right thing at the same time. He shouldn't HAVE to be a hero and maybe not be able to eat for the next few months while he looks for another job, because that woman would have ruined him.

Jawknee
Jawknee
7 years ago

Yea, I edited my comment to make clear I was directing it towards the particular clerk to towards the CEO of GameStop and the company as a whole.

Squirrelicus
Squirrelicus
7 years ago

You get carded at Target because as a company they took that power out of the hands of the cashier. When mature games, movies, CDs, medicine, and booze are scanned the register prompts for an ID and you either have to swipe the ID or it needs a manager override. Pretty cool system.

Jawknee
Jawknee
7 years ago

Typo, I WASN'T meaning to direct it towards the particular clerk. *facepalm*

Simcoe
Simcoe
7 years ago

So what you're advocating is that retailers should stand by and support an employee, if that employee feels that the customer should not be allowed to purchase merchandise because they don't believe that customer will use the merchandise in an appropriate manner? Sounds like a potential PR disaster for any company.

Neo_Aeon666
Neo_Aeon666
7 years ago

And don't forget she is ***MATURE*** He has no right to refuse. You're point would stand if he sold the game to some 15yrs old with an attitude. But that is not what happened.

This time he was serving a Mature customer. What she does with the game has nothing to do with him. She is responsible for her child.

I believe that dumb people will eliminate themselves on their own if we let them be. I don't want the government to try and save them. Let the natural selection have it's way 😀


Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 11/8/2013 1:10:31 AM

Moebius
Moebius
7 years ago

This employee did what he is required by law to do, inform the "adult" that the material in question was not appropriate for the child. That the "adult" shrugged their responsibility to be a good parent is on her. Then the employee removed themselves from the situation, also the right move. The second employee finished the transaction with the knowledge that the "adult" had been informed of the "M" rating and had made a decision to complete the purchase.

The onus is on the parent, regardless of how pathetic an example they are.

It is easy to blame the retailers for this problem. After all, a private business (almost always) retains the right to refuse service. All the employee/manager/owner has to do is say "NO", right?

Then, of course, there are examples like this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/02/sweet-cakes-by-melissa-closed-_n_3856184.html

Yes, a different topic but the same problem. Our society has decided that the retailer has no rights. The retailer, and by extension everyone employed by them, must simply serve and turn a blind eye to any issue. Then of course,the retailer will be blamed when things go wrong because they did nothing.

Simple fact: The maker/provider of a product/service has both a legal and moral obligation to make a best effort attempt in giving the consumer all pertinent information about what they are selling.

If the consumer ignores that information the blame falls squarely on their shoulders. Much like it must on this "parent".

richfiles
richfiles
7 years ago

When I get parents in the Gamestop where I work asking about GTA 5, or just wanting to pick it up for little Timmy, I make it a point to let them know the game features a virtual strip club, with lap dances… and touching.

Parents don't care if their kids shoot 10,000 virtual people that aren't real, as long as there are no tittys.

As far as Gamestop policy goes, we are required to card for anyone who "looks under 40". Our system is rather outdated, so we don't have anything fancy like ID scans to authorize a transaction, but we also DO have the right to refuse a sale. With GTA 5, we had the extra policy of CARD EVERY TIME, and always ask who the target player would be.

The fact of the matter is, that we can make the sale if the parent or guardian makes the purchase, but we also (at least at my store location) make every attempt to dissuade such purchases, including my own aforementioned tactic.

Parents don't like dem tittys. They may love their guns… but dayam if you sell their kid tittys!


Last edited by richfiles on 11/11/2013 2:31:02 AM

berserk
berserk
7 years ago

What Neo said , it s not the kid that bought it , it s her mother that have the age to buy that game .

Just like in movies theaters , yo can watch R rated movies if you re with a parent .

Norrin Radd
Norrin Radd
7 years ago

Bravo, Ben. I agree 100% with your assessment. It's sad the level of ignorance in our country. And most of it is willful. The lack of trying to better oneself (once one of this country's most envied qualities) is simply staggering. There is misplaced pride in displaying stupidity and ignorance today. And poor individuals like that clerk are the ones whom take it on the chin. A sad sad story indeed.


Last edited by Norrin Radd on 11/6/2013 10:57:34 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
7 years ago

can't govern those who only serve themselves. can't teach them with knowledge either because their heart's desire to fill their own appetites.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 11/6/2013 10:56:51 PM

Crabba
Crabba
7 years ago

Man that's a depressing story…

The fact that she admitted to buying the game for the kid should mean that she shouldn't have been allowed to buy the game.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
7 years ago

Unless the item can kill people (like a car)I don't think the government should be involved in restricting it either, but stories like this really make you lose faith in mankind.

I think the guy did the right thing, he kept his cool, kept his job (not sure I wouldn't have gotten myself fired) and won't be responsible for something ethically wrong.

Simcoe
Simcoe
7 years ago

Yeah, I believe if he had refused to serve the customer, she would have called the managers boss and at worse the clerk would be looking for a new job.

greg238
greg238
7 years ago

Idk this guy but damn my hero way to stand up but if it were me I wouldn't have been that nice wit that disgusting women

fatelementality
fatelementality
7 years ago

This reminds me of a Christopher Titus story. Look up Neverlution when you get a chance Ben. I think it's right up your alley.

kraygen
kraygen
7 years ago

It's not tv, music, or video games. It's not society or the times we live in. There have always been stupid people and there always will be.

SaiyanSenpai
SaiyanSenpai
7 years ago

Very depressing. I have no respect for parents like that.

The clerk did what he needed to do to keep his job while at the same time holding to his morals of not personally selling her the game (that bad karma goes to the manager).

I've been reading stories of employees running out into the parking lot to save people being assaulted or mugged only to get fired for it. We (society) should really put the priority on doing the right thing by rewarding these good people, not punishing them. What a horrible message to convey to people.

I007spectre
I007spectre
7 years ago

Was waiting for an article like this to pop up. So the Halo series is rated M, yet there are many many toys, Lego's etc based on the series that are aimed directly at children. WHY? Seems like a stupid money grab to me.

As I see it some kids play the game, and so they want the toys. While other kids get the toys then want to play the game.

Underdog15
Underdog15
7 years ago

It's not nearly as severe an issue, but it does remind me of the proper thing to do when a pregnant woman orders alcohol. The sales person has a right to refuse to serve in that situation, however, the woman also has a right to drink whatever she wants… despite how selfish it might be.

The clerk did the right thing. In fact, the same thing taught in a Smart Serve course for serving alcohol. The right thing to do is to let the manager know the dilemma you have (which he did in a way) and relinquish having to help her to his superior. He did the exact thing expected from a professional in a moral dilemma.

Simcoe
Simcoe
7 years ago

For a woman to smoke or drink while pregnant has become a social taboo. It would be nice if buying or allowing young kids to play M rated games became a social taboo as well.

Underdog15
Underdog15
7 years ago

When I was in university, I worked a summer as a server and bartender at a restaurant. As taboo as it is… some women still do. And now working for an organization that supports people with intellectual disabilities… I can tell you Fetal Alcohol Syndrome still occurs with far too much regularity.

Makes you sick.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
7 years ago

Reading this, I feel a sense of desolation. Of a world and a people afraid to truly stand up for what they believe in. I'm not saying that the clerk did wrong by walking away but it feels wrong when faced with such behaviour. I really don't like reading stories like this even though I am in contact with similar examples of stupidity and entitlement every day without working in the retail sector. Makes me realise that this sort of mindset isn't isolated to the small out-of-the-way parts of the world.

Oh well, "what cannot be cured must be endured".

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
7 years ago

Oh, but I believe it CAN be cured.

Simcoe
Simcoe
7 years ago

It's sad really, all this guy was doing was trying to inform the customer that the game was not suited for young children and offered to make recommendations on other age suitable titles.

Draguss
Draguss
7 years ago

I'm only commenting to point out that everything I wanted to say has already been said by everyone else, and the only part of my comment that remains unsaid is a rather long stream of profanity that I should not post by itself.

Corvo
Corvo
7 years ago

I stood in line the other day waiting for a mother and I don't mean to be rude, but she was chubby, while her sons who looked to be about 9-10 were swearing at each other. This was at Gamestop. She had Ghosts and GTAV for the xbox and was buying it obviously for the two kids. I said those games contain some pretty harsh graphical violence that shouldn't be viewed by minors and she said her sons said that it didn't have any blood or gore. She ended up putting both games back and one of the kids called me an A-hole. Felt good helping out a parent.

Underdog15
Underdog15
7 years ago

Nice show!

Thinking back to when I was growing up… if my mom had heard me call a stranger an a-hole, she'd have dragged my ass back and forced me to apologize through fear of death. lol! She might have even made me offer to help them with something like carrying their bags to their car or something.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 11/7/2013 7:47:21 AM

Masszt3r
Masszt3r
7 years ago

@Knightzane Nice!

@Underdog Lol! I think my mom would have done the same.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
7 years ago

lol, good for you man.

Simcoe
Simcoe
7 years ago

Well done, Knightzane!

Crabba
Crabba
7 years ago

Much better story, still though that parent was buying two fairly obviously violent titles, I mean seriously just reading the title should be able to tell you that, and she just took her kids word for it? How about just doing a basic check before you buy stuff like that for your kids??

But at least she had the sense to put them back after you told her, I guess that's better than nothing… Of course, how many parents are like her, but doesn't have someone like you in line to warn her?

___________
___________
7 years ago

im amazed and disgusted how gutless retailers have become on selling inappropriate material.
i remember when i was a kid every time i went into a store with my parents and they tried to buy the game or movie with me they always refused the sale saying your buying it for your son and its inappropriate for him im not selling you it.
hell i remember when GTA SA came out and my mother purchased it as a gift for someone and i was with her because she dident know what to buy her, and the clerk said no im not selling it to you its not appropriate for your son to play.
then i slipped my licence onto the counter and his face was redder than a beetroot!
i just said its ok, thats a compliment than walked away as they finished the transaction.
now days, hell 2 weeks ago i went and bought eddie murphy raw on DVD with my 12 year old cuz and they dident batter a eyelid.
and thats rated R18+ BTW………..
amazing, you cant go into a alcohol shop with a minor waiting at the counter and purchase booze but you can go into a entertainment store and purchase whatever you want.
WTF!?


Last edited by ___________ on 11/7/2013 3:33:24 AM

mk ultra
mk ultra
7 years ago

Educating ignorant people is impossible if they are unwilling to learn. It seems like stupid people are breeding at an alarming rate these days. Mike Judge might have called it with Idiocracy.

PlatformGamerNZ
PlatformGamerNZ
7 years ago

this is what we are all worried about i mean i was raised well so this didn't really affect and my parents wud never have done this and if i buy games it's up to me i feel is approriate and ever now i don't like some games that rated at an age that i've above so yea it is frustrating

happy gaming =)

Banky A
Banky A
7 years ago

Yuck. That's just really yuck.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
7 years ago

As bad as it is, I'm not surprised. I still don't see why the US has such an open classification system, where if you look under 25 you get asked for your ID. And if a child is beside the mother like in this instance, you would have to ask and if they responded saying it was for the child, you would not be allowed to sell the item.

Condemnedsoul23
Condemnedsoul23
7 years ago

You're right. If a parent or adult period took a kid in the store to buy cigarettes and admitted it was for the child, sell denied BUT the difference there are heavy fines and a job being involved. Maybe, if it were like that for video games, problem solved.

bldudas1
bldudas1
7 years ago

And she will most likely scream and holler about the games being violent and corrupting her child once she sees what the game is about.

Crabba
Crabba
7 years ago

Nah, she's way to busy stuffing her face with candy and watching the latest "reality show"

Monkeysnarf
Monkeysnarf
7 years ago

I find this story very hard to believe. When you said GameStop are you sure you didn't mean Walmart?

Condemnedsoul23
Condemnedsoul23
7 years ago

@Monkey, I can't think of a Wal-Mart employee caring at all. They have more important things to worry about like trying to live off the pittance of an income they receive.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
7 years ago

HA.

The sad truth is that the Wal-Mart walking wounded are pretty much everywhere now.

Jawknee
Jawknee
7 years ago

I've been carded every time I've bought a violent game from Walmart.

Underdog15
Underdog15
7 years ago

@Jawk
Me too, actually. I don't even get carded for alcohol anymore…

MRSUCCESS
MRSUCCESS
7 years ago

I don't mean to pry, but which city or state this was in?

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
7 years ago

CT.