Hey folks! Murdock is off today, so you guys get good ol’ Steve!

As some of you know, I used to draw a comic called Negative Zen which was somewhat like this here “Zing!” thing. On this comic, for however long it goes, I’m simply responsible for the art. It’s actually rather freeing, to be honest. I’ve been writing stories for a long time, but “punch lines” were never my strong point. Murdock has a unique mind/viewpoint on things that makes punchlines work. I’m much more of a prose-writing kinda guy. Short stories, longer-form comics, etc.

What we do have in common is that we both worked at software stores, back when such establishments were routinely found in meatspace. The Software Etc and Electronics Boutiques of the world, you see.

Like many retail establishments, these stores attracted a variety of…. interesting personalities. It’s why the character of “Frank” over at Penny Arcade works so well, because that’s what district managers at software stores actually acted like. Murdock and I didn’t work in the same store, of course, nor even the same franchise chain. Indeed, we grew up ~1200 miles away from each other. Yet, the experiences we had were very similar. By and large this sort of thing is now limited to the Gamestops of the world (which, of course, were until relatively recently “EB” stores), so it’s likely that the personalities that were running corporate HQ for these places wasn’t terribly different than those at the retail level. As a result, that sort of shopping experience is more or less gone for the younger generation of gaming enthusiast.

I’m not entirely sure whether that’s a bad or good thing. The Gamefly + Amazon model of gaming seems to be taking hold much more these days. For my part, I end up with very little time to play videogames, which is sort of a bummer, but it does save money.

A pressing question remains, though: If there’s no more gaming retail stores, where am I going to be able to buy a case of (insert trading cards for genre movie that came out 6 months ago) collectible trading carts for $0.05 a pack?

Clearly, this is a break in the retail sales chain that must be filled.