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GameStop Manager Suspended After "Games for Grades" 539

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the remember-you-still-work-for-someone-else dept.
mikesd81 writes "A manager at a GameStop has been suspended for instituting a 'games for grades' policy. 'Brandon Scott says he started a unique new policy in his store to promote good grades in school but now his employer has sent him to detention for speaking out of turn. Scott says he's been suspended by GameStop in the wake of his unconventional "games for grades" policy at an Oak Cliff store.' Apparently, on his own, Scott decided to stop selling video games to any school-age customer unless an adult would vouch for the student's good grades."
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GameStop Manager Suspended After "Games for Grades"

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  • Bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fierythrasher (777913) on Monday September 17, 2007 @04:53PM (#20643691) Homepage
    I can understand giving kids a discount for good grades...had he done that and been suspended then that would have been wrong, but refusing to sell? That's just bad business.
    • Re:Bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by toddbu (748790) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:03PM (#20643829)
      Bad business, perhaps, but is it bad policy? I hear a lot of people complaining that corporate America is heartless and doesn't care, yet when one guy tries to do something that's right for the kids then he gets picked on. Why is it unreasonable for a company to say that they're unwilling to promote bad grades?
      • by Moryath (553296) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:12PM (#20643937)
        Look, fools, you can't have it both ways. Either there are going to be standards, or there aren't. There's already a standard that you don't sell M-rated games to underage kids, this isn't any different.

        If he's unwilling to sell games to kids who are flunking out of school? I TOTALLY LOVE THAT STAND. Seriously, think about it. We have major issues these days with schools being fucked up. If kids aren't making the grade, we may love games, but just letting them play the games is not going to teach them to take school (and work) seriously.

        Fuck Gamestop for suspending him. They should be putting him on a pedestal and making this a nationwide policy.
        • by Jartan (219704) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:28PM (#20644189)

          If he's unwilling to sell games to kids who are flunking out of school? I TOTALLY LOVE THAT STAND. Seriously, think about it. We have major issues these days with schools being fucked up. If kids aren't making the grade, we may love games, but just letting them play the games is not going to teach them to take school (and work) seriously.


          What's the cutoff though? I agree if someone is flunking and in danger of being held back a year then they shouldn't be playing games. But what about people who are barely passing? Are you willing to go so far as to let society dictate to them a change in lifestyle? Do you even know if the school that person is going to is properly testing the student?

          When so many questions are being asked about the institutions supplying those grades (in the US) the idea seems dangerous. A lot of those kids who are barely passing are the smart ones because they aren't buying into the bullshit daycare system they've been shoved into.
          • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Monday September 17, 2007 @08:15PM (#20646079) Homepage Journal

            Really now, I think you are missing a very valid, important point this whole plan causes... PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT - the parents are forced to be involved in their kids' game-playing choices, as well as the fact their kids are getting good - or bad - grades is a reinforced memory. The fact that this store wont sell the kids games unless they are getting good grades should also thus (hopefully) prompt more parental involvement "Gee, that store manager was right... maybe I should look into other ways besides denying them the latest game to assist them in getting better grades"

            Of course, the reality is probably that more parents, overburdened enough already just trying to make ends meet, will get less involved (or it wont change their involvement at all) under the false sense of security in the fact that "Gee, the store manager has already dealt with that issue"

            Now, as for your change in lifestyle comment... I dont know about you, but if I was getting bad grades, and playing video games, I can guarantee you my parents would insist on a change in my lifestyle... (1) no games, (2) It would hurt sitting for at least a few days from the ass whooping I'd get. Am I condoning #2? No. (Though it was decent incentive for me to be an Honor Roll student)... but things that fit in the #1 category SHOULD be something considered by EVERY parent who wants to see their kids have a chance to succeed. Is school the be-all-end-all for having a successful life? NO... but it does help - in the very least, it opens up opportunities allowing the kid-turning-adult to choose when the time comes. Would you rather that, or a kid that wasnt motivated to do well in school who then complains the rest of his life that all he can be is a janitor? Being a janitor by choice is fine... not having a choice because when you were a kid, there was no incentive for good grades and behavior (and no punishment for bad) is pretty fucked up.

            Your DayCare comment makes no sense... I doubt this story is about the guy not selling to kids in daycare. As for non-daycare school, I had some tough times because I was bored (thus didnt do my work, and had to struggle at the last minute to stay on the honor roll)... but I found that with the right motivation, that changed... got into AP classes, got more mentally challenged (pun possibly intended), and did far better in those classes than in the standard level classes.

            Besides, it really shouldnt matter what SOCIETY does - it should really matter what is right - or wrong... not opinions, not faith, not "everyone does it".

            For this guy to take such a stand, takes guts... funnily, if you go back in time a bit, substitute games with anything else that shouldnt be sold to a certain age, such as... cigarettes... you find something really interesting... he probably would be in the exact same situation had he not sold 17 year olds cigarettes because he didnt think he should be selling something to a kid who may not yet understand the risks they were undertaking... nowadays, if he DID sell those cigarettes, he'd get fined or worse... too much of a stink for the corporations to try to validate such sales. So, know you have a corporation looking for nothing more than making more money - at whatever legal expense, with no moral implications because of a society that doesnt care. And you apparently support that. Nice.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by PunkOfLinux (870955)
              "Your DayCare comment makes no sense... I doubt this story is about the guy not selling to kids in daycare. As for non-daycare school, I had some tough times because I was bored (thus didnt do my work, and had to struggle at the last minute to stay on the honor roll)... but I found that with the right motivation, that changed... got into AP classes, got more mentally challenged (pun possibly intended), and did far better in those classes than in the standard level classes."

              PLEASE tell me that was sarcasm.
              • by Dolohov (114209) on Monday September 17, 2007 @10:21PM (#20647033)
                High school was never about learning to think. It's about keeping a whole lot of untrained kids out of the work force where they would drive down wages and push out older folks. For the brighter kids, it's also a holding pen until you're old enough for college.

                You may not think so now, but you'll be glad later that school was like that in terms of authority. Yes, schools try to indoctrinate kids that way, but thankfully they do it BADLY. You've been blessed with a healthy skepticism and disrespect for authority that will hopefully serve you well through the rest of your life. It's one thing to get it from a cultural perspective, it's another to see first hand that many adults really don't know what they're doing, and can't always muddle through.
            • by n dot l (1099033) on Monday September 17, 2007 @10:39PM (#20647199)

              Your DayCare comment makes no sense
              The comment makes perfect sense. It refers to the fact that public education in our society has almost nothing to do with education and everything to do with giving parents a place to park their kids while they go off to work.

              If it were really about education then AP courses would be available everywhere. Also, the regular courses would be harder and students would graduate high school knowing the things we teach in first year university. It's not impossible - in fact it's how it's been done for years in Europe (though I hear Europe's been dumbing down as well), and Japan.

              Instead we have a system (the majority of teachers, principals, school boards, regulatory agencies, etc) that doesn't give a shit what the students do so long as they sit still, play nice, and don't cause too much trouble. If that's not a day care I don't know what is.

              Overall I agree, society should stand up for right and wrong, but this isn't the way to do it at all. Not letting kids buy games because they're failing is like attacking gays because straight people are divorcing in record numbers - it's shooting way off target at an only vaguely related "problem".
            • by servognome (738846) on Monday September 17, 2007 @10:41PM (#20647217)

              Now, as for your change in lifestyle comment... I dont know about you, but if I was getting bad grades, and playing video games, I can guarantee you my parents would insist on a change in my lifestyle... (1) no games, (2) It would hurt sitting for at least a few days from the ass whooping I'd get.
              There are parents who don't care about grades. Why should the values of others (good grades are important) be imposed on them?

              Besides, it really shouldnt matter what SOCIETY does - it should really matter what is right - or wrong... not opinions, not faith, not "everyone does it".
              "Right & wrong" are opinions of individuals and society.

              For this guy to take such a stand, takes guts... funnily, if you go back in time a bit, substitute games with anything else that shouldnt be sold to a certain age, such as... cigarettes... you find something really interesting... he probably would be in the exact same situation had he not sold 17 year olds cigarettes because he didnt think he should be selling something to a kid who may not yet understand the risks they were undertaking.
              It also takes guts for pharmacists to refuse to dispense the "morning after pill." Doesn't mean that society as a whole, or a company should support their unilateral imposition of values.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by RingDev (879105)

                There are parents who don't care about grades. Why should the values of others (good grades are important) be imposed on them? ... "Right & wrong" are opinions of individuals and society.

                In most decently populated geographic areas in the US there are multiple video game stores, and the ease of purchasing online. If the parents don't care about their child's grades, they can either a) lie or b) let the kid buy the game elsewhere. This is a private company dealing with a private consumer, the is no state involvement and no constitutional issue. The medical field on the other hand has enough legislation wrapped around it that it takes the Supreme Court and teams of lawyers just to work around

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Sigma 7 (266129)

              Now, as for your change in lifestyle comment... I dont know about you, but if I was getting bad grades, and playing video games, I can guarantee you my parents would insist on a change in my lifestyle... (1) no games,

              That will not resolve the issue at hand. If a student "learns" an incorrect way to do math (e.g. thinks 7 + 3 = 73, or comes up with a bizarre and incorrect method to calculate the dot product), you want a tutor or some other method of learning. Not providing this is no different than asking Sisyphus to roll a boulder up a steep hill.

              My marks suffered because I cannot write poetry (aside from cheating by writing prose, shaping the paragraph, and claiming it as a "modern poem".) To this date, no tactic I

        • by fishybell (516991) <fishybell@hotHOR ... minus herbivore> on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:43PM (#20644359) Homepage Journal

          They should be putting him on a pedestal and making this a nationwide policy.

          Because, after all, gamestop should be parenting rather than, oh, I don't know, the parents. If parents wants to let their kids play games all day instead of studying they're not exactly right, but more power to them. You can't force people to make the right desisions.
        • I'm sure those interested (both boys and girls) would raise their marks if they could have sex with hot women and men...

          Prostitution? Please... this is just business. I am such a capitalist, sometimes I scare myself.

          Speaking seriously though, I can see things like Virginia tech not happening if guys had a sexual outlet to deal with stress. I've often wondered if we should legalize prostitution and have laws regarding involuntary celibacy (i.e. government sponsored sex, to keep men from turning into rapis
        • by mobby_6kl (668092) on Monday September 17, 2007 @08:31PM (#20646185)
          This guy is a fucking moron. I mean the guy from TFA, not the parent poster. I'll refrain from insults for now although I completely disagree on all counts. To get this out of the way, let's ditch the ratings too, they're bullshit. This way there shouldn't be any confusion about standards.

          First of all, declining to sell the games to customers on random basis (he defines what "good grades" are, doesn't he?) is not what he was supposed to do. If he thought this would be beneficial to the business, he should've talked to the actual owners. He didn't and he got in trouble.

          Secondly, the reason schools are all fucked up is NOT video games. I repeat, video games are not the reason schools suck. I'm rather big on procrastination, and I don't need any games to avoid working on the thesis. Neither do these kids. They'll find something else to do, which would be inevitably more interesting than doing homework. There are many options available, one could argue on slashdot, get drunk with their underage friends, watch paint dry, or, hell, even read a book.

          And finally, even if we ignore the above two points, his negative approach is still stupid. Positive reinforcement would've worked just as well if not much better, without attracting any of the criticism. Simply give kids discounts for good grades. I've seen this done in a local computer hardware store, and while the discount wasn't huge, it was a nice touch. Maybe make each subject graded above X points worth a 5pp discount, or something. The more good grades the kids have, the more games they can buy. Everybody wins.

          So in conclusion, fuck that guy. I'm glad they put a stop to this retarded policy before it could spread anywhere.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            They should just make it illegal to sell computer games to anyone under the age of 18. That would stop a lot of messing around.
      • by Rix (54095) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:32PM (#20644253)
        He hasn't the authority to be making those decisions. If the president of GameStop decided to do this it would be fine. When a peon goes behind the President's back and does it, it's a different story.
      • Re:Bad idea (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ultranova (717540) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:52PM (#20644469)

        Bad business, perhaps, but is it bad policy? I hear a lot of people complaining that corporate America is heartless and doesn't care, yet when one guy tries to do something that's right for the kids then he gets picked on. Why is it unreasonable for a company to say that they're unwilling to promote bad grades?

        And when your local grocery store decides that they won't sell to you unless you can show a written confirmation from your local church that you have been there the last Sunday, is that still okay ? After all, being devote fundamentalist Christian, the grocer is convinced that you'll burn in Hell unless you convert, so he's simply being caring and trying to do right for you.

        There is a huge difference between caring about people and trying to force your will on them, no matter how benevolent you think you're being. And traditionally, resource starvation has been one of the most efficient ways of coercion, as any army laying siege can tell you. Such enforcement might seem like it's nothing now because it's directed against kids and an unimportant resource; but even kids are human beings and shouldn't be subjected to arbitrary use of power by anyone who cares to do so. Besides, it's best to nip these things in the bud.

        That, by the way, is also where the libertarian concept of "only physical force is coercion" falls flat on its face: I can kill you without ever lifting a finger against you if I control some vital resource.

        • Re:Bad idea (Score:4, Insightful)

          by StikyPad (445176) on Monday September 17, 2007 @06:40PM (#20645075) Homepage
          I was going to moderate, but I think you might actually believe what you're saying. So assuming you're not trolling:

          when your local grocery store decides that they won't sell to you unless you can show a written confirmation from your local church that you have been there the last Sunday, is that still okay ?

          No. Religion is explicitly prohibited as a reason for discrimination. What the manager did was not at all unconstitutional. If it was in violation of anything, it was corporate policy.

          There is a huge difference between caring about people and trying to force your will on them, no matter how benevolent you think you're being.

          There's also a huge difference between forcing your will on someone and refusing to do business with them. Namely, the former is generally illegal (with the exception of parent-child relationships) while the latter is perfectly reasonable, provided your business isn't a government protected monopoly like power or water.

          I can kill you without ever lifting a finger against you if I control some vital resource.

          True, which is why vital resources are protected by the government. Video games hardly fall into that category. Your argument of food is hypothetically valid, though in practice no single entity controls distribution, nor is the prospective buyer prohibited from growing/hunting his own, or going to a soup kitchen, etc. Aside from that, using your influence to deliberately cause or contribute to the death of someone else is clearly a criminal act, as is knowingly failing to prevent the death or egregious harm of another in the absence of danger to self or others. It's really a stretch to compare a sales policy on video games to willful disregard for life.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by StikyPad (445176)
            Sorry, in the fifth paragraph, "former" and "latter" should be switched.
      • "when one guy tries to do something that's right for the kids then he gets picked on. "

        Because he was hired to keep that store making profit, and if the customer is turned away because (s)he is failing, word of that gets around and people stop shopping there. It's pretty simple. If I worked at a store and turned away people who had red hair I might not be turning away many customers, but I am turning away people who came to the store to give us money.
      • Re:Bad idea (Score:4, Insightful)

        by C0rinthian (770164) on Monday September 17, 2007 @06:28PM (#20644947)
        Store != Parent. It's not their job to tell the kid "No, you need to study!"
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by photomonkey (987563)

          This mentality goes directly against the sense of community that forms civilization.

          Parents now, nor at any point throughout history, are not able to watch their children 24/7. Much in the way that animals play and socialize to learn how to fit into the pack (and hence survive), we have evolved as a social species for much the same purpose.

          When I was a kid, if I was playing in a neighbor's yard uninvited, you bet I would be chased off by an angry property owner. Even more, I could expect the owner to

    • Not necessarily (Score:2, Interesting)

      by DogDude (805747)
      If he was the business owner, and he didn't have any franchise agreements that prevented him from doing so, he would be able to refuse to sell to anybody he'd like, so long as it wasn't discrimination. In fact, an advanced retailing technique is to be selective with customers, which usually in turn, drives up demand (think "Soup Nazi"). It's not always bad business to turn away customers, depending on the situation. In many cases, the best thing a business owner can do is to turn away certain customers.
  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Monday September 17, 2007 @04:53PM (#20643693) Homepage Journal

    "So that's World or Mariocraft at $54.95, Halogen World at $54.95 and ECCH Sofa Soccer '08 at $54.95, with tax is um $202.45"

    "Duh, how many twenties is that?"

    "How many do you have, ah 12 or 13 should do."

    "*drool* Dar, don't I get some change back?"

    "Oh Certainly, let's see here's 1, 2, 3, say, what grade are you in?"

    "Duh, 10."

    "Ah, very good, where was I, oh yes, 10, 11, how old are you if you don't mind my asking?"

    "Dur. I'm 16."

    "Ah, I should have guessed, so let's see, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, there you go have a nice day! Enjoy your games!"

    "Duh, oh boy will I! Buh bye!"

  • They can just say that they fired him for lack of sales and be done with.
    • by garcia (6573) on Monday September 17, 2007 @04:59PM (#20643763) Homepage
      They can just say that they fired him for lack of sales and be done with.

      There's a high probability that they don't have to give him any reason why they let him go. Honestly, while this might be great and all in theory, I don't see why GameStop wouldn't act the way they did, it would be different if this guy owned his own store and was instituting his own policy. When you work for corporate America you follow the proper channels or you end up like this poor bastard.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Doc Ruby (173196)
        Yeah, and that sucks.
      • When you work for corporate America you follow the proper channels

        If the owner is not you, you OK it with owner first. This is just common sense. This is not all about "Corporate America."

      • by joe_bruin (266648)

        When you work for corporate America you follow the proper channels or you end up like this poor bastard.

        Let me give you another headline and see if you still object:
        "CVS pharmacist fired for refusing to sell birth control pills to unmarried women."

        Now, all I've changed is the company and the *personal belief* that an individual was enforcing. If GameStop doesn't want to sell games to kids with bad grades, it's their store and I have the option of not shopping there. If some employee decided that he knows what's right for the customers and chooses to enforce his views on how the world should work, I would h

  • by RobertB-DC (622190) * on Monday September 17, 2007 @04:54PM (#20643697) Homepage Journal
    For some reason, Google News (and the original poster) are linking to an Austin TV station's copy of the story, which originated in Dallas -- site of the store and, oh yeah, GameStop's headquarters [wikipedia.org]. Here are some links to the "breaking news story", as I'm sure Channel 8 is touting it:

    Before (Sep 13): Store only sells video games to kids with good grades [wfaa.com]. Wow, great guy, good publicity!

    After (Sep 14): GameStop manager suspended after 'games for grades' policy [wfaa.com]. Hey, bad boy, hurt sales!

    Fortunately, I don't feel the need to stop in at GameStop anyway. Not when the Dallas area has independent stores like Game Trade [thegametrade.com], with a bigger selection, better prices, more knowledgable staff, and a LAN room in the back.
    • Let's see, mod you from 4 to 5, or be uninsightful...

      Thanks for the link, Robert. I didn't know about that store. I don't buy many games, so I never looked around, but now I'll check them out. :) Looks like I can get some anime on, too. Wonder if I can unload my Jyhad [wikipedia.org] cards there? :)
  • Why keep someone employed as a store manager who doesn't understand how a store actually works. (i.e. selling things to people who want to buy and are legally able to do so).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cduffy (652)
      Sure, that's how many stores do operate, but why does a store have to operate that way? Read his account he turned down only about two dozen sales, and some of those kids came back and made purchases later after cleaning up their grades.

      If he gets parents' support through his policies, that has potential to result in a net increase of sales -- two dozen transactions isn't that may in the larger scheme of things.
  • idiot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Monday September 17, 2007 @04:54PM (#20643703) Journal
    So some idiot decides to abuse his power (for better or worse does not matter) and loses the company money? How is this remotely surprising? He's a bean counter, if he decides anything but which colour beans to count this week he gets kicked out for someone else.
    • by cduffy (652)
      How is this "abuse"?

      It's legitimate for a local branch of a business to do spend money doing good within its community as part of a promotional effort -- donating funds and/or employees' time to libraries and schools and such. How is establishing a policy of refusing to sell games to poor students any different? It gets publicity for the store, and has potential to increase sales in the long run -- not to mention an opportunity to garner a reputation as being a good citizen in the community.

      Certainly, the m
      • Right and Wrong.

        You are correct, doing the program might do the things you say, being increasing sales, publicity, and positive branding. Let me stress might here - of course you can never be certain any program will work one way or another. That said, that brings me to the part where you are wrong.

        This was a horrible program all things considered. All three things you say this program could do; increase sales, publicity, and positive branding, all can be done via traditional marketing. I am 100% sure
        • by cduffy (652)
          There's a reason why a higher mutation rate (within reason) has a positive impact on the evolution of a species, even though a strong majority of them have a negative impact. Why? Because if you rely only on safe, incremental improvements, you don't get anywhere nearly as quickly as if you take localized risks (a small percentage of each generation being nonviable due to negative mutations, balanced against the potential for a positive mutation which then is able to spread). The folks back at HQ are indeed
    • really? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nobodyman (90587)
      Idiolistic? certainly. Misguided? probably. But why is he an idiot? He wanted to do have a positive effect on kids in a position that is generally associated with destroying our childrens minds (just ask Jack Thompson). Furhermore, he knew that he was probably going to get suspended and/or fired and was not surprised when it finally happened. So it's not as though he's shocked that he got fired.

      Gamestop is famous (or infamous) for having generally odd store managers. You typically get the Simpsons Com
      • by nuzak (959558)
        > Idiolistic? certainly. Misguided? probably. But why is he an idiot?

        Because, regardless of his intentions, he made everyone purchasing games justify their purchase through his approval. If Brandon Scott didn't think you deserved the game because you didn't meet his approval process, he would not sell you the game.

        The idiocy comes in whatever thought process he had that allowed him to think that he had any right to continue being employed by GameStop.

        • by nobodyman (90587)

          The idiocy comes in whatever thought process he had that allowed him to think that he had any right to continue being employed by GameStop.

          Well, according to article he knew that he would get in some kind of trouble. Who knows what his true intentions were but it seems like he wanted to have the issue come to a head and illicit a reaction from gamestop. Perhaps this was his way of quitting. Who knows. I do hate it when people in joe-jobs go on power trips, and I'd fire the guy if I were his district man

      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:49PM (#20644431)
        A manager is a person hired to oversee operations for someone else. He doesn't own the store, he doesn't make the policies, he just runs it. If it was his store, great, but pulling that at a place you don't own could even get you sued for lost revenue in addition to fired.

        Also it is stupid because it really isn't a store's job to play police over what people buy. If parents don't want their kids playing games, that is their responsibility. It isn't his responsibility to make that decision for them. Maybe a parent decides that Cs are good enough. Maybe their kid isn't all that bright and Cs are all they can do, and that's doing well for them and thus they are rewarded for it.

        As I said: If you want to open a store based on this, go right ahead. However don't be surprised if you find your business suffers for it. If you choose to work for someone else as their representative, your duty is to do what they tell you. If their policy is "Sell to anyone who has the money," it is your duty to do that. You were not hired to play morality police, you were hired to do a job. If they had a policy prohibiting all sales to minors, it would be your duty to do that as well, even if it was costing them money.

        I get real tired of people trying to play morality police with others. How about you decide how you and your family are going to live your lives, and I'll decide for me and mine?
      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        I think Gamestop was justified in firing the guy, but I applaud him for at least sparking a dialog on the issue. If GameStop is smart, they'd find some way to turn this into a promotional deal ($20 off with a straight-A report card etc., etc.).

        Kinda like Pizza Hut's Bookit program?
        http://www.bookitprogram.com/ [bookitprogram.com]

        If you read books and got your teacher to give you a sticker for it, it'd go towards pizza. Ditto for good grades. My school was signed up for that when I was a kid and it was great for me, since I got good grades and loved to read anyways, I got tons of free pizza.

        There was actually a fuss raised over the program [google.com] recently, because some group felt it contributed towards bad eating habits and obesity. Pretty much everyone (Senators, Congress

  • by AuMatar (183847) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:05PM (#20643845)
    Manager decides to create a new policy. The owners don't like it and discipline him. Totally within their rights. If the manager owned the store, he could do this. Since he doesn't, his boss makes the rules.

    Now if he had made it a discount, it could have been a win-win. It would save the kid some money (and possibly be an incentive to work harder) and make good publicity for his store. But just stopping is bad business sense. The customer will just go elsewhere.
  • Lesson (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kohath (38547) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:10PM (#20643903)
    The lesson here is: don't try to be someone's Mom unless you are his Mom.

    I wish more people in our society would learn this lesson. I'm old enough to not need a Mom to tell me what to do or not to do. Kids, on the other hand, already have a Mom and don't really need 50 of them.
    • This case notwithstanding, I beg to differ. Biologically everyone has a mother; practically speaking there are very few children with parents who pay as much attention to raising their children as they should. In fact, I know a lot of kids that could do with an extra mom or two, based on their biological mother's (and father's) performance to date.
  • by Ace905 (163071) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:11PM (#20643911) Homepage
    No matter what 'system' he came up with, he should be fired for putting another step in the middle of the "Hi I want to buy this", "Here you go" process.

    If anybody thinks this guy is a good Samaritan or should be rewarded, you're living in your own little hippy infested lovey dovey moron world. He just made customers go another block to the 'other of a million' game stores and buy there for the same competitive price.

    He also took away a pretty basic freedom / right from all of his younger customers. So maybe he's the one that needs to learn a lesson. I wish I lived close enough to refuse to buy anything from this store ever again. If the government instituted the same policy for merchants - there would be riots in the streets.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cduffy (652)

      He just made customers go another block to the 'other of a million' game stores and buy there for the same competitive price.

      Some customers. Other customers (like parents, who tend to be the people bankrolling Christmas and birthday gifts) are liable to appreciate the move quite a bit. If (for the sake of an argument) he loses 100% of his non-parent sales but gets 1% of the parents in the Dallas area to go to his store when they want to buy a game as a gift for a child, that's a massive win: When he was "ju

  • No. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Enoxice (993945) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:12PM (#20643931) Journal
    He shouldn't have instituted this policy. The trick to business is to sell things to people that can buy said things, not to say "Sorry, kid, your money is no good here. We don't cater to no dumb people."

    It's completely insane to deny a sale to anyone for any criteria other than that which makes them eligible to own (i.e. you can't buy this m-rated game because you are 4 years old, or you only have $7). I mean, that's like saying "Sorry, you can't buy this car because you work at McDonalds. I don't care if you can pay in full in cash right now, have great credit, etc, etc."

    Having the opposite policy (as some seem to be suggesting) would have been equally as bad. A discount for good grades is just as discriminatory; "Sorry, Mr. Gates, we can't sell you this Toyota - you'll have to go to the Porche dealer down the street."
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Katmando911 (1039906)
      I don't know if it would have been bad to offer incentives for good grades. I remember when I was a kid, the local arcade would give you free tokens for good grades. That seemed to work out great for everyone.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574)

      Having the opposite policy (as some seem to be suggesting) would have been equally as bad. A discount for good grades is just as discriminatory; "Sorry, Mr. Gates, we can't sell you this Toyota - you'll have to go to the Porche dealer down the street."

      Huh? That's a terrible analogy, since giving someone a discount for good grades is a reward, not a restriction. It's more nearly analagous (though not completely) to credit scores: you get a better rate for having a better score. The reason why is different, but the effect is exactly the same.

  • Weird Angle (Score:2, Informative)

    by CubeNudger (984277)
    Asshole store manager is denying citizens the right to buy things in his store (the original article I read about him had crazy racist overtones, by the way - didn't like "gang members with baggy pants" hanging out in his store, i.e. black people) and his corporate overlords thankfully stepped in and put a stop to the chicanery. I know they're a corporation and all, but props to Gamestop for doing the common sense thing.
    • Re:Weird Angle (Score:4, Informative)

      by Mark_in_Brazil (537925) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:31PM (#20644235)
      Um, I know this is Slashdot, but if you had bothered to RTFA or even just open the page, you might have noticed a photograph of Brandon Scott that appears there. I'm not an expert on racial definitions, but from the picture, it looks to me like Mr. Scott is black.
    • by Detritus (11846)
      "gang members with baggy pants" hanging out in his store, i.e. black people

      What planet do you live on?

    • So someone doesn't want people who aspire to be criminals in his store? How utterly unreasonable is that!
  • Yeah, of course people are saying that it's bad business, but what he did was with good intent and in a perfect world, could have had a good impact.

    The problem is that it's not a perfect world and people can easily just go somewhere else for the same products... His tactic isn't very effective in that situation.

    But seriously, I applaud the guy for sticking up for a good principle and trying to motivate kids to perform better instead of being a corporate sales-whore, trying to sell as many games as possibl
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:21PM (#20644091) Journal
    Example: Someone has a car and good grades, but doesn't like to cart his mom with him. Result: No games for you!

  • by Reason58 (775044) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:25PM (#20644137)
    Chuck E. Cheese used to have something very similar. You bring in your report card, and you would get free tokens for each good grade. When I read the title I thought this is what the manager was doing and thought it was a fantastic idea. After reading his negative-reinforcement approach, however, I agree fully with his dismissal.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      My thoughs exactly, very poor implementation here. The intent was to reward kids for getting good grades. The execution was to have a parent come in with the kid and vouch for him, otherwise no sale. So a straight A grade 10 student could walk in with his report card in hand, and would be refused sale. Meanwhile little Billy, who's not so good in school, simply has to convince his mom to come into the store and lie for him, and he gets service. It's really not the brightest way to do things.

      What probab
  • but as has been pointed out, he may have been onto something.
    Refusing to sell is a bad idea, but as has been pointed out, using good grades to get a discount could work. Could even conbine this with good old-fashioned gambling. Stick your $10 pre-order for Halo3 (or whatever) down with us and as well as your $10 deposit, you'll get $5 off for a B and $10 for an A.
    Actually to expand this a bit further, in the same way stores have loyalty cards have one that get you stuff for grades - money off, discounts e
  • by eknagy (1056622) on Monday September 17, 2007 @05:52PM (#20644465)
    Next to my Uni, there was a pub, where you got a free shot of vodka if you shown your index and there was a fresh "exam failed" mark in it.
    Those were the days...
  • Faulty logic? (Score:2, Interesting)

    What's ridiculous about this policy is that it's a denial of access based on the principle that children with good grades should be allowed to play computer games, while those with bad grades shouldn't. What's the assumption that is being made here? Games are the cause of bad grades? OR playing games prevents children from getting good grades? It's true that games can be a huge waste of time, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they should be linked to merit in the educational system. What if my kid isn
  • This is not about lost sales. In fact it's actually a fantastic sales idea. Not only do you get the kid (highly motivated customer with little money) to associate his life's work (aka. school) with video games, but you get him to drag in his parent (wary customer with tons of money) to vouch for his good grades. So the kid comes in to get his game and while the kids in the back picking out the latest Pokemon his dad's in the front checking out the latest PS3 release.

    No, this isn't about lost sales. This
  • Keep your store clean, your employees in line and your customers happy. There's more than enough to do without inventing new policies on-the-fly.

    Everybody wants to be big brother. What's next, tiny plastic cups and a private room to make sure the little bastards aren't toking up before you'll deign to allow them to make a purchase? It makes me ill to think where we're headed.

  • Bad rap (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rossz (67331) <<ogre> <at> <geekbiker.net>> on Monday September 17, 2007 @06:40PM (#20645079) Homepage Journal
    At the moment, you have to pass a test to graduate to prove you actually learned something. Most kids don't have any real comprehension that slacking off today is going to have dire consequences tomorrow. So this guy decides to get their attention through something they actually give a shit about, and everyone here on slashdot calls him an idiot.

    "It's not his job to be those kids mom". Yep, you are right. So mom could lie and say he got good grades, or just buy her idiot son (with a promising future in the fast food service industry) the latest game. Problem solved.

    I don't have a problem with what he was doing, though I think he would have been in a better position to offer discounts for good grades.

    I also don't have a problem with certain types of games requiring an adult to purchase them. Again, it's not the store deciding if the kid gets the game or not. The parent will make the ultimate decision. Without the limitation, the parent doesn't get any say.

    Oh, for you idiot teenagers with mod points today that will be modding me down as flamebait or a troll. Kiss my ass. You'll have kids one day. Your entire attitude will change.

    Note to dad: Uhm, you remember when I was a teenager and was a complete asshole. I'm sorry about that. You were right.
  • by dindi (78034) on Monday September 17, 2007 @07:29PM (#20645655) Homepage
    What is so surprising? Really.

    I am sure the kids who buy the most are not the ones who have the best grades. Inventing something like this at someone else's store is not acceptable because it will kill sales.

    He is not a marketing expert there and this special promo is definitely not a good promo to be honest.....

    just my 2c ...

    ps: yes I also felt like making a lot of changes ... free internet for nice chicks, let's not answer the phone if the boss is nasty, and pay 50% back to the customer in cash if our service sucks .... all kinds of nice ideas, which were all bad for the business .....

    So how old was this educational marketing genius ? That will suck on his resume, unless his next application is in education...
  • my 2 cents (Score:3, Interesting)

    by neuro88 (674248) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @12:24AM (#20647891)
    Okay, flat out denying sales to kids, because of bad grades is a bad idea.

    Offering a discount to kids with good grades is a good idea.

    So far a lot of slashdotters have stated the first, and many have stated the 2nd as a good idea (I think it's probably a good idea myself).

    But what I haven't really seen is that denying sales to kids with bad grades might be a bad idea,
    because bad grades are not necessarily an indicator of playing too many video games or being lazy.
    My grades in high school were often bad (and at times very bad though sometimes I got pretty good grades),
    because I hated being there so much. I hated all the busy work. I wasn't learning anything interesting
    (I wasn't learning much at all), I was just being told what to do. It wasn't until college that I finally
    realized why I did so bad in high school. I did pretty well at the junior college, and I'm currently doing
    well pretty well at the university. Both of which are far more difficult academically-wise (my high school
    before it was shut down was one of the worst performing schools in San Francisco).

    So yeh, giving a discount to kids with good grades while neither rewarding nor punishing the kids who
    didn't get good grades would have been a much smarter route to go.

  • by cherokee158 (701472) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @06:00AM (#20649503)
    Y'know, I think if someone conclusively proved video games caused global warming, the slashdot crowd would still be screaming about parental involvment while poo pooing any attempt by society to pry their bent little fingers from their joysticks.

    And you guys wonder why many people think of the stuff as digital crack.

    Face it, these things are going to be so immersive in less than twenty years that they'll have to be a controlled substance. Otherwise, when the apocalypse comes, no one is even going to notice until their controller stops working.
  • by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @06:40AM (#20649725) Journal
    First, 2 points tactically:

    1) From a pragmatic point of view: as a company, Gamestop should be free to sell to whomever they want. If the marketplace feels their decisions are arbitrary or unreasonable (for example if they were motivated by racism), the marketplace will tell Gamestop if this was a good idea or not - in a capitalist sense where good=profitable, not in a pure moral/ethical sense of "good".

    2) From TFA this store manager made the choice himself, without even notifying Gamestop. Such is the life of a member of a franchise. If it was "Brandon Scott's Video Game Store" he could make these sorts of decisions and live with the consequences, but in this case he's a member of the 'Gamestop corporate identity' and thus beholden to them for decisions he makes which might impact the value of the brand name. Thus they have a right to make their OWN choice on whether they agree or not, whether they will support him or not, and whether he can continue, or not.

    Then from a larger perspective:
    I entirely agree with his position. He's a manager, and if he's responsible for his sales numbers, then he's culpable for the market consequences of his decision. I know that if he was in my area, I would immediately make his store my 'vendor of choice' for game purchases because I agree strongly with his policy. Others may not. At the end of the day, the dollars will decide if it was a good decision or bad decision, financially. But we cannot complain publicly about companies being 'faceless' and 'immoral' if we criticize them for occasionally TAKING a (to me, justifiable) moral stand, in this case regarding kids and games. His point holds: if you're not getting good grades, there are other things you should be spending your time on than GTA4.

    Is that your parent's decision? Yes, it is. And if you don't like it, take your business elsewhere, buy your kid GTA4 and then you can b1tch all you want about how horrible the schools are because your precious little one is failing. But we'll all know who's really to blame, won't we?
    (HINT: it isn't Mr. Scott.)
  • Screw Gamestop (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brew Bird (59050) on Tuesday September 18, 2007 @09:08AM (#20651451)
    I'm not buying there anymore.

    Corporations claim to be all about profit. I can accept that. I WORK for a decent sized corp. But if you don't nurture and maintain the community your profiting from, before long there won't BE a community. This is an incredibly short sighted response. Most people understand you don't shat where you eat.

    Those of you who want to whine about how 'it's the parents responsibility', go ahead. I happen to think this store manager is right on the money. He actually CARES about his customers, which is something that is sadly lacking at most layers of business these days.

    That right there will get him more business and more REPEAT business than all the marketing dollars that trickle down to his store from corporate.

      I don't know where they learn it, but the lack of ethics, morality, or a sense of community consequences in the last 20 years or so of corporate history is just appalling. This is just one more example.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein

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