January 18th, 2006

If you’d like to hear some interesting game-related ramblings, plus the totally embarrassing sound of my own voice, check out this week’s Weekly Geek. Frodo and the gang were kind enough to have me on air with them on Sunday, and even to laugh at my jokes during those awkward, overseas delays. Thanks again, guys! The show itself touches on a number of things, from violence in games to console rumors to, you guessed it, sex. Give it a listen. Just don’t remind me how silly I sound…

On an unrelated note, I’ve been doing my best to check out the gaming scene over here in Ireland. The most I’ve been able to find is a tricked-out GameStop and some way over-priced titles. European gamers, how do you do it? If I gave up food for a week I still couldn’t afford a console game. Jeezie-creezie.

Tags: Blog

12 Responses to “Bonnie on “The Weekly Geek””

  1. MD² Says:

    Don’t know about Ireland, but here in Paris, this is exactly what I’m reduced to: eating next to nothing for a couple of weeks to buy a game, though to be honest I’m a peculiar case, as I have to live on a 400 euros a month budget.

    The first thing to know if you wish to survive is the location of the places of power where you can find a big concentration of video game shops. [Here in Paris, you’d probably have to go to the Avenue de la République (in fact it’s closer to Oberkampf, but most know the place by the République name) or the cursed triangle Rue des Ecoles (one street table-top games, one street Video Games and the last one books, comics, swag and CDs. That place is evil), but whatever.] There you’ll find almost anything you want, with a little patience, but it should come expensive. The shopkeepers generally belong to the hardcore gaming community and know exactly how much everything can be worth. Which means you can still find a mint copy of Walkyrie Profile, but it will go for around 100 euros. Which mean you’ll be able to buy most japanese/american games on sale’s day, but they will go for 60 to 75 euros a piece. Most of the times high prices can be explained by taxes if your shop is honest.

    Trouble is import is a very grey area. Sometimes even shadowy. If your shop is honest and declares everything, it only gains 5-10 euros on a 75 euros game. Given the high cost of the rent for a shop in most capital cities in Europe, they generally do not make enough out of that market. Which in turns explains the state of the second-hand market. Games are bought back by shops for as little as they can and sometimes sold back indecent prices (let’ say bought back 20 euros and sold back 50… sometimes, for very hard to find import games, it’s just sold back at the original price. The shopkeeper know most kids have no choice, their parents won’t buy it for them over the net. Sadly, they tend to drive the older customers away, digging their own tomb.)

    Knowing the shopkeeper is the key to finding decent prices. If the shopkeeper likes you, he can go a long way just to be nice to you (I can generally get a 5 to 15 euro discount when buying a game just because I’m know as an all around nice guy). Don’t try to bullshit anyone on prices though, or try haggling the panhandling way. They tend to know one another and there is no surest way to declare war (I know some shopkeeper who’ll find excuses NOT to sell you a game because you told him the shop up the street was selling it cheaper while he perfectly knows he’s the only one left in town who still has some to sell… yup, it goes that far). If the shop is lively, the best way I know to be labeled “nice” is generally easy: just wait for a conversation/debate over games to start, be yourself, and give your honest opinion in a civil manner, whatever civilty means where you are. Ten minutes lost that way once in while when shopping can be enough to make sure you enter the good graces of our shopkeepiong friend. Just be sure not to seem greedy (or flirty, I tend to forget that being a girl gamer can be a nuisance if your shopkeeper happens to be moronic)

    Hum… hope all this isn’t too disjointed, I was typing it while typing along another text, and also that it migh prove at least insightful.


  2. Bonnie Says:

    Hmm, that little hope? Alas. Luckily (kind of) I don’t have my consoles here, so I’m not too tempted – though even the DS games are ridiculous (and ridiculously scarce). As for not seeming flirty, you don’t think that would be a helpful thing? I mean, not that I’m planning on it, but you think that would actually work against you? Just curious…

  3. MD² Says:

    It’s not so much I don’t think it might prove useful as I don’t think it’s worth the risk having an idiot believing he has some rights over you cause he did you a five euros discount.
    Chances are few, but you know how it is, whatever happens after that, people will consider you part guilty, however ridiculous a position it happens to be, so I wouldn’t take the risk.

    But then people often call me a cold blooded manipulator…

    … I think they just don’t understand the value of being analytical in your public displays.

  4. zorniki Says:

    Ahhh yeah, finally someone who hits the problem right where it hurts! The pricing is sometimes ridiculous, especially compared to the US tags.. I mean 60â`¬ for a gamecube game or 50â`¬ (ahh well 49.99) for Tony Hawks Sk8tland for DS .. that´s what i call insane!

    Austria might not be the place for the cheap ass gamer after all! I´m just glad I´m able to import all the gaming goodness for my DS from the US and Japan.

    Though I´m not a student anymore and do a decent amount of money here, things need to change, as stated in one Escapist article on how the gaming market should develop in a way the movie industry did.

    So long fellow gamers of Europe, keep ur eyes open! Ebay and even Amazon do offer new games for a tremendously lower price sometimes…

    greets from Austria & thx for your inspiring articles Bonnie!

  5. Bonnie Says:

    Thanks, Zorniki, and good suggestion with Amazon. I forget that such things really do work overseas. I wonder how stores can get away with these prices when things are available so cheap online. I guess, like you said MD^2, it’s for kids whose parents are afraid of the internet. Also, you’re probably right: flirting in exchange for discounts = no good. Now sexual favors for free games… :-)

  6. Patrick Dugan Says:

    I think Bonnie has a voice for radio.

    I’m totally in agreement, everything I make is going to sell for less than $30.

  7. frodo Says:

    Bonnie TOTALLY has a voice for radio. Majorly better than that dork, Frodo. MAN WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT GUY.

  8. Bonnie Says:

    A voice for radio? I’ll take your flattery and raise you a What the crap are you smoking :-).

    Ah, $30 games. Patrick, you are my hero.

  9. Patrick Dugan Says:

    Uh, thats marijuana sweetheart.

  10. Kirbinite Says:

    Omigosh like 10 euros more for a video games!! Or not, I’m an exchange student from Alaska in Denmark right now and deeply regretting not bringing my gba, or buying a DS before I left. Near everything is directly twice the price it is in the US. As in most console games are $100. Tax on importing is insanely high, so you won’t get any slack there. A danish friend of mine (whose DS I’ve had an affair with for the past couple weeks) said that he gets them from an online store that makes the packages look like they’re from Sweden to save on shipping. Not the most honest way, but gamers can get desperate. That’s why I suppose the only gamers here are PC gamers.

  11. Bonnie Says:

    Hey Kirbinite, I feel your pain. Here in Ireland, I’ve resorted to having games purchased in the US and shipped out here, just to get some fresh blood in my DS collection. Sigh…

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