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Friday, October 15, 2010

A Spectacle of Modern Commerce

Ok, so I was distraught at the thought of not bringing my Genesis 1 with a Powerbase converter to play me some Phantasy Star and report back; but let me explain. I knew there was only one TV here and I didn't want to monopolize it. I know, I'm a real sweetheart. That said, my thirst for classic gaming has not gone unquenched! First on our agenda was a trip to The Mall of America in Minnesota!

Bask in its materialistic glory.
For those of you who either don't live in the mid-north of the United States, or are simply out of the know (seriously, I grew up in Colorado and had heard of this place!); The Mall of America is a mighty monument to capitalism and consumerism. Located in Minnesota, it is the second largest shopping mall in the United States in terms of usable retail space. The only thing surprising about the mall is that there isn't a mammoth bronze statue of Sam Walton out front with a plaque bearing PT Barnum’s famous, “There's one born every minute”, quote and greeting consumers with a knowing grin out in the parking lot (that distinction goes to Kingfisher Oklahoma).

We were figuring out a plan of attack on the mall. I was driving when Stacy asked what I wanted to see in there while she was glancing over the directory in the backseat. I said “nothing” as I guessed there would probably be two Game Stops and nothing else. It was a good guess in that I was right, but an easy one... Why wouldn't there be two Game Stops in the second biggest mall in the country... There's two Game Stops down the street I live off of... Fuck I hate Game Stop. 

I meandered about the second biggest Mall in the country and had lunch at A&W. On the menu for me was loaded French fries and deep-fried cheese curds (a local delicacy). Yeah, one of those would have been fine by itself, but together I swear they aged me about five years. I still get a sick feeling looking at the image below.

Looking back, this was a terrible decision.
After punishing my colon for no good reason, I continued perusing the vast consumer wasteland. Then, far off on the horizon; I beheld a store that did not appear on any directory, yet there it was before me. My eyes widened and I let out a stifled "woot" under my breath as I saw first hand...

Words cannot express... *sniff
This place is probably the coolest store I've ever been to in a mall since Funco Land vanished, and definitely only one of two kiosks I've every actually bought anything from (man that other kiosk woman was pushy). The only irritating thing about it was that Game Stop gets two full storefronts, and in the same mall this place is relegated to a crumby kiosk by some shitty comedy club. Is there no justice? Still, despite being in a crappy location on Level 3 (of 4!), they did have an incredible selection of... Well everything!

The guy behind the counter opened this up for me and it even smelled new.
They had games for the Neo Geo, Turbo Grafx 16, Genesis, Sega CD, Saturn, Dreamcast, 32X, NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Cube, N64, X-Box, X-Box 360, Wii, DS, Virtual Boy, Atari 2600, and a bunch of Playstation crap and used DVDs. Really, the best selection I've seen outside of eStarland in Virginia. My mother in law had given me a $25 Visa gift card just the day before, and though I knew it went against my quest, I could not not support this store and the awesome business they run. I ended up buying two Cryo-developed games for the Sega CD: Dune and MegaRace.

Coincidentally the music for both games was composed by the talented St├ęphan Picq.
Call it a moment of weakness if you like, but I defy any one of you in the presence of such a thing to deny its siren call. Besides, I didn’t actually spend any of my money on these two. There’s some more images if you click the link below. You'll get the full effect and perhaps you too will succumb to her wild charms.

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