Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

April 10, 2009 -

Kotaku reports that a GameStop corporate policy of selling games played by store employees as brand-new may be a violation of federal law:

GameStop's "check-out" policy, confirmed to Kotaku by a number of the chain's managers and employees, could fall under scrutiny of the Federal Trade Commission.

Kotaku cites GameStop's policy, which it reports that it obtained from several employees of the leading video game retailer:

Associates are allowed to check out one item of store merchandise for personal use for up to four days. Merchandise checkout is a privilege, not a right, and may be revoked at any time...

If the product is returned in unsellable condition, or if anything is missing from the package, or if the product is not returned, the Associate must purchase the product...

When asked by Kotaku, the Federal Trade Commission declined to say whether GameStop's practice of selling employee-played games as new might be considered deceptive. The FTC also declined to say whether it was looking into the practice.


Comments

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Do books come with seals across the cover and shrink wrapped to prevent you from opening it? Can you just pick up a game and flip through a couple of levels as you are standing there? Its a completely different case, you cannot compare it to books, you could compare it to CD's or DVD's for which you will find that there is a double standard when it comes to what is considered new.

~Weatherlight~

~Weatherlight~

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Typically from what I have seen a show room car is less expensive then a non show room car and the reason is the show room car is taken out by the car salesmen i.e. it has several hundred miles on it.

My new car had hardly any miles on it because they did a check on it and then they sold it to me.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Yep, his defence of GS seems solely based around 'Other people do it'.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

The worst part about it is his ever-present claim of being in charge of the Oklahoma City chapter of the ECA (if i'm reading that right).. not the ESA, but the ECA.. and he's using "well, it's ok because all these other people do it" as his fucking arguments.

News flash - just because sales departments in other industries have a similar practice (eg - the stupid new car analogy), does not make it ok here. Good lord...

 

"Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" - Denis Leary

"Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" - Denis Leary

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

So, just because I am am member and Chapter president of the ECA, I have to side with the consumer on every issue no matter how illogical or reactionary it is?

This to me is a non issue. If however the ECA does issue a statement on this I will pass that on, but as of now, my personal opinion is that this is a non issue and there are plenty of safeguards already in place to protect you as a consumer.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Stop trying to make it about car sales.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Seriously?  He's not trying to make anything about car sales.  He's using car sales as an analogy in order to better express his argument.  It's a common practice among people who know what they're doing.

-- Obi

-- Obi

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Goddamn the ignorance is thick in this thread. Unlike 90% of you guys in this thread, Zachery is actually making valid arguments and you guys just refuse to even acknowledge his points, let alone actually make (competnent) counter arguments.

Honestly half the arguments here don't even matter anyway. I have 2 buddies that works at 2 GS where I live, typically what happens if there is even the slightest hint of a scratch when they return it, they sell it used. Which for new releases its only a $5 difference tops.

However a game returned under the employee rental with no evidence of scratches, is sold as new again. Customers still has the oppurtunity to look at the game since it is opened, make a decision, and still exchange for the same copy if by some chance the disc does not work. The last part invalidates 90% of the arguments in this thread.

Not to mention, ALOT of people (pulling from my retail experience) seem to confuse return/exchange policies. Most place don't allow returns (games/movies/electronics, ect) of previously brand new items for full refunds just cause you "didn't like the item". Which alot of people try to hide "I didn't like it" with "Its broken". For all we know that customer could have used it till kingdom come or did what he needed it to do. Its why most places have policies where new items being returned (unless something is geniunely wrong with it) can only be exchanged for the same item.

 

However in the case of GS, theres a major difference, accountability. If they wreck the game, it comes out of their pocket of their job gets wrecked.

 

Yea, I don't think its the best of practices, but at the same time it does give you options to bring it back and request a factory sealed product.

 

 

 

 

Simplified version for the braindead(which seems to be alot today)"
 

Get over it, its ultimately $5-$10 your crying about. You can exchange if it doesn't work anyway and Stop trying to scam the employees yourself by saying "the game doesn't work" when you mean "This game sucks"

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

My guess: Yup, you betchya!  Who's going to know?

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

No. All games that come in as trades are put in completely different cases and stored in different cabinets. Stop tryign to make out every single employee as being some jerk-off who has a conspiracy to sell you used games as new. The employees make no money from comission, and 95% of the time are gamers just like you and me. Why in the HELL would they be trying to screw you? That's why the gutted copy is the only one loaned out. Because the customer would already be informed that the package had been opened for display purposes, and the slightest scratch on the disc upon it's return resulted in the employee buying it. They have sign out/in logs for every single game that leaves that store from an employee.

 

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

The whole NEW thign is a shame, bring back returns so you can proplery lable lighty used stuff as new..... basic warrenty will cover any issues that might arise.....

 

Fckers are making a killing off used game sales and wont even allow consumers the basic necessity of returning a POS game....

 


Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

---

http://zippydsm.deviantart.com/

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

While this is misleading it really doesn't seem like such a big deal to me. So I end up paying $5 more for a game that's been played by someone else for four days. Unless the employee in question has a damaged console four days should not cause any damage to the game in question.

 

Life doesn't always make sense. If it did it would be boring.

Life doesn't always make sense. If it did it would be boring.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

Since when are new games at GameStop only $5 more than used games?  Plus, the first few days of use are the big ones - 75% of the disc wear will happen on those first days.  If you're happy buying a heavily used game for top dollar, that's your prerogative, but I prefer not to be a sap.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

Usually around release time, if you go in for a new release a couple days after the game comes out you'll find used copies from around $5 to $1 cheaper then New pending the title.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

This isn't new. EB Games allowed this as a policy when I worked for them in the 90's.

-- Dan "SWATJester" Rosenthal; Executive Director, http://www.gameslaw.net

-- Dan Rosenthal

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

On the surface it doesn't seem like such a big deal, but the fact of the matter is that GameStop themselves make a distinction between the price of new games and the price of used games. If I'm paying $60 for a new game, it had better be a brand new game that has never been removed from the case. Otherwise, I should only be paying the used price for it.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

Man you guys are so ... i don't know. If the disk , case and manual are still in mint condition, does it really matter if the plastic has already been removed? They put a frikkin seal on open new games so that you can still return it as new as long as the seal isn't broken.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

Considering the fact that I could be paying anywhere from $5-$20 extra for it? Fuck yes, it matters.

How do you know that they put that seal on before anyone in the store had a chance to play it? Because they're just that trustworthy? Seriously? If you sell a game back to them, even if it's in "mint condition", they reduce the price because it is officially used. If they let 4 or 5 employees "borrow" a new game, and it still appears to be in "mint condition" afterwards, they still get to call it officially new and charge me full price for it?

"Oop, wait a second, Bob! I didn't slap one of those seals onto it, yet! We can't have some shmuck thinkin its not really new, can we?"

How is this ok to you?

"Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" - Denis Leary

"Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" - Denis Leary

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

Wow, such an inflammatory and ignorant comment. Have you ever frikkin bought a game at GS? They put the seal on the game when you buy it. IF you ask, they will show you the condition of the disk before putting the seal on it.

There is nothing here that cannot be dealt with by a customer asking the employee for a factory sealed copy first, if none are available, asking to see the condition of the disk, if the disk is damaged, asking for a slight discount on the game.

Seriously. It is that simple.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

Yeah, no shit, you can ask for a factory-sealed copy of the game. That's not the point of the article, nor of this conversation.

Granted, I like to consider myself an informed customer, and I'm pretty aggressive when it comes to holding a seller to a certain level of quality, however - why should the burden be on the customer, in this case, when it's, in simple point of fact, a fraudulent act to let (who knows how many) people from the store borrow a certain copy of the game, and then keep it officially labelled as new, and at full price?

Again, I don't understand how you think this is ok, or that it's not a big deal. They are charging people extra fucking money for a game that should be labelled as "used".

Also, how is anything I've said "inflammatory" or "ignorant"? You want inflammatory? How's this: I think you're a fucking moron for lettting GS give it to you up the ass.

"Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" - Denis Leary

"Life sucks, get a fuckin helmet" - Denis Leary

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

Who said anything about me loving to shop at GS? My comments come from my understanding of business especially the way GS runs their theirs. I am only arguing in their defense because I know how their system works. Not because I like it, nor 100% approve of it, but because  I understand it. There is a difference.

Also, I have not been arguing in support of the act of loaning out new copies of games and still selling them as new. If you read my comments from near the top of the discussion, you will see quite clearly I disapprove of that practice.

I am simply arguing the fact that the act of opening a box and removing the disk does not negate the fact that the game is still new and worth the new price.

Up to this point, you never made the distinction that this discussion was solely about selling the loaned copies of games as new. All you comments up to this point were about selling open copies as new.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Honestly I think they should just change their terminology since that's what seems to have alot of people pissed off. Change "Used Games" to "Trade Ins" and there you go. You are paying less for a "traded in game' meaning it is a disc purchased from another person, not sent to the store by the factory.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

You're defending them because you understand them? WTF sort of reason is that?

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

I am defending them because I understand why they gut copies of the game. Not because I approve of it or that there are no alternatives. Just that I understand why they do it and how they treat the games that are gutted. I am not however defending the process of loaning out new games to employees and selling those loaned games as new. I do understand however that there are policies in place that protect from damaged loans being sold as new.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Apparently though, at least for some of the people who have commented here, the policies "that protect from damaged loans being sold as new" don't always work, and then customers cannot always return the game for another new copy.  Just because policies are supposed to be there doesn't mean they are effective.

-- Obi

-- Obi

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

 Its the same reason I understand (support/defend) Peta even though they whole sell slaughter more animals then any other group wait wait no I hate Peta because they put down more animals then any other group thats right.  Sorry I was confused it happens.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

If it's been opened, the game CANNOT be in mint condition.  The whole definition of 'mint' means that it is unopened.  A game that's opened and played can only ever be described as 'Near Mint'.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

 But that disc had to be put inside that box and the box sealed at one point... so the disc has already at some point in the manufacturing process been out of that box. So if it hasn't been played, it should still be, you know, mint.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

 Here is a great example of how to classify stuff Mint means New in the world of coin collection (damn you dad) a Mint coin can only exist if it has been handled very little by human hands this is because our hands are acidic and therefore it will cause wear and tear on the metal degrading it.

A mint coin in all truth should be as close to the "mint" as you can get.  Near Mint means it looks good but it has some minor wear.  

In gaming terms you can view it this way mint for a game means it is still factory sealed or the very most unsealed but also unhandled, near mint is it has been opened and handled, very good means it has been handled and the manual has creases from use, good means it has some scrathes (nothing too bad) and the manual has been well used, poor means the game has scratches  that make it almost unplayable and the manual is either torn up or lost, very poor means the game can't play and there is no manual.

As such once a game is open (not factory sealed) it is almost certainly not mint anymore and if a employee takes it home and plays it then there is no case for calling it mint anymore it is now near mint meaning USED.  As such paying Mint price for a Near Mint or Very Good product is stupid , hence why I don't buy from them.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

So only 20 minutes in the discussion and we are already arguing symantics? Fine. Not since keeping this one up.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

In case you are unaware, legal arguments are almost entirely about semantics. This topic is about whether or not a particular GameStep business practice is illegal (i.e., fraudulant). Trying to dismiss a valid argument on the basis that it is concerned with semantics is, in this context, absurd.

CounterfeitCulture.com: Gaming news and commentary for the socially-adjusted nerd.

CounterfeitCulture.com: Gaming news and commentary for the socially-adjusted nerd.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

The semantics (fixed that for you guys) that were being argued is the difference between mint and near mint. We were not arguing about New, Kind of new and used.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

...

semantics

¬_¬

Here are we -- and yonder yawns the universe.

Here are we -- and yonder yawns the universe.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

It's not symantics.  Mint is a term that means 'undamaged as if freshly minted'.  A game that's opened and played is BY DEFINITION not in mint condition.  There are no 'degrees' of 'mintness' that leave the term open to symantical debate or personal interpretation - the game is either in mint condition or it's not.  It's like the word 'perfect' - there is no degree of perfectness - a thing is either perfect or it's not.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

I don't really like Game Stop because their PC games section hardly exists if at all. I however think it is a dispicable practice to let someone play a new game and then turn around and sell it as new for a new price. To me, that does seem deceptive--it's not so much the fact that the game was played, it's the fact that it's not being sold as used.

If they want to have a check out policy, that's fine, just do it from the used section so you don't lose profit.

Also, there is just something about ripping off the plastic wrap, breaking the seal on a new game yourself and getting a whiff of the new plastic smell on the game box. That's not something you get out of used.

Praetorian

"If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy floating by."

http://www.myspace.com/pree_tawr_ee_uhn



Praetorian

"If you sit by the river long enough, you will see the body of your enemy floating by."

http://www.myspace.com/pree_tawr_ee_uhn

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

When I worked for Software Etc. in 1997, we did this all the time. No one thought anything about it then and I still don't consider it a problem now. I wonder why Kotaku ran with this as if it was a new development. Did no one else know about this until today? Judging by the comments I've seen, the answer is no.

Do Not Talk About Feitclub http://www.feitclub.com

Do Not Talk About Feitclub http://www.feitclub.com

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

I knew about the practice, which is why I dont normally buy games from GameStop. The problem is there are not many places you can get a game on release day or for that matter preorder a game. Last time I did a preorder from Walmart I got the game 2 days after the release, the only other place nearby that does preorders is BestBuy and in this area they are famous for running out of copies before filling their preorders. So if you are looking for a game on release day GameStop is your best bet, but you risk getting it after it has been played.

~Weatherlight~

~Weatherlight~

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

 You know what is funny about that, when I preorder from GameStop they wouldn't let me have the preorder copy on the day it came out; in fact they fought with my father and I for us to even get our preordered game from them ... and this is why I also don't preorder anything.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

Odd, that never happened to me, but then again i usualy go to mignight launches for my pre-orders.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

That happened when we preordered a copy of Red Alert 3 premier edition for the PC, they took an extra day to get it to us. There explanation was that it came with GameStop exclusive extras, which they had not yet received. Now we just order the basic edition of whatever game we want.

~Weatherlight~

~Weatherlight~

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Yeah...that was someone in shipping fucking up. *sigh* Their corporate office really needs to get their shit together.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

This interests me. What was their reasoning? I know the people who do the ordering are idiots and half the time we were never sent the correct amount of copies.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

 To tell you the truth I have no clue what their reasoning was they even flat out told us they had the games in the back I do remember the game it was AC2 granted crappy game so no big loss on the no getting to play it on the first day but did teach me my lesson on preorder

 

As a sidenote my girlfriend was trying to be nice and she preordered me warhammer from ebgames signed her up at the same time for a 12 dollar a month charge for preorder crap now granted this is probably her fault for not reading on the pre clicked bs but it was just one more reason to never ever give a company money before hand.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

I worked for EB Games (Now gamestop) from 2000 till 2004. This was old news then.

As long as disk media isn't scratched or scuffed, there's no difference between a new or used game.

"Oh no, this READ ONLY MEDIA DISK has been spun in a machine before, it's tainted!"

When i bought my last car, it had 46 kilo's on it already, i didn't complain.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them as New

If a game has been spun, it's not new.  A machine ALWAYS puts scratches in a disc and those scratches may make the disc unplayable IMMEDIATELY.  There's a big difference between buying a game new and putting those scratches in myself, and buying a game 'new' with those scratches already in the disc.

As others have said, if you're happy being defrauded, that's entirely your problem.  It shouldn't be mine.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

Do you even read what you post before you post it?

"A machine ALWAYS puts scratches in a disc and those scratches may make the disc unplayable IMMEDIATELY."

What you have said here is that EVERY SINGLE DISC I put in my PS3 at home gets scratched. Regardless. This disc is now unplayable. How then do I continue to play it? To trade it in? To lend it to a buddy and have it work just fine?

'New" to me honestly just means that the disc is in mint condition with no visible scratches or scuffs. Not that it hasn't been spun. You guys seriously just sound like obsessive collectors. Admittedly, when a game comes out that I really really care about enoguh to order a collector's edition, I will only buy the factory seal. Does it have any impact on the game itself? No. But i'm weird that way *shrug*

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

 Did you miss the word MAY its in the above sentence it MAY make the disc unplayable ... Hell you even copied the line.

As an example for the above I have an original ps2 you want to know what they were famous for doing letting the disc touch the laser you want to know what that does to a disc it scratches the hell out of it. Did it do 100% of the time obviously No because I used it until the smaller ones came out did it do it enough to make me buy Castlevania 3 times yes yes it did.

 

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

You're correct, I did miss the word 'may'. My apologies. But thanks for pointing it out with such douchebaggery. Appreciated.

I think you are taking the 'may' WAY too far. I have a vast game collection. NEVER have I had any of my systems scratch a disc like that. Ever. I have an original PS2 as well and never had that problem. Was it an issue with the system? Yeah. Could you tell by looking at the disc it after it had been in there? Yeah. 'May' is not 'always', but you are behaving as if it does. You could look at alot of the discs in my collection and think I had just bought them yesterday (the ones that ARE scratched are my fault. I didn't always take care of my stuff )

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

 Your welcome I try my hardest to be a douchebag but god its soooooo much work.

Re: Report: GameStop Loans Games to Employees, Sells Them ...

I know right? There needs to be some kind of response template we can develop for future use

 
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