Jason Fanelli is a recent graduate of Temple University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and the Assistant Manager at GameStop's King of Prussia Mall location in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
It all started when I was young. Every time I went shopping with my parents, I'd make a beeline for the game store or electronics department. Armed with a knowledge of all the latest releases from weeks of poring over gaming rags, I would home in on the games I had read about and make sure I brought them home with me. All the while, I couldn't help but think how cool it would be to be behind the counter, the Gatekeeper of All Things Gaming, helping people enjoy the hobby I loved more than any other. For me, getting paid to sell videogames would be the easiest and greatest job in the world.
Finally, in June 2007, at the age of 20, I joined their ranks. I started as an associate with minimal hours and eventually worked my way up to where I stand now: Assistant Manager at GameStop in the second-largest shopping center in the country, King of Prussia Mall. The job lets me experience firsthand the trends of the gaming public: who's playing, what they're playing and what they'll be playing soon. I see the passion of those who line up in droves at midnight to purchase hot titles like Halo and Madden. I watch the little kids in the Nintendo sections yelling about Mario and Pokemon to their parents, and reminisce about my childhood trips to the game store. I hear the husband trying to convince his wife to let him purchase a PS3 just for Metal Gear Solid 4 and offer my input whenever it's helpful. It's easy to relate to these people, because not too long ago I was the one who needed the advice.
Working for GameStop is exactly how I thought it would be: We talk about, sell and love everything about videogames. Endless debates rage between Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft fanboys, employees and customers alike. The reservation database keeps me up to date with everything coming out. The in-store website informs me of all the discounts before everyone else, not to mention the 15-percent employee discount I can use at any time. If there's something big coming up in the store, whether it's a sale or a new trade-in promotion, I'm on top of it. I feel as if I've got my finger on the control panel, able to see everything that's going on in the world of gaming.