Finding printed materials is Hard!
Allow me to take a moment and set the stage. It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and I’ve just discovered that you can get Beta keys for Planetside 2 with the April issue of PC Gamer. Of course I don’t subscribe to PC Gamer, so I’m going to need to go out and buy a copy (because I love Planetside). This is where things get a little more… complicated.
In the old days when I wanted to get something in print, I went to the bookstore. I remember (not too long ago) perusing the racks of magazines at my local dead tree store. So I defaulted to this behavior… and that was a mistake. All the bookstores in the area that I used to visit (both Barnes and Noble and Borders) have closed. I had missed a few of their closings so I ended up driving in to a shopping center to find the store I remember LONG gone.
The next logical place to check was the mall, since I was only 10 minutes away. They have bookstore type things AND game stores. I generally avoid the mall at all costs since large crowds of people not paying attention (especially when I’m on a mission) make me irritable. Again, this turned out to be a mistake. There are no more bookstores or anything that even remotely resembles a bookstore in the mall. On top of that, the one game store that is left (a Gamestop) barely sells anything beyond the latest releases for Xbox/PS3/Wii (the only other things I noticed were two different Prima guides – that’s it).
My last, best chance for a magazine was the local grocery store. Even before going there, I knew it was a dicey attempt at best. Most stores have some magazines, but generally not much in the way of selection. The particular super market that was on the way home had a sub-par selection of magazines (even allowing that it was a grocery store). Needless to say I did not find what I was looking for.
I returned home defeated. As a last ditch attempt (mostly out of curiosity) I checked online. Amazon carries PC Gamer, with the right cover picture I’m looking for… but only in digital format. From the reviews I found that you don’t get the promotions, so that was no help. I found another random site carrying PC Gamer single issues, but it’s difficult to figure out if they’ll actually be sending the most recent issue.
Of course, I’m seriously considering subscribing to PC Gamer simply because it’s a good rag and they’ve got stories on games I care about. That’s not the problem though. Where the heck is one supposed to go these days for things like magazines?! (Obviously Amazon should carry them, that’s the only logical solution)