I've been chatting back and forth with Justin, our lucky $US 2,000 shopping bot winner. Turns out he actually lives a few hours from me, so instead of going shopping on my own, packing his stuff up and mailing it to him, we decided to just meet at the store of his choice and do the shopping together. And no, I didn't tell him to by a copy of Cruis'n, but I totally could have.
When he emailed me with the address to the GameStop he wanted to shop at he mentioned that he had called ahead of time to get them to hold some stuff. I just assumed that meant he had $US 2,000 worth of games and goodies sitting in a pile waiting to be paid for. Not the case.
In fact Justin had only asked them to pull an Xbox 360 Elite and a copy of Rock Band. Turns out that Justin doesn't own a single gaming system. In fact he hasn't really played much since gaming with roommates on the original Xbox. So I had my job cut out for me. I had, I discovered, in my hands the power to shape a new gamer, to push them in the direction of particular games and it took a lot of self-control not to abuse that power.
At one point, after he told me he planned to eventually buy a Wii (they were sold out), I plucked a copy of Cruis'n from the shelf and sort of jammed it into his hands.
"Here hold this."
It was sort of exhilarating knowing that I could have probably gotten him to buy a copy... and told him it was the best Wii game on the market. But then he pointed out that Kotaku had written about it recently.
"Didn't you guys say this was really bad?"
Dammit. Well I wouldn't have told him to buy the game anyway. Honest.
I did talk him into a portable gaming system. He decided on the PSP because he really wanted something that could play music and movies. I warned him about some of the pitfalls about that, but in the end he picked up the Daxter Bundle of the system. And I got him to pick up a couple of other choice PSP titles.
Here's his full list. Turns out it's a lot harder than you'd think to spend $US 2,000 on games:
Xbox 360 Elite
Rock Band Special Edition
Xbox 360 Network Adapter
Xbox 360 wireless controller and charging cable
Xbox 360 Memory Card
Xbox 360 Guitar Hero III
Used Guitar Hero controller
Call of Duty 4
Halo 3 Legendary Edition
4000 Microsoft Point Card
13 Month Live Subscription Card
Super Mario Galaxy
Legend of Zelda
Wii Zapper with Link's Crossbow Training
SOCOM US Navy Seals Tactical Strike
Grand Theft Auto Vice City PSP
Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories PSP
Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow
Sony PSP Daxter Box Set
Wii Charge Station
Game Informer subscription
PSP Slim Headphones
PSP Slim Component Cables
Gears of War
Universal Cleaning Cloth
Hard, but not impossible. The clerk said it was the single largest transaction he's ever seen at a GameStop