COVID Central: GameStop Classifies Itself as an "Essential Service"

COVID Central: GameStop Classifies Itself as an "Essential Service"

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pocru by pocru on Mar 20, 2020 @ 03:15 AM (Staff Bios)
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GameStop, the video game retailer who has not done a very good job of being relevant in recent years, has made the morally baffling and insanely frustrating decision to stay open in spite of any lockdowns or quarantines that may take place across the country, or the world. Their logic in forcing their employees to come in every day and risk infection – and spreading it to others – is that they are an “essential service”.

I kid you not. Here’s exactly what they had to say, in a memo acquired by Kotaku:

“Due to the products we carry that enable and enhance our customers’ experience in working from home, we believe GameStop is classified as essential retail and therefore is able to remain open during this time. We have received reports of local authorities visiting stores in an attempt to enforce closure despite our classification. Store Managers are approved to provide the document linked below to law enforcement as needed.”


There is some truth that video games can and will provide essential entertainment and socializing venues for people who are stuck at home for the long haul, but we have digital downloads for that. There’s nothing “essential” about a physical retailer that was already obsolete before the idea of physical contact with anyone became taboo.

And it’s made even more gross by the suggestion that managers should actively fight law enforcement about this.

Anyway, GameStop also posted the measures they’re taking to stay safe, such as reducing the max number of customers in the store (so only 10 people can get infected at a time?) ensuring people keep a safe distance from each other (but they still have to touch the friggin’ doorknob) and reducing the hours of operation (who cares?).

If this doesn’t kill this long-ailing retailer, then I don’t know what will. Other than time.

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