Video Game Merch Makes Me Sick

Wednesday November 1, 2023

So much of it is pure garbage. I will admit that I have more video game merch than the average video game enjoyer. I still like to think I have standards (debatable) and that I don’t just mindlessly purchase surface level “geek”, dollar store quality trash that is destined to end up in a landfill. Go into any Gamestop, Box Lunch, or Hot Topic and there is an endless supply of cheap toys for adults. It is definitely for adults and not kids, because what kid wants a stupid little replica of a Lilo and Stitch VHS tape box with a Funko Pop pin inside? Gamestop is 95% nostalgia bait, 5% Fortnite V-Bucks gift cards.

The Gamestop employees might think I’m an asshole when I’m cracking up laughing over the Pokemon slow cooker. Or the Limited Edition Christmas themed Five Nights at Freddy’s Golden Bonnie giant Funko Pop (part of a set). Of course Gamestop has anything that is even slightly “nerd” adjacent, so they also have a Star Wars baby Yoda waffle maker. Who in the fucking world is buying this stuff? Floor to ceiling the shelves are stocked with plastic wrapped in plastic. Oh yeah, Gamestop sells games too. I forgot.

Where did this massive wave of nerd consumerism come from? If I really knew I’d love to talk about it here; however I am dumb as shit. I can make assumptions, but if there was actually research done on the rise of these manchildren, link it to me in the comments. I’d assume that a lot of people are trying to fill a void and desperately wish they were kids again. Why those people feel that way is probably caused by many different things, so I won’t make a blanket statement like “they spent too much time on Reddit” even though it’s fun to say that as a joke. Buying stuff can be used as a coping mechanism, and this stuff being so readily available and so cheap makes it easier than ever to get your next hit of dopamine at your frontdoor with 2 day delivery.

I’m guilty of buying a good amount of merch as well, but recently I’ve been trying to ask myself if I will actually appreciate the thing I’m interested in buying. It’s not about a product being “worth the money” because I feel like I have so much god damn money that it doesn’t even matter half the time. If I buy something and it just collects dust on a shelf, and every time I look at it I feel nothing, it was a stupid purchase and I need to learn from that mistake.

Stuff I don’t regret

Stuff I regret

I guess I sound like a huge hypocrite. I’m basically saying: “The stuff I like is cool and interesting. The stuff you like is lame and gay.” I think it’s time to sell some stuff on eBay or Mercari. My new rule should be if it won’t bring me as much joy as the Peach backpack, don’t buy it. You can kind of view this post as a continuation of my post about cutting out shitty habits. That plan has been going pretty well, by the way.

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