Internal Gamestop Video Teaches How To Sell To Women

The conceit in this internal Gamestop training video is that you’re watching a sort of nature video with a British anthropologist investigating a strange and mysterious species: woman— and how to sell to them. Offensive – or just a low-budget industrial video team trying to get its audience to pay attention? Take our poll inside and you be the judge, but either way, you can be pretty sure Gamestop never intended any customer to see this video.

[via Kotaku]

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  1. philmin says:

    I think it is still acceptable to say that woman and men are different… but this is a tough one. I mean, what if they made the same video for black customers, or homosexual customers? It would be totally offensive. If at the end of this, Gamestop is essentially suggesting to treat women differently than men in terms of selling, then I’d say this is a bad idea.

    • kityglitr says:

      @philmin: I think your point is incredibly valid. But, I’m a woman, and a gamer (not casual) and I’ve worked in marketing. It’s true, women in general have a different mental process when it comes to shopping. However, as a gamer, and a hard core gamer at that, I find it offensive. I want to be treated the same as a guy when I go in to get my next copy of GTA IV or peripherals for Rock Band. I don’t want the guy behind the counter asking my husband all the questions, when it’s MY money that I’m spending. I dunno… I don’t think Gamestop can really win with this one. Every company makes stupid videos like this… most just don’t see the light of day.

      • Aidan Roche says:

        @kityglitr: But you can get a FREE subscription to GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        @kityglitr: Your points are valid too, but just as there are men who are not hardcore gamers, many women are not either. They cannot assume to treat everyone the same just because they’re in the store – and while a younger female should probably be assumed to be the gamer, an older woman (30′s up) probably isn’t and will be intimidated by “gamer jargon overload” as they put it. Its better, IMO, for them to greet their customers the same, ask a few general questions – if the girl starts talking back with similar terms, they can respond in kind, else they will probably have to guide them to options, as in the video.

        Having worked there, but not being a serious gamer, I would be able to handle myself, my mom, on the other hand would be totally lost.

        • Dances with Peeps says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: I’m 50, and I’ve beeng gaming for 20 years. Maybe your mom isn’t into it, but I miss the hours I used to spend on an RPG. You know where my time went? My kids. They suck up every spare minute I can give them, and maybe if you weren’t around, your mom might have had time to find her inner fragger.

          Happily, I got a new DS for Christmas and my local Gamestop employees treat me well. Next, I’m getting a PS3.

          • ArcanaJ says:

            @dudelette: Thank you! I’m 43 and have been gaming since I was 18. My kids and I now game together. Every exhausted mom deserves a little time to discover her inner fragger, because nothing smooths the edges of a rough day like a little virtual carnage.

            As for the video, it’s dumb, but it’s intentions are good.

            @Oranges w/ Cheese 30 = older woman? Really? DAYUM!

        • mythago says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: You must be pretty young. Those creaky old over-thirty broads were probably the top scores on Yar’s Revenge and Joust back when your only relationship to gaming was trying to use a joystick to relieve teething pain. They’re not in Gamestop or EBgames because they got it mixed up with the Yankee Candle store, dude.

          (That said, my local Gamestop has always been great, never have they done anything worse than cautioning me that the game I was pre-ordering was M-rated.)

          • dragonfire81 says:

            @mythago: I’ve worked at several different Gamestop stores and I treat all my customers equally. I don’t care who you are buying the game for nor do I ever ask. It’s not my business.

          • ArcanaJ says:

            @mythago: “… back when your only relationship to gaming was trying to use a joystick to relieve teething pain.”

            Ok, now that made me laugh!

        • muffingal says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: I can agree with your points. Maybe you should be training GameStop employees.

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        @kityglitr:

        I used to host a roundtable at the annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) held in the Bay Area every year, and this is one of the topics I’d cover on a regular basis. It was always a hoot to hear the discussion – there was a lot of ripping on the retail outlets, but a lot was also directed towards publisher marketing and sales departments, as well.

        Before each conference, I used to take an informal, non-scientific poll of my female friends who were hardcore gamers like me, and their opinions of places like Gamestop, EB Games, etc. Universally, they HATED going into these stores – they always felt like the staff was condescending towards them. One woman told me that anytime she’d ask a question about a new game at her local store, the staff would ask whether it was for her boyfriend or not. It didn’t matter that she’d tell them repeatedly that the game was for her, it was simply a concept they couldn’t grasp. Go figure.

        I’m sure this was meant to be humorous but I find it off-putting, personally. Overall, I think that things have gotten a bit better in terms of the way the industry thinks of female gamers but there’s still some room for improvement.

        • alexawesome says:

          @LadySiren: They open the video saying that no woman likes to be condescended to. They’re trying to combat that kind of behavior with this video. Be polite, be approachable, and don’t treat people like crap – regardless of their comfort level with the product. Because gaming is such a cultural thing, they have to teach their employees how to be sales people, since by and large the employees are members of the culture first, employees second.

          • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

            @alexawesome:

            I think you’re right in that they were trying to combat that very behavior pattern; I’m just noting that it’s been years since I gave my last talk and it still seems to be pervasive, cutesy training video or not.

            Also, I’d almost forgotten this: when I went and picked up my copy of WoW: Wrath of the Lich King, by my estimate, at least 50% of the line population was female, if not more like 60%. When I got to the register, the guy behind the counter asked me if I was picking it up for my husband. I rolled my eyes and walked away slowly, letting him stare at my jacket which bears the logo of one of the top-selling FPS games of all time, which you could only get by being on the publishing team.

            • Illiterati says:

              @LadySiren: Ha! When I went to Gamestop to buy God of War 2, the guy behind the counter also asked me if it was a gift for my husband. He was literally speechless when I said it was mine, and that God of War 1 was my favorite game of the previous year.

              I’m pretty sure I’m a lady type, and I don’t think the video is insulting. I think it’s a mildly funny way to teach people how to be better salespeople, which means understanding that customers are different and you need to change your technique depending on the situation.

              • muffingal says:

                @Illiterati: I really hate when that happens. Speechless… talk about living under a rock! We don’t have cooties!

                But not for nothing, the male dominated game mags don’t help. All adverts are targeted to men. Plus those Girls of Gaming mags? They make it seem like only Y chromosomes play.

      • Rob Weddle says:

        @kityglitr: Unless you look like a middle-aged mom-lady, I don’t think your point has any merit. While the video may have been a little insensitive, it did lean toward a specific subset of women. On top of that, it made a point to make sure the employees could identify and help confused or overwhelmed customers. That’s not a bad skill to have no matter who your customer is.

        I don’t like going to Victoria’s Secret alone (makes me feel pervy), but when I do (OK, I’m a little pervy), I appreciate the kid-gloves approach to the service I get.

        • Skeetz says:

          @Rob Weddle: I don’t think “kid-gloves” is the term your looking for in that kinda place.. not even “baby steps”.. go with “empathetic employee assistance”

        • Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

          @Rob Weddle: The difference is that if you are buying things in Victoria’s Secret it is quite unlikely that any man is ever buying for himself, simply because he doesn’t have the anatomy for it (but if you like women’s panties, more power to you). Whereas the video game market is something that can be enjoyed equally by either sex, no problem. A better analogy would be going into a Williams Senoma or some sort of kitchen/home store and the female employees treat you like you couldn’t possibly ever have prepared food before, without asking you any questions about your cooking habits at all.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        @kityglitr: For what it’s worth, if you’re a hard core gamer you simply won’t need stuff sold to you. You’ll already know what you want and the only thing a salesperson’s pitch is going to do is deter you from it (or at a minimum annoy you in the process).

        • muffingal says:

          @Applekid: Sometimes you do look around a store regardless of knowing what you want. They should be more respectful to women. We want to be treated like any other customer. Oranges w/Cheese had a good point.

      • alexawesome says:

        @kityglitr: Meh. The video isn’t telling employees to ignore female customers and search desperately for their male caretaker, as your comment suggests. Rather, it’s teaching typically young male associates how to engage female shoppers. If you’re a gamer yourself, your gender doesn’t really matter – you’ll be able to engage and make your purchase regardless. If you’re shopping FOR someone else, that’s where these vids come in. Any gaming hub can be intimidating for someone who isn’t a direct part of the culture (and it IS a culture). The stereotype that is being made here is that male customers are inherently knowledgeable about games. The video is NOT suggesting that ALL women are NOT knowledgeable. It’s quite clear that the video aims to better prepare GS associates for non-culture shoppers, e.g. moms and other adult females who are shopping for other people.

        Honestly, it seems like a joke on the employees of game stop. It is a woman, but do not panic. Speak calmly, stop sweating. Here is a way to rehearse your lines before you have to encounter a woman so you don’t freak out and throw up on her.

        Okay, that is offensive, but I don’t think the intent or the message is offensive to WOMEN.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @alexawesome: “If you’re a gamer yourself, your gender doesn’t really matter – you’ll be able to engage and make your purchase regardless.”

          HA! You have to get them to stop staring at your boobs long enough to make the purchase.

          • so_gracefully says:

            @Eyebrows McGee: I feel similarly–going into a Gamestop and being bombarded with flirty conversation and boob-gazes is NOT why I am there, and I notice that they don’t do that to my boyfriend, or other guys. That makes me uncomfortable and pissed off, and it also encourages me buy games on Amazon.

          • alexawesome says:

            @Eyebrows McGee: Look, as a woman I’ve had plenty of experience being treated inappropriately and offensively. We can all recount a zillion examples of bad interactions with gamers, frat boys, people with penises, people in cars, people on the sidewalk, people in the bike lane, people… well, you get the point. I think it’s equally unfair to generalize game stop employees as complete pervo dickheads as it is for them to generalize women (which I do not think they did – I think they did a good job of identifying some of the trickier clientele – namely female shoppers who are not first-hand gamers).

            I’ve definitely been in game stop stores where I’ve been treated respectfully, politely, and most importantly, wasn’t stared at, bothered or otherwise harassed. There ARE stores where people act normal and don’t behave like your breasts have just come down from god and nipples will shortly be the only form of sustenance *shudder*

            It almost seems like women are making the sexist generalization that because they have female genitalia and ohmygod breasts they’ll be harassed and obsessed over by guys they believe do not normally have sex or interact with women. While there is and was an element of truth to that, I think it’s become a bias more than an unfortunate reality.

            Like I said in some of my suspiciously grouped together comments above, gaming is a subculture before anything else. Unlike most other stores (like food shopping or clothes shopping), it’s pretty heavily staffed with people who are a member of that culture. Some of them are idiot newbs who fail at life. Hell, they ARE working at game stop which would sort of contradict that massive superiority complex they have. Obviously, they have a lot more problems than thinking you’re buying a game for your husband, y’know?

            As a woman, I get kind of sick of this back and forth stereotyping. It’s impossible to get through life without having a few negative experiences, but let’s grow up ladies. Let’s stop gasping at how scandalous it is while fondling our own breasts and realize that some people are just immature and sad. And maybe your boobs are the closest to sex a sad, lonely dude working in a game stop is going to get. Not your problem. If it upsets you that much, complain to a manager. How that relates to the overall offensiveness of a video in which Game Stop attempts to inform its associates how to behave appropriately is beyond me.

            • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

              @alexawesome: I’m merely responding to what you said — if you’re a gamer yourself, gender doesn’t matter at these stores. I AM a gamer myself, and my gender HAS mattered at 90% of these stores. Which is why I patronize the small 10% that isn’t staffed with idiots. But I think you’re overgeneralizing when you say that “if you’re a gamer, there’s no gender problem.” There obviously still is.

              • alexawesome says:

                @Eyebrows McGee: My point being more that there *shouldn’t* be a problem, not that there never *is* a problem. There’s no excuse to treat women differently or make sexist assumptions. This video doesn’t do that. If people are treating you badly, report them to a manager. Explain how completely absurd and stupid that is. Feel free to be a bit vicious to associate asshat.

                With regard to the video itself, it’s explaining to people who speak gamer how to speak other languages and help non-gamers (usually mom’s and female purchasers) explain the products and promotions in a non-condescending way. It doesn’t really touch on female gamers, and I think the idea is that people who can’t get over the fact that girls play games are beyond help.

        • muffingal says:

          @alexawesome: kityglitr is speaking from experience! I have also had a sales clerk come up to my fiance and he will tell them, “You are talking to the wrong person. She called you over to help her. She’s the gamer.”

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @philmin: I think its a joke.

      • lilbobbytables says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: @philmin: I am assuming it is a joke. I am a girly gamer, and I have been getting along a-ok at my local gamestop.

        • fjordtjie says:

          @lilbobbytables: also a girly gamer, but usually when i’m in there, they’re the ‘deer in headlights’ not me. flabergasted is a good word for their reaction to my presence.

          the is meant to be a joke, but it is pretty offensive. for me the most offensive point is that women are just wild animals and men are the animal handlers. i get the humor, i just don’t think it’s funny. if it is seriously a video gamestop developed, i’ll think twice before shopping there–the wendy’s training video with the dorky kid rapping about hamburgers? funny. this video? not funny.

          • fjordtjie says:

            @fjordtjie: the video. yay me!

          • alexawesome says:

            @fjordtjie: Er, the suggestion wasn’t that men were the animal handlers, but rather that they were another animal species who utterly failed at doing what they were supposed to do (e.g. sell product to customers who want the product). It’s easy to be offended, but so many of the comments about why it’s offensive do so because of assumptions about it, not explicit statements in it.

        • muffingal says:

          @lilbobbytables: Regardless if it’s a joke, any woman – outside of yourself – who games does notice that she is treated differently in GameStop. When I go in, no one asks if I need help. When I do get approached, I am asked, “Are you looking for something for your SON?” It’s insulting.

          I have also had one clerk correct me when I said joystick for the analog sticks on the controller. WTF? He was playing dumb as if he didn’t know what I was talking about. Punk. That is precisely why I do not shop there.

          Sure most male sales clerks are completely clueless about women and gaming but they are not snarky at Best Buy or Target.

      • HFC says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: It’s definitely meant to be tongue-in-cheek.

        • Leksi Wit says:

          @HFC: I’m a 29 yo gamer and a female, and I _do_ find this video offensive. Though, who knows, maybe women really need this kind of approach with tacky magazine subscriptions? I laughed at “Smart Money” there at the end.

          You can now get ALL your gaming information through gaming web sites, forums and blogs online. You don’t need to walk into a store like a deer in headlights, completely unprepared and unaware of say WII games for example, even if you’re not a gamer.

          I’m not a doctor, pharmacist or nurse, but I look up meds and diseases when I or a loved one is sick. It helps to be informed, no matter what the subject matter!

    • clodia says:

      @philmin: I think they were on the right track, but missed the mark here. If they had said that this was a certain demographic that were being condescended too, then I’d be okay (women who are not gamers who are buying for other people). Women in general are not necessarily non-gamers buying for other people.

      What they’re trying to say is – don’t be rude or condescending, and speak to people about thing that would interest them and are at that knowledge level. This is basic customer service.

    • Mistrez_Mish says:

      @philmin: Having a general video on how to identify your customers interests, what questions to ask, and how to make good recommendations based upon their responses is more than sufficient. I’m not too keen on this video, but not terribly offended. More amused than anything. I’m a gal gamer – the more smashy smashy and blood involved in the game, the better.

      When I pre-ordered Burning Crusade from Gamestop the guy behind the counter asked if I was ordering it for my husband. Mentioned that his girlfriend played, but she mostly spent time gathering (aka picking flowers and crap)… Said that I would love that too (because we all know that if it is a non-fem game, I must occupy whatever time I use on it doing the girly stuff available)…

      Charming ^_^ He seemed surprised when I said that I was a co-guild leader.

  2. SugitaAlcimede says:

    i remember distinctly after being “corrected” on something i was not wrong about at EB Games, telling the small nerd “just because i have tits does not mean you can talk to me like that” and walking out.

    • Razorgirl says:

      @SugitaAlcimede:

      I can’t count the number of times that has happened to me. I have also loved being told I was completely clueless about games that I had been in testing since Alpha. Some people just can’t accept that their world view may be skewed. I actually thought about printing myself a T-shirt that said “Yes, I game and no, I don’t play the f@*!ing SIMS” at one point.

      I have definitely found incidents like these to be fewer and farther between in the last several years, so maybe a shift in perception is actually starting to take hold.

      • jaya9581 says:

        @Razorgirl: I frequently have issues in GameStop, particularly when it comes to World of Warcraft. I do however greatly enjoy watching those idiot boys’ mouths drop when they ask me if I just started or if I just watch my boyfriend play and I then explain about all my high-level characters, my extensive raiding experience, and my guild, which I lead.

        My favorite is when they say something about a game and I know it’s a lie and they’re just trying to make themselves look smart. Calling them out on it is great fun.

        • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

          @jaya9581: LOL, too funny. I love telling ‘em about my 5K DPS on our normal 25m Naxx runs, then asking them whether they’ve done Sarth +3 yet. Usually I get a O.O look from them, as if I’ve suddenly grown a third eye or something.

        • goldenmonkey says:

          @jaya9581: I’ve never engaged in conversation with the gamestop nerds. I decline “assistance”, grab what I want, buy it, and leave. I do that everywhere though. I’m a big anto-social a-hole…with tits! I’ve been playing videogames since the atari 2600 when I was a little girl and have owned almost every system excluding nintendo (I don’t know why, just somehow never bought anything), and I do find the pre-conceived notions people have hilarious.

    • sheleftyouasong says:

      @jaya9581: i feel as much as this is semi-degrading to women it probably says alot more about the men they use this to train.
      i work in a comic book store and the biggest reason they hired me was because i WAS female. there’s something special about the male nerds that makes them entirely inept at communicating with females, particularly on topics they feel are their domain.

      this obviously doesn’t go for ALL males into “nerdy” interests, but i could see why they might feel the need to create a video like this. even if it is awful.

      • Mike Cardillo says:

        @sheleftyouasong: These are my thoughts as well. The video was probably created after the management wanted to appeal to women shoppers more (nothing wrong with that) and realized that 90% of their employees are nerds who are horrible with women.

    • Drowner says:

      @SugitaAlcimede: Yea BUT for everyone of us awesome ladies that know what we’re doing there are 4 moms that come in looking for Super Smash Brothers for the PS2. I think it’s cute and appropriate.

  3. Maude Buttons says:

    Her accent is dreadful. Where’s the button for that?

  4. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    If you think about it, most of the Gamestop employees probably have never spoken to someone of the female gender (other than their mom) anyways…

    • MrBlastotron says:
    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: Well, they’ve possibly spoken to the older women who come into the stores with their young children, but yes, you are probably right.

      • BytheSea says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: Seventeen year old boys are terrified of and repulsed by older women and will not speak to them. At my work, I have to order the student assistants to help females of any age not equal to their own.

    • Hertzey says:

      @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: I really don’t like how people into video games, role playing games, Star Trek, and so on are always portrayed poorly. Couple of myths to clear up:
      1. There is no such thing as a girls on the internet.
      False: Girls play video games, just as often as boys do. I speak from experience.
      2. Geeks never get laid.
      False! Girls do find geeks attractive and fun, just ask my fiance.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        @Hertzey: #2 is a fallacy. Hell myself and my ex-boyfriend are nerds / geeks and we laid each other on a regular basis.

        You can probably justify that a large portion of geeks / nerds may not, but I’m sure it isn’t disproportionate to any other subset of the population. From experience, I can say that probably 50% of the people I met on WoW were virgins.

        • Hertzey says:

          @Oranges w/ Cheese: As a friend of mine once said, “who ever said geeks can’t get laid has never been to a Con.” I cannot speak for the online gamers, because I have no interest in it. Not that they are bad, just not for me.

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        @Hertzey: I used to tell all my single friends that if they wanted the perfect husband, marry a game developer or computer nerd. They’re funny, usually make good money, and are happy if a girl talks to ‘em.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          @LadySiren: And their idea of a fun time typically involves spending the whole night coding, not at a strip club. :)

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @Hertzey: There’s geeks and then there’s geeks. There are perfectly nice guys who just happen to enjoy computers/gaming/Star Trek/whatever … and then there are skeezy, creepy guys with no social skills who are just WAITING for the opportunity to be predators. There are also skeezy, creepy guys who are nice on the inside but have too much creepy for the nice to get through, but unfortunately they’re ending up in the general skeezy, creepy category.

        Geek Type 1 gets laid (and makes good husband material). Geek Type 2 does not.

        • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

          @Eyebrows McGee: A good game dev friend of mine had a great saying: “there are two types of geeks in the world: the kind that know 1,000 different positions, and the kind that actually get laid.” He of course, was the latter.

          Also, his favorite joke: How can you tell an extroverted programmer from an introverted programmer? The extrovert will look at your shoes when he talks to you.

        • battra92 says:

          @Eyebrows McGee: Sad thing is when you go to a con (anime cons in my experience) there are both sides. There are also the weird teenagers openly loving something you discovered when they were in diapers and feeling like they invented it and those types should never breed. ;)

          And as a geeky guy (type 1) I prefer geeky girls (the nice girls who just happen to like some geeky stuff but aren’t the freaky types.) :)

    • Dances with Peeps says:

      @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: Both the Gamestops near me have female employees. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt sales at all.

      However, if a Gamestop employee made the dumbass assumptions about me they’re being taught in this video, they’d probably end up with a game case in a VERY uncomfortable place.

  5. jamesdenver says:

    Whenever I want a good laugh at how women are marketed too I watch Sarah Haskin’s videos.

    Hilarious.

    [current.com]

  6. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    Eh, I’m not offended. As a female gamer, former retail worker, and zoologist, I actually enjoyed this video for quite a few reasons. I’m sure someone’s going to get their panties in a twist about it, but having dealt with women who were *exactly like those stereotypes* (very very few men who fit into those same subsets, incidentally enough), I bet the video was helpful to newbie employees.

    • kityglitr says:

      @h3llc4t: Were you the anonymous girl gaming blogger???

    • Rhayader says:

      @h3llc4t: Good call. The video isn’t disparaging or condescending. In fact, it presents female shoppers as a potentially valuable customer base that should be understood and accepted. I’m not sure what’s insulting about that.

    • Clobberella says:

      @h3llc4t: Agreed. Honestly, I’ve never once had a problem in a game store, including Game Stop. Maybe I’m unique or something, but I always have to scratch my head when other women start complaining about all of this supposed sexism they claim to always encounter every time they buy a video game. I could see it several years ago, when female “gamers” used to be more unusual, but I really think that the majority of people know that these days there are plenty of women who play video games and that they’re not all playing Animal Crossing. People who claim to encounter such “discrimination” every single time they go into a game store might want to reflect whether they really were being discriminated against or if they walked in there like they were ready for a fight and the sales person merely obliged. Either way, this video was not targeted toward such people and while cheesy, was not remotely offensive.

      • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

        @Clobberella: I agree. I hear a lot of women complaining that they feel discriminated against. Not to discount their experiences, but I have rarely had that happen. I was raised as a gamer, and the best defense to someone with a condescending attitude was to literally beat them at their own game. I’m not a giggly girl, and my desire to game is not closely linked to attention from men. Maybe that sets me apart from some of the newer generation of gamer girls. If anything, the worst “discrimination” I’ve gotten in a game store was from female retail clerks who seemed to be rubbed the wrong way by having another chick in their “turf”.

  7. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    On the one hand, I’m glad they’re pointing out to their employees that women buy video games too and I’m actually NOT in the store to buy something for my boyfriend/husband or to enable their boob-staring needs. And once we get to the part where they believe me I want a video game, that video game is not Harvest Moon, I promise, and I actually do know how my console works.

    On the other hand, this is kinda … I don’t know, annoying? Toolish? Philmin has a good point about what if it were “selling to gays” or something.

    But I suppose when it’s so clear at many of the stores that the employees really DO need to be told “Women are people too, swear!” anything helps. Maybe.

    • Hertzey says:

      @Eyebrows McGee: Agreed.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @Eyebrows McGee: Having worked there for a while, I can say that most of the guys I worked with were fairly immature and fun-loving, but when it came down to doing their jobs they were pretty serious. It’s the other customers you have to worry about ogling your boobies – oh and that smell – that’s the customers too.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: I find it varies a lot by store. The store I choose to patronize has employees who treat me like a regular person. They occasionally lean towards overexplaining to me or suggesting “chick games,” but they generally cater to what I say I actually want, and they’re cool with the moms who come in shopping for their kids. So I was unsurprised when one of my female students told me that’s the branch she works at … after transferring around to find one without constant sexual harassment.

        The other branches are freaking irritating. There are two closer to my house and I won’t go to either. Serious boob-staring problems and total refusal to deal with me as a shopper and person … obviously I was just gift-shopping for my boyf no matter what I claimed.

    • lilbobbytables says:

      @Eyebrows McGee: Good point. I have not had a problem as a female gamer at gamestop, but at other retail stores it takes quite a bit of time to convince people that a) I know what a game is, b) I am buying them for myself, and c) I am not lying about a or b.

    • OMG a Girl Gamer says:

      @Eyebrows McGee: I’ve never had workers suggest girls games to me. But that was also due to the fact I walk up to the counter and tell them I want a copy of COD 4 or some “non-chick” game. I use “non-chick” in the stereotypical manner.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @OMG a Girl Gamer: I forget what game I was asking for, some RPG, and the guy kept saying, “Oh, you probably won’t like that, but I bet you’d like Harvest Moon!” (I suppose, technically, HM is an RPG.) It made me stabby.

        The one I go to these days is fine. I say, “I like X and I need a new game, what do you have that’s like X?” and they find me something cool. Instead of reflexively hiccoughing some chick game title.

  8. cuchanu says:

    I have to agree that this video (in some form) probably is necessary in a Gamestop. I mean it’s not a stretch to guess that they have more virgins per capita than any group other than Mormon missionaries.

  9. Modred189 says:

    Not offensive at all.
    I remember when I worked at best Buy and they introduced all of the different lifestyle groups (male and female shopper archetypes based on income and shopping habits), they showed similar videos with bad acting. As stupid as it looks, customers almost always fall into these simple groups in some way, and it helps the employee AND customer in the end.

    • NinjaMarion says:

      @Modred189: I find it extremely offensive. Not for anything to do with their specific assessment of their female customers (Which is kinda retarded to just assume all females going into a Gamestop are game-clueless housewives leaving the kitchen for a just a moment to buy their husbands or children some new games), but because of the hideousness of the “acting” and how much I despise their tactics they advise.

      Specifically, their turning a hunter into a gatherer thing. Even as a guy, who I’m sure looks pretty obviously like a game geek, I have to deal with their annoying fucking upsell attempts anytime I dare set foot in that place. It’s obvious I know what I want and have done some research into the subject, so I don’t need to be told about how your reservation program works, how I can buy the strategy guide to my game, or anything else corporate wants them to try and pawn off on me. Just give me the game I asked for and shut up.

      I can’t imagine how annoying it’d be to be a female and have to not only deal with their retarded upsell, but to have to deal with it in their “females are magical, stupid, non-gamer creatures” way.

  10. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Well… considering that half the clientele of Gamestop doesn’t even know not to STARE at a womans’ boobs – or how to bathe regularly, I would say that their employees may not necessarily know how to sell to them either.

    I was the only female on staff at the Gamestop I worked at for over a year, and after I quit I never saw a girl working there for at least another year after that.

    • YardanCabaret says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: The one by me has at least 2 girls that work there and I think it’s possible there is another. So it’s not as anomalous as it seems but still rare indeed. Course all the employees treat anyone who is not them or one of their friends like they are idiots. Damn Nerd-elitists!

    • battra92 says:

      @Oranges w/ Cheese: There’s a really cute gal working at a nearby GS. I bet she gets hit on by every freaky nerd in town.

  11. Rob Weddle says:

    Put most men in a lingerie store or shoe store and *poof* pretty much same stereotype reversed.

    Each gender likes/avoids different things. And thank god.

    • Rhayader says:

      @Rob Weddle: Great point. If this was a video about how to sell jewelry to guys, we wouldn’t think twice.

      • Adora Belle Dearheart says:

        @Rob Weddle: Okay, what? No it is not the same thing. I don’t particularly find this video offensive, but you guys have to realize that lingerie stores, shoe (I am assuming women’s shoe) stores are sex specific. Video game stores are not sex specific. It’s like saying that men have a hard time in Nordstrom or JcPennys because Ooo* women lurve shopping and men don’t like shopping! Additionally, likes and dislikes are not determined by gender.
        @Rhayader:
        The last time I checked, jewelry is also gender neutral. However, I personally find most jewelry commercials offensive to male and female intelligence as a whole.

        • Rhayader says:

          @Adora Belle Dearheart is tired of being 2nd fiddle: Woah Rob, you hooked a live one.

          OK Adora, there is nothing offensive about a JC Penny clerk assuming I might need some help if I am wandering through the perfume section with a lost look on my face. That isn’t sexism, it’s customer service.

          It’s not like Gamestop would turn away a female shopper if she came in and talked about the latest review scores for Gears of War or whatever. This isn’t about turning people away, it’s about trying to give help to people who might need it.

        • Rob Weddle says:

          @Adora Belle Dearheart is tired of being 2nd fiddle: Let’s ignore the “lingerie” example because you’re right, that is gender specific.

          A shoe store, like DSW, is not, though. I’m a bit of a clothes horse and I like to look good, so this isn’t a big deal for me, but I know it is for a lot of guys. Example that was just conveyed to me recently:

          A guy I work with was to attend a wedding. His wife sent him out to a big box shoe store for a new pair of “nice shoes” to wear. He came home with a pair of $120 nu-buck steel toe work boots.

          You know what? Those are nice. Weather proofed hide with triple stitched seams, Goodyear soles, and sturdy but somfortable insoles. But he clearly needed help. What was the dress? Office casual? Black tie? Or somewhere in the middle, like jacket and tie? Khakis and blazer, or matching suit? What color? What color accessories? Dancing later at the reception, or just relaxing?

          Clearly there are factors that need to be considered in any retail situation and good service will address those needs. GREAT service will help the customer that needs help but doesn’t outwardly show it. It’s a clerk’s responsbility to presume a customer needs help until the customer actually says “No, I got it,” or “I’m just browsing, thanks.”

          • Rob Weddle says:

            @Rob Weddle: Also, sterotypes in and of themselves aren’t bad things. It’s only when they’re applied as a universal truth that you run into problems. But stereotypes are usually true more often than not, and being able to predict a person’s behavior based on behavior already displayed is a skill that too few people possess.

    • Adora Belle Dearheart says:

      @Rob Weddle: I am not going to validate your sexist (trollish?) comment by arguing against it.

  12. cuchanu says:

    Women are easily frightened and confused seems to be the message.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      @cuchanu: Oh dearie, dearie me! *wrings hands*

      I kind of hate going to Gamestop or EB or whatevs because when I’m in there, Im mostly shopping for my stepdaughter, which means that yes, I am in there to get Harvest Moon for DS or whatever veterinary game is out and decent (which is a whole other rant — is it SO hard to make a veterinary game that doesn’t completely suck/lack logic?!).

      However, most of the clerks I have met are extremely decent to me once I make a crack about God of War 3 or whatever. Er…so maybe if you don’t wanna be treated like a girl, don’t act girly?

      • eakwave1 says:

        @SpiderJerusalem: Are you serious? “Don’t act girly”? What’s wrong with you??

        That’s the dumbest, most sexist thing I’ve read in a while.

        I should be able to be myself wherever I go and not worry about being “girly”. I treat others with respect regardless of sex, race, age, religion, sexual preference, girlishness/boyishness, or anything else, and I expect the same in return.

        • Spider Jerusalem says:

          @eakwave1: …THAT’s the dumbest, most sexist thing you’ve read in a while? What kind of bubble do you live in?

          Ah yes, you’re on to me, my handle is merely a clever disguise for my latent right-wing, fascist leanings.

          Meanwhile, my point is that Gamestop clerks don’t actually treat females differently as long as they can identify them as human, which may require some minor display of machismo or at least knowledge of the existence of non-Sim-based games on the female creature’s part before they dispel that whole “demographic” myth you’re fighting so valiantly against.

    • goldenmonkey says:

      @cuchanu: Yes. As I have a vagina I’m currently absolutely terrified. They’re so on to me. And what is this thing I’m typing on?! I’m so intimidated and confused by the machine on my desk. Help!

  13. coan_net says:

    A couple of general thoughts.

    1. Why was she looking at a map of Cuba?????????

    2. I figured out why she was so perky at 6:22 – she does a good big sniff of the marker.

    …. I think the ideas of selling were good, but think they should not just target women with it. Heck, I know when I go into Gamestop (Male), I do some of the same things that women do… of course I don’t think I’ll fall for the same things as the people in the video do…. but I think they are limited their options with just targeting women.

  14. Onion_Volcano says:

    The best thing GameStop employees could do to attract women shoppers is:

    1. Bathe
    2. Shave their bearded necks
    3. Not sell opened games as new (women hate that)

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @Onion_Volcano: The employees are generally well behaved. Its the customers I think you are referring to.
      I never encountered a fellow employee that smelled anywhere CLOSE to some of the customers.

      • NinjaMarion says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: I have…*shudder*

        Our assistant manager when I worked there smelled so horrible… like rotten fried chicken. He caught me behind the counter one day off in the corner organizing some games and tried to have a conversation. I was kinda penned in so I couldn’t wander around the store and get some fresh air like I usually would if the smell got too bad and I literally almost puked from it. It was all I could do to not start dry heaving right then. As soon as he finally backed away a bit and stopped talking, I went outside for some fresh air for a few minutes.

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      @SpiderJerusalem: Er…so maybe if you don’t wanna be treated like a girl, don’t act girly?

      *boggles* So when someone is discriminated against for their color, you just tell them to “just don’t act black?”

      My god. That’s a whole back of dicks of sexism, blame the victim and misunderstanding of the situation.

      • Rhayader says:

        @The_IT_Crone: Uh chill out. When Spider says “don’t act girly”, she means avoid fitting the stereotypes the video points out. Is there something wrong with trying to break stereotypes by acting in contradiction to them?

        • floraposte says:

          @Rhayader: There’s something wrong with using a gender term as a pejorative.

          • Rhayader says:

            @floraposte: Institutionally, sure. It is an extension of the stereotype. But casually, particularly by a member of that gender? I don’t see the issue. I have no objection to someone calling a given product or activity “manly”, even if I am not into it at all.

  15. Aidan Roche says:

    Haha oh man this video is terrible. My favourite part is that really all these tips are things you should be doing with every customer, not just female ones. The magazine subscriptions are hilarious too. I lost it at “Good Housekeeping.” They should just go all out and provide them with “How To Keep Your Man Happy.”

    But take heed of Ima Sartane! She’s the Director of Womanly Studies at GAMESTOP UNIVERSITY!

    • Aidan Roche says:

      @Aidan Roche: Also echoing the comments that if this video was aimed at an ethnic or sexual minority it would be certainly unacceptable.

    • ailema says:

      @Aidan Roche: The magazine promotion is hilarious. If someone tried to upsell me on video games by offering me a subscription to Good Housekeeping I’d laugh in their face. Seriously?

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      @Aidan Roche: Ok, I LOL’d at the “womanly studies” part. I’m gonna work that into guildchat tonight somehow.

  16. MrBryan says:

    Just put a sign on the door that says “no girls allowed” problem solved.

  17. Elcheecho says:

    why isn’t there a “funny and clever” option? i could see Daily Show or even the Onion doing this.

    • NinjaMarion says:

      @Elcheecho: Yes, but the point is that if they were doing it, it would be a point of satire, poking fun at somewhere like Gamestop doing this seriously. As a piece of satire, this would be funny. As a seriously made video without any kind of social commentary to it, it’s just sad.

  18. Lucky_Strike-001 says:

    This story was already ran on Kotaku and is fake.

    • floraposte says:

      @Lucky_Strike-001: There’s no hint on Kotaku that it’s fake, and a few of the comments suggest acquaintanceship with the people making the video and knowledge of the special promotion. Why do you think it’s fake? (I mean, the acting is obviously fake, but that’s what acting is.)

  19. FuryOfFirestorm says:

    Women playing video games? Next they’ll be wanting to vote and get equal pay! Their boobs get in the way of the controller! The time they spend playing video games is better used to cook, clean and make babies! Now shut up and make me sandwich! (end of sarcasm)

  20. pop top says:

    If this is real, then it’s sad. At least the American GameStops don’t use it.

    If only there was a training video for male customers on how to interact with female workers…

    “Do not stare at their breasts. Do not assume that because they are being nice to you, they want to go out on a date with you. Please do not ask them if they ‘play video games or just work here’. Again, do not stare at their breasts. Do not try to smell them or touch them.”

    • Shiloh Baker says:

      @squinko:
      What!? You didn’t notice that *everyone* in the video, other than the speaker had an American accent?

      Perhaps you didn’t actually watch the video, and just made a snap judgment? :P

      If you mean that you haven’t seen this video, since you’re an employee…well…I really doubt they’d show the video to you. After all, sexist vid or not, they’d probably assume that you would naturally know how to sell to a woman customer.

  21. pb5000 says:

    The video is cheesy, but not offensive. I’m wondering how it differs from those DSW commercials from a few years ago?

    • Aidan Roche says:

      @pb5000: That video you posted isn’t actually saying women need to be dealt with in a specifically different manner than the GameStop video. It’s a joke.

      The GameStop video makes the same joke, yes. But then runs with it into reality.

  22. ogremustcrush says:

    That video was just painful to watch. Not because of sexism or anything, it just was awfully produced. Kudos to those of you who could actually stand watching it all the way through.

  23. chatterboxwriting says:

    This reminds me of something I was going to send in, only I wasn’t sure it was newsworthy. I want to be able to buy my own home within the next two years. I was searching for custom builders as opposed to pre-built homes because I have very specific needs.

    One of the builders I visited offers “Woman Centric” designs. The 10 “rules” sound great until you realize they are basically implying that all women care about is entertaining guests and not having to do yardwork.

  24. BlackestRose says:

    Five years ago, this would have been on target. Today I believer it’s behind the times. Many women already have a grounding in electronics and games.

    I’d love to see a video training Managers to hire women and expand their salesforce to be more inclusive.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      @BlackestRose: I didn’t have a problem getting a job there…

      Problem is they need a knowledgeable woman, who knows her games and systems. Though there are lots of female gamers, not all of them want to work at a Gamestop for minimum wage.

      • floraposte says:

        @Oranges w/ Cheese: That’s one of the things that fascinates me–there’s no suggestion in the film that you, the worker, might be a woman yourself.

        To be truthful, I’m mostly offended by the hideous, no-it’s-not-cheesily-camp-it’s-just-bad acting. I’m too appalled by that to be able to really assess the sexism level.

  25. Owen Yun says:

    that first female customer looks like she was high on meth or something.

  26. NightElfMohawk says:

    Yeah… the video’s just lame. And it is a generalization too, but moreso, just lame.

    And note: despite being a woman, I’m quite often known to utter the word “dude” in many ways.

  27. Skeetz says:

    I’m a hardcore gamer. I’ve never had a girlfriend who was a gamer.. it’s better that way.. I win every time XD

    • Skeetz says:

      @Skeetz: And just to clarify.. I got dumped a lot.. le sigh

      • goldenmonkey says:

        @Skeetz: My gaming skills have vastly declined as I turned towards RPGs and The Sims, but I used to rock at Soul Calibur. I remember the husband’s brother visiting for a week and we somehow ended up the only ones in the apartment. He suggested we play and I kept kicking the hell out of him. I then told him he didn’t have to let me win just because I was a girl at which point he called me a bitch and left the room. Fun times. Really I mean that. I thought it was hilarious. Laughing at people when they call you a bitch is an entertaining experience.

  28. geeky_reader says:

    I am a woman and I am not offended at all. It’s a cute and entertaining approach to connect to the group of GameStop clerks who are not aware that Hyrule and Azeroth are not actually real places. Some do tend to over-speak to casual customers.

    For the record, “That is one huge bitch!”…or is that chick with the accent just really short?

    I also did not know that Kellie Pickler likes to read Cosmo.

  29. Hector De Jesus says:

    Yeah… that was bad. I wonder if they have another video showing how to sell to African-Americans? I’d pay to see that one…

    • NinjaMarion says:

      @Hector De Jesus: “Yo dog, peep dis shit. We got dat Madden so you and all yo homies can get yo game on! When you spend enough of that chedda, you gets a free subscription to either Jet, Ebony, High Times, or Big Asses magazine!”

      See? It’s all just about assessing your customer and targeting their needs!

  30. Rebekka Hammer says:

    I think it should be acceptable to say that women and women are different, men and men are different, and men and women are different.

    Let’s destroy the categories based on genitalia because even that is a wide spectrum. Focus advertising on masculine/feminine traits, yet inclusive of all genders, because I know I’m not the only one who cycles between these two traits.

  31. Cocotte says:

    Even better tactic for selling to women: employ them. Plenty of female gamers out there, and as a customer at least I find guys get over the “zomg girl” thing pretty quickly and just start talking games.

    • wildhare says:

      @Cocotte: Thank you! I was totally thinking the same thing. It’s like almost every tech/hobby/music store. Almost all the clerks are men and so it fosters this “male-dominated” perception when quite frankly it doesn’t need to be.

  32. picardia says:

    I’m with oranges — if this is actually useful for Gamestop employees, it says a lot more about the tragic nonsocialization of the gamer guy than it says about gamer girls.

    I know plenty of women who could not tell a video game from a DVD, and also know plenty who kick serious gamer ass.

  33. mye says:

    I can’t bear to watch it. Every time I’ve stepped into Gamestop I’ve been harrassed, patronized, and lied to by the employees. I’m not talking about one store, but multiple ones I’ve visited in different parts of the country.

    It’s been a few years, and I have some friends who work there, so maybe it’s better these days. I don’t care enough to find out.

  34. CumaeanSibyl says:

    If nothing else, the British anthropologist/zoologist gag is pretty old by this point.

  35. TeFrey says:

    The video is obnoxious, and yet I have never been in a Gamestop where the employees were anything less than exceptionally nice and professional. They don’t assume I’m a mom and they definitely don’t act like anyone in this video: they’re actually really cool.

  36. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Whenever I want someone of the opposite gender to buy something, I wear a low-cut top, arch my back, and touch them on the hands, arms, or shoulder.

    Since I’m male it just never fucking works.

  37. ceez says:

    lol…lighten up people!

  38. parad0x360 says:

    So women are afraid of black men who say hello? According to this video its true.

  39. Tiger Lourdes: Zombie Hunter says:

    I find the actress’s horrible English accent the most offensive.

  40. Outrun1986 says:

    I am not easily offended, so no I don’t feel this video is offensive. Its hosted by a woman, so I don’t think a video hosted by a woman should feel offensive to women.

    Gamestop has already done enough to put me off as a customer for a long time (and this has nothing to do with being a female), so its going to be hard to get me back unless I start to see some serious changes in Gamestop stores. There are just too many other shopping options for me to be bothered with Gamestop.

    The first thing I would suggest is somehow, to NOT make the stores smell like… well use your imagination on that one. Lets just say every time I go into a Gamestop its a very distinct smell, and I have not smelled this smell in any other retail store in my whole life. Now I don’t like getting blasted with perfume aka Hollister and Abercrombie, so maybe add like an air circulator or something. Something to freshen up the air in the store without making it smell like perfume or anything significant.

    I don’t have kids, and I don’t have a boyfriend so I have never had the “oh are you buying this for your boyfriend, your kids or a gift” problem, but I have seen these things happen at a lot of stores.

    I think the best thing would be for the employees to NOT assume things about the customer, unless its completely obvious that they need help.

  41. Chris Lehr says:

    So women can game too. as long as they dont put lesbian in their gamer tag. LOL

  42. iamjustjules says:

    The video leaves them open to so much criticism. Every customer service job I’ve had, I’ve always gauged how people want to be treated. I don’t go so far to put on a southern accent for a family from Atlanta. Profiling may be a dirty word, but it’s what we all do, because if we had to get to know every single person we ever met, you would spend your entire life getting to know 4 people and that would be it.

    • Rhayader says:

      @iamjustjules: So what’s your point? Does the video leave them open to criticism, or is it merely a reflection of what every good retail employee does?

      I happen to agree with the latter, but your first sentence confuses me.

  43. Streakist says:

    So let me get this straight.

    Treating men and women differently when it comes to purchasing strategies = Sexist

    Treating men and women differently when it comes to car insurance rates = fair

    Got it. What a wonderful world we live in.

  44. Joeb5 says:

    Nice push the magazine rippoff.

  45. Brad Parker says:

    Heh, I find it humorous that an article questioning whether users find this offensive to women is filled with a lot of comments that stereotype other groups and proceeds to tear them down for something Gamestop as a company is responsible for.

    How is attacking a “Gamestop Employee” any different than Gamestop using this kind of video?

    Fun fact – our local EBGames (owned by Gamestop) employ’s mostly women including the store’s head manager.

  46. typoink says:

    Huh. Everybody’s getting offended at the idea that this video stereotypes women, but I find it at least as offensive that the video is basically saying to the employees, “Ooh, look — a WOMAN! Clearly you are NOT aware of women because you work HERE!” I mean…I go to Gamestop pretty often and I see quite a few female customers as well as a fair handful of female employees.

    This video is insulting to everybody involved. Lame!

  47. BytheSea says:

    It’s all right. It’s not too insulting and devoid of any real information. Pretty typical of any other training video.

  48. TrueBlue63 says:

    so obviously not a gamestop video

    wake up consumerist

  49. Raanne says:

    considering 40% of gamers are women, it surprises me that they would have a video which could alienate 40% of their customers.

    it seems lazy because they are falling back on the stereotype that all gamers are guys instead of basing their strategy on actual numbers.

  50. Graham Moss says:

    I only watched through the first scenario, but it didn’t seem offensive to me. As someone who works in electronics retail I can honestly say it seemed pretty accurate. It’s usually moms who come in with/for their kids and they have no clue what their looking at. Which is why they end up buying terrible games. But I won’t get started on that. This video was lame, but hardly offensive.

  51. applejuice says:

    I’m pretty sure her accent is either South African, or meant to be South African, but there is no way it is British.

    Also, I could not watch beyond the introduction. It was just too crappy (and not in an enjoyable way).

  52. cdanna says:

    yes- it reinforces negative stereotypes about anthropology!!

  53. chadgottfried says:

    I see how quite a few GS employees treat the women that come in there and they definitely need a training video!

    That being said I see nothing horribly wrong with this “training” video. It came across as more mocking towards the “boys club” mentality in Gamestop and gamers in general. At least that’s my opinion…

  54. Lucky_Strike-001 says:

    It is not a real video shown to GameStop employees and shame on the Consumerist for not checking their facts. There is a thing called satire. This video is thick with it. After this story hit on Kotaku I talked to several of my friends that work at GameStop and they say that they have never seen it and it is fake.

  55. amowls says:

    As a 21 year old female who only casually plays video games (usually Viva Pinata on my DS), I can see the need for a video such as this. It’s unfortunate when actual gamers get condescending tones from salespeople, but you can’t assume that everyone that walks into a GameStop knows anything about video games.

    I wouldn’t assume that a guy who walks into a handbag store knows anything about handbags (and trust me there are plenty of guys that take an active interest in womens apparel and accessories).

  56. Nick1693 says:

    This video is entirely too poorly produced. It just SCREAMS fake to me.

  57. GildaKorn says:

    Women don’t like to be condescended to. Except by this video, right?

  58. MrsCatbird says:

    It would be fine if the video was how to sell to non-hardcore gamers. But when it’s couched in terms of gender, that’s just reinforcing stereotypes.

  59. Garbanzo says:

    I have always received excellent service at GameStop, with my sample being 7 or 8 different outlets in 3 different regions of the US (but all major metropolitan areas)

    One time I called a GameStop to see if they had Resistance: Fall of Man, and then asked them to hold it for me. The clerk told me that I’d have to bring an ID showing I was over 17, or bring an adult with me. Whatever, I figured it was just boilerplate they said to everyone. When I showed up at the counter that evening and asked for it, the clerk did a double take. That’s when I realized that he must have assumed from my voice on the phone that I was a 12-year-old boy, and was surprised when a middle-aged woman showed up. But he was immediately cool and professional and sold it to me (and didn’t bother to check my ID).

    My other amusing GameStop-and-gender story was the time I was on a business trip. After dinner my coworker said she wanted to check out the mall near our hotel. Our male boss said dismissively, “I’m not going to go *shopping* at a *mall*.” We went without him, and we both wound up making only one purchase: used games at the GameStop.

  60. Anonymous says:

    This could work for either males or females. The only marketing difference is that the magazines cater to mostly female audience. It makes perfect sense to expand one’s customer base as much as possible. Beyond being slightly amusing, there’s nothing of note here.

  61. savdavid says:

    It is a bit silly

  62. InThrees says:

    I can condense a great ‘how to sell to women’ lesson down into a few simple lines:

    1. Dangle your keys in front of her for a moment. Women love shiny things. (It is ok to stare at her breasts only AFTER the desired effect is reached.)

    2. Don’t use fancy tech terms like ‘gizmo’ and ‘whatjamagig’. The easiest way to determine what kind of game system they are buying for is color, and then size and age.

    3. Consumerist ladies, please don’t hurt me. =p

  63. MBEmom says:

    I hate to say it but I am the person they are talking about in this video. I’m not completely clueless when it comes to this new-fangled video game stuff everyone is buzzing about. I’m just saying it’s days are numbered. I mean, who can manage all those buttons at once?

    Honestly, I have been in need of some advice at my local Game Stop before and the geeks, I mean young men, there were surprisingly unhelpful. I know nothing about PSP’s and what games might be appropriate for my 7 year old and they were sort of like “yeah, the games are over here…”. Duh.

    Maybe the fine folks at Game Stop need to be able to recognize a customer who is out of his or her element but this video was over the top. I’m sure someone there thought they were being cute by making it and that the angle would make sales people feel superior, which I’m sure they aren’t used to in REAL life. While I don’t find it offensive, I don’t find it clever. Just misguided.

  64. Gary Norris says:

    It’s the let’s get primitive, go on a safari, and talk about women theme that’s troubling; it’s the British accent that’s funny; it’s the idea that Gamestop employees are trained that is most offensive.

  65. Shiloh Baker says:

    LOL, “I love Cosmo!”

    Look, I think it’s entirely realistic to assume that an older woman is not going to know much about video games…older men (depending on how old), might still be more comfortable with video games, even if they don’t know any current games or systems.

    Now, if this were focusing on women in their early 20′s to early 30′s, I’d find that *incredibly* offensive…if only because EVERY LAST female I know, my own age, does in fact play, and enjoy, video games.

  66. Brazell says:

    Being treated like an idiot by Gamestop staff is not something limited to just one sex. I’m about as junk-laden as they come and almost every Gamestop employee under 25 has treated me as if I’m a moron when I’m looking to buy a game. Coupled with the idiots who spend their whole day hanging out in Gamestop and arguing about games, it’s easily my least favorite shopping experience on earth. I love videogames and absolutely hate Gamestop.

    This video wasn’t necessarily offensive, or at least it really shouldn’t be to women, it makes fun of the typical male, nerdish, close-minded gamestop employee a lot more than it does the female consumer. I don’t work in retail, but if I did and my company decided that we needed to watch a video on how to sell our products to a group that comprises a little more than 50% of the population, I’d be insulted.

  67. arsenicookie says:

    the american version was more about handling the different types of customers… “the hardcore gamer”, the casual gamer” and the “the gifter” or “woman”

    lol

  68. Meangirl.is.for.the.Horde says:

    Andrew is a living example right there of what girls with geek boyfriends are terrified they will turn into if they buy them World of Warcrack. If you want us to buy the men in our lives more video games, don’t let your employees look like we’d be better off getting them an Iron Gym then Call of Duty.

    I’m more offended for the employees this vid is directed at since it presumes if you work there you have no social or retail skills beyond sweaty neck-bearded nerds.

    You can sum up the video by this:
    1) Don’t be mean to moms, they have the money.
    2) Females need the incentive of stupid magazines, I’m sorry, “personal growth periodicals”.
    3) The Orbitz girl has hit a new low.

  69. redxmagnum says:

    I do not believe she’s the Director of Womanly Studies. At all.

    I couldn’t bring myself to watch the full thing as I’m not getting paid for it. The gist as I understand it is, “TALK TO THEM LIKE THEY ARE HUMAN.” Is it absolutely idiotic? Yes. It doesn’t make me feel oppressed, though.

  70. Andi Lee says:

    I think the GameStop employees are viewing a video that suggest you get up close and flirt with female customers while asking them if they’d like to trade in their old game once the associate find out the customer actually plays games. The last time I went into a GameStop, I got that uber-creepy vibe and I haven’t been in a GameStop since.

    Although to be fair, most of the women I see coming into GameStop are like in the video: clueless moms buying games for the family or a bratty child. Would be more tasteful if they did the video singling out clueless men /and/ women buying games for their gamer families since I see just as many clueless men wandering in pondering what games to get for their sons.

  71. Zanpakuto says:

    I’ve seen a lot of cheesy and dumb training videos in my youth like McDonald’s but this is the worst, it crosses over into a bad parody it’s so awful, just like Gamestop.

    #@%& Gamestop.

  72. Douglas Switzer says:

    Getting offended over that seems kind of… I dunno, trite. An example for the opposite is going to a cooking store to get a new wok or something, and having the clerk ask if you were buying that for your wife. I can’t imagine many guys that would get offended by this comment, they would just say no it’s for me and be on their way.

    I can understand a video like this because the demographic that gamestop hires from is kinda notorious for not communicating well with the opposite gender. I would consider it more demeaning to gamestop employees than I would females.

  73. Wombatish says:

    They don’t want any employees to see it either.

    I wasn’t provided with even an hour of training while I worked at Gamestop, even when I was required to sign off on emails saying I’d been “fully trained” on new policies.

    It’s a very “sink or swim (Here, please hold these cinder blocks)” type environment.

  74. Ajh says:

    Man am I glad my local gamestop doesn’t do that crap. I get treated no different than the male customers.

  75. XTC46 says:

    This is a legit video. Men and women are different, and need to be treated differently when you are selling to them. I have worked as a sales person, and this is fact.

    The fact is, most hardcore gamers (or any hardcore hobbiest0 wont walk into a shop not knowing what they want, they walk into their shop of choice, and the only interaction with a sales person is going to be “where is X” and maybe some general chitchat, most don’t need to be sold to, and at most, it will be an accessory, or pitching some deal going on, either way, the person is easily recognizable and the technique to get their money is the same.

    The casual shopper (in this case the casual gamer)is much much different. Guys, for the most part, like to think they know wtf they are doing and talking about. You stroke their ego, and talk to them like they are equals to you, if not your superior, while not overwhelming them with jargon etc. You basically dumb things down but make them think they are on the up and up with whats current, and then you sell them hard and fast, men like to make quick decisions and be confident about them.

    Women are very different from men. Many will come in and let you know right off that they don’t know what they are looking for, and they look for sympathy. Some salesmen will play on that and give them the sympathy, but this makes the women feel bad becasue unless the sales guy is really good, he will come off as condescending. The safe route is to make them think that you think they are underestimating them selves. joke around and just focus on what they do know, and slide in what they don’t like its no big deal. Girls don’t like hard fast sells, they like to make informed decisions, and like to know there is a plan B, and C (return policies etc) in case they made a bad decision.Be gentle, take your time, and be charming and you will sell to a woman.

    If a man and a woman come in together and if you get a feeling they are in a relationship, sell to the woman. Women in relationships control men, period. If the woman wants something, the guy is going to get it. but don’t flirt with the girl, this will piss the guy off and he will leave. So sell to the girl, but use the same techniques above as the guy, this way you don’t point out what he doesn’t know, but he still gets the info as you explain it to the girl and his ego is saved.

    and as bad as it sounds, there are selling techniques for race, age, religion, and sexual orientation as well. Will they make a video about those? nope. Will they teach sales men about them? Only if they want to make money.

    I learned this stuff when I worked as a sales person. I lead my position in sales nation wide a lot of the time in a large electronics retailer. The tops sales men were great at reading people, and would adapt their sales technique to the person once they got some info on them, but used generalizations like this to start with.

    The generalizations are not ALWAYS right, but they are right often enough to make them worth using, and for the most part, if a person is different then the category you put them in, its going to be apparent within the first few words.

  76. samandiriel says:

    It’s not sexist in my view, it’s just someone in an HR dept somewhere trying to be clever to get targeted marketing tactics across in a Jane Goodall parody. Obviously the HR person is somewhat deluded and hugely out of touch tho as that is an incredibly obscure approach for the teens to 20s clerks who mostly comprise the staff!

  77. tundey says:

    This is an hilarious video. If this was on TV, it’ll be comedic genius. But because it’s by Gamestop (which everyone likes to hate), some don’t think it’s funny.

  78. invisibelle says:

    When I worked in marketing at GameStop, I remember at one point the VP asked me to compile a report on the older-women market for the CEO. That was, like, 4 years ago… looks like they finally decided to act on that interest, I guess?

    I’m more struck by the poor quality of the video than the content. It reeks of in-house production.

  79. tc4b says:

    I think it’s more offensive to gamestop employees, sortof, “Obviously you know NOTHING about women, so here’s a video for you…”

  80. christoj879 says:

    I think Kristen Wiig made a cameo in this.

    Also blinking at 7:56 and 8:08.

  81. Anonymous says:

    The main problem with this vdeo is that it is targeted specifically to women and not just confused shoppers in general. There are plenty of Dad’s who walk into a Gamespot and don’t have a clue what their looking for either but you don’t see a special video made with just them in mind. It’s basically saying that men can just walk into a video game store and be fine whereas women need some type of special treatment. It’s true that the employees at these stores can be very condescending and need to fix that but why single out a specific sex? They can be that way to males and females alike.

  82. XeniaGaze says:

    As a non-gamer who has shopped at Gamestop and someone who makes a living creating training, I’d have to say that I “get” the underlying message they crudely convey. The gimmick is part of an instructional event called “Gaining Attention”, intended to engage the learner. Unfortunately it’s a stupid gimmick.

    As a woman who is not a gamer I am not offended. I’m glad they are making an effort to stop offending me when I go to their store by offering the boneheads who work there some parameters for interacting with me. I’d probably be more offended if I were a guy at the suggestion that men don’t have any idea at any level how to interact with women. They should have clarified the message to expand their customer base to include more women and tied it more closely to the (also stupid) promotion. Yeah, I’m so incredibly likely to buy a DS so I can get a free 4.95 subscription.

    There. I just gave them a thousand dollars worth of free consulting. Just kidding.

  83. Garbanzo says:

    Now that I’ve gotten time to watch the video: I’m not offended at all. I thought it was amusing, clever, and interesting for a training video. I wish my company’s training material was a tenth this engaging. I was even kindof interested in the promotion they mentioned until I saw what boring magazines they have. Weird that there was no gaming magazine!

  84. el-brazo-onofre says:

    It’s demographic-based marketing, plain and simple.

  85. solarpowerspork says:

    I was treated like absolute dirt at a local Gamestop when looking to buy a WiiWheel. Guys behind the counter on their cell phones, getting up to help other people (men) who walked in, and blatantly ignoring me when I’m asking for them to get the Wheel from behind the counter to ring me out.

    Complained to corporate — and got a $25 gift card and a copy of WiiFit held for me.

    All in all, par for the course for Gamestop – but I do think a few people “care” over there.

  86. rockergal says:

    I am a woman, and I thought this video was funny.

  87. Anonymous says:

    As a casual woman gamer this video is not that offensive overall. There are a lot of moms (and dads) who try to buy video games for their family and have no idea what merchandise is out there. So this might help that niche market. However this video assumed all women who buy video games are the same. I am in my mid-20s so I have an idea of the types of games out there and if someone suggested Wii Play to me I would be upset.

    The entire video is not offensive but I did find the promotional offer a little offensive in itself. It seems the marketing group for Gamestop believes women will fall for some scam of purchasing more video games to get a magazine subscription. Also the choices of magazines were all “women” publications like Cosmo, Oprah, Good Housekeeping, etc. Perhaps if they expanded the magazine selection it would be less offensive. I rather get The Economist than some magazine that tells me the new lipstick colors for spring and 85% of the issue is ads.

  88. You hate your job but you're still working there? says:

    I like how she mentions taking an “unassuming” approach to upselling female customers after the first associate implied the first woman is a housewife by mentioning a free subscription to Good Housekeeping and the second was assuming the gussied up second woman would be more interested in magazines traditionally geared towards women who take more interested in superficial affairs.

  89. Anonymous says:

    As a former GameStop manager, the idiot customer rating is more highly populated with unattentive parents purchasing mature rated games for their 8yr old children. We never video gems this great when I was working for the company, but I am surprised there has not been a claim filed against the company internally for this type of crap.

    As a husband, I am also aware of how my wife is interacted with when she enters a GameStop location. She has continually been ignored or spoken down to by employees with less knowledge of the products being sold and usually asked what she’s buying for her husband/boyfriend.

    The level of female interaction the employees of any store have is not relevent. This video is insulting and demeaning to female customers.

  90. Mitch Mitchell says:

    The very ironic part is the fake-aussie/brit announcer is in front of a Barnes and noble map section (yes, BN owns GS).

    As an employee of BN, the BN training videos suck, at LEAST the GS videos are attempting a theme…

    But for a stereotype? Think about who is on either side of the counter…’nuff said.

  91. Nathan Paul Profito says:

    I happen to work at gamestop and like to inform you all this video was a joke from one of the Florida stores it is the main reason why we are never allowed to film instore any more we can even bring in a basic digital camera. And to 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich troll belamely some where else. And to Onion_Volcano we sell opened games as new because we need a box for diplay and don’t want the game stolen so we put the disk on file. We will reseal any game as long as we are asked to and we will usually ask before you can.