This issue's gaming record is for the most astounding degree of ignorance of
the gaming world by an employee of a gaming shop.
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine purchased a copy of RoboRally by Wizards of the Coast. Now this is a really fun boardgame, with a really nice set of components, including a nifty set of lead miniatures. The only problem, is that the miniatures are unpainted, which makes them harder to use in play. So my friend decided that she would paint them.
Now we happened to be in a shopping centre in Bristol, where she lives, which I knew from previous experience had a games shop of a certain well-known worldwide chain. I won't mention names - but they sell only their own brand of miniature-based wargames, plus the miniatures themselves. And they don't sell anything else. At all. I think you probably know who I'm talking about.
Anyhow, I generally tend to avoid this chain, largely because I don't play any of their games, but also because of a rather bizarre row I once got into with one of their "employees" over the subject of the profitability (or lack of it) of RPG companies. I put "employees" in quotes, because I have long been of the opinion that this company doesn't recruit human beings from the job centre like everyone else, but instead grows them in vats in a factory somewhere near Nottingham, England.
"Okay Dave, you've been doing a good job on the inch-high orcs... we've got another job for you now... how'd you like to design the mould for a six-foot tall humanoid?"
And to be fair, by and large, they come out pretty good - although they still can't quite get the smile right and the eyes have a tendency to bulge alarmingly. I mean if you put one of these geezers in a suit and took him for a walk down your local high street, most people probably wouldn't give him a second glance.
But I figured paint is paint, and lead is lead, so this shop should be just as good as any other for buying what we needed, right? So my friend and I went in and started looking at the paint section, trying to figure out what she needed.
Soon enough, one of the robots glided over, asking if we needed any help.
"We're looking for paints to paint some RoboRally miniatures," I told him.
"RoboRally..?" he replied, slightly confused, but still smiling warmly. "Don't think I've heard of it."
To be fair to him it's not that famous a game, so I thought I'd help him out. "It's from Wizards of the Coast" I told him.
"Wizards... of the coast?"
Well quite frankly, he was starting to scare me now.
"Wizards of the Coast," I intoned slowly, "you know, the people who do the card game Magic the Gathering?"
"Magic... the gathering?"
Copyright © 2001 Critical Miss Gaming Society