I am feeling pretty bad this evening. This would not be because I spent my evening playing the awesome new 360 game Dead Rising. I totally enjoyed the game, as it’s a campy yet fun take on zombie horror films.

No, it is not because I didn’t help my wife clean the house instead of playing video games all night.

It is because of the circumstances in which I happened to acquire the game this evening.

So on 8/8, the game was released, which means that it was shipping and would be available at retail stores for purchase on the 9th. Well, I decided I would take a gamble and check out the local stores such as Circuit City, Target, and Game Stop. I was to be disappointed, and indeed be told it would not be available till the next day. The friendly girl at the Game Stop mentioned I could pre-order it by putting $5 down, insuring there would be a copy for me waiting the as soon as it arrived. Ha! Why would I pre order, when I totally figured one of the other stores would have it, and I would not be left in the lurch. I told her I would take my chances and be sure to find a copy the next day.

So today came, and I was feeling cocky confident I would stop at the big box store on the way home and pick up my copy of the game. I could have stopped in before work, but I figured I had a good chance on find one copy available. So I had left work and headed over to Circuit City to find….no copies in stock.

Ok, I said I guess I have to humble myself and go to the Game Stop where the girl had chided me for not considering the $5 pre-order. I entered the store, and there she was behind the counter. I swallowed my hubris, and said hello and asked her if she had a copy of Dead Rising in stock. As she said "Yes, we have 1 copy left" I felt the chorus of victory spring forth in my head. This would last a micro second as she would then say while pointing to a nice young kid standing next to me, "He is waiting for his mother to arrive so he can purchase it.Since it’s not reserved it is on a first come, first serve basis.". Ok, I thought this was fair, and yes I felt humbled because if I did pre-order (knowing I would be searching to find one anyway), this copy would surely be mine.

So the greedy, older, more conniving mature part of me says "I have cash to pay." thinking the only impetus for this kid to purchase the game was he was waiting for his mother to come pay for it. Yet again, I am knocked back as the young kid says "So do I." and proceeded to show me the wadded up bills he had saved in his wallet.

The store sales women tells him that because it is a mature title, that she cant’ sell it to him unless his parents are there. The kid is frantically calling what I believe his mother to get her to hurry up to the store so he can buy the game before the mean man (me!) buys it.It is at this point that I start feeling bad for the kid, because I am sure I can drive somewhere else today to find this game if I can’t buy it here, but he will have to convince his parents to do so, and he may not be so lucky. I had apologized to the kid, saying that I had been looking for this game, and that I had really wanted it. I think I was trying to make myself feel better than trying to assuage the fellow for his potential loss.

So, sales woman is in a bind. Two people are here for 1 game, and 1 of them is old enough and has the cash to purchase it on the spot, but the other had arrived first. So she had called her manager on what to do. Wisely, they decided to set a 5 minute timer, and if the boys mom came in, the game was his. If not, the game was mine. Fair and square.

So the timer is going, and in walks what appears to be this boys mom. It is at this moment I nod to the kid, as a sort of "Congrats, it’s yours". The sales women tells me to hang on a second, as she ascertains if this lady is indeed the boys mom, to get the parental permission to sell him the title. As it turns out, it is his AUNT, and she will not sell the boy the game!

Victory is mine!

The boy understands, and smiles at me. He offers me his hand to shake, and congratulate me on obtaining the game. I shake hands in a flurry of joy and excitement, and start paying for my game. I feel bad for the kid, but the sales woman did the right thing. If she had sold him the mature title, and his mother later complained, she would be the one in trouble.

So I pay for the game, and the sales woman razzes me on how close I was to being gameless because I did not pre-order. She asks if I want to pre-order Gears of War, to which I am cocky confident, and say I do not need to pre-order. Now, the voice of reason chimes in, and reminds me of the last 20 minutes events. She is right, and I concede to put my $5 pre-order fee to hold me a copy on launch day. It’s not like I wasn’t going to look into getting it anyway,right?

So I leave the store with my new game like a little kid who has been saving all his chores/paper route money to buy. Oh wait, that’s right I took it out from under that young kid. I felt really bad, and kind of wanted to go back to the store to buy the kid some MS points for being so mature about the situation. He could at least buy a XBLA game while I was at home killing zombies. Oh well, I was already in the parking lot near my car when I thought of this, so I did not go back in.

Sorry kid, but know for your sacrifice, I killed quite a few hundred zombies tonight and gained 100 Gamerscore. This ones for you! 🙂

I think I need to top off the old good karma tank after this….