Gamestop Is Still Open (And 'Essential')

Due to Covid-19, much of civilization has ground to a screeching halt. But while the rest of us are remaining safely inside, obsessively calculating our toilet roll paper supplies, many heroic public service providers are still clocking in every single day, braving illness and death, to keep the most precious vestiges of society up and running. You will be able to go to the hospital. You will be able to withdraw money from the bank. You will be able to trade in your old copy of Uncharted 4 for 83 cents of in-store credit.

The essential public service of selling plastic circles inside of plastic rectangles.JJ Bers/FlickrThe essential public service of selling plastic circles inside of plastic rectangles.

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Worry not, gamers and Funko Pop-ofiles, your stalwart brick-and-mortar video game retailer will remain open during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to its sweaty suits "GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time." Important note: Gamespot has not been classified as essential retail, but that's what the video game store has instructed its spotty nineteen-year-olds to tell law enforcement when they come and try to shut the place down -- that, and if they'd like to buy a copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

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What doesn't seem essential to Gamespot corporate is the wellbeing of their store clerks -- who not only have to keep coming into work but are also having their unwashed hands tied when it comes to properly safeguarding their stores from America's responsible teens. Not even sponsored demo stations are allowed to be removed from the floor, and those things didn't even need Covid-19 to be considered unholy Petri dishes of disease. Instead, employees have been instructed that "these surfaces must be wiped down regularly with disinfectant wipes." Which wipes? Whatever ones employees manage to loot elsewhere since corporate has also not deemed it "essential" to provide necessary hygiene products to all their stores.

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What it has done is prudently put a cap of having a maximum of 10 gamers inside the store ... which given average gamer hygiene, and space available in a Gamestop, could still cause an epidemic outbreak even if there wasn't one going on already. Fortunately for the store's employees, the chance of seeing 10 customers in a whole day has been unlikely since the early 2010s -- the last time Gamestop could be called "useful" or "profitable," let alone "essential." At this point, the only thing its uninterrupted open doors are "essential" to are the paychecks of its upper management's since, if Gamestop hits pause now, it'll be game over forever.

For more weird but "essential" tangents, do follow Cedric on Twitter.

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