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March 2015 Retro Gaming Article

March 22, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

RadioShack's demise led me to pick up a few of my favorite adapters

RadioShack adapters I was sad to hear of RadioShack's demise as I had grown up with this chain of stores and was inspired toward several projects based on some of the items they carried. Like all of us, I watched as they devolved into a phone store and tried to compete in several markets in which they had little strength or great competition. I had high hope after a change in upper management and a successful Super Bowl ad, but it only staved off the inevitable.

But among the happy memories were a slew of online comments asking if anyone had heard about "the Internet". These dolts were attempting to enlighten readers about the availability of RadioShack products from numerous online retailers. Yeah, we know about this.

...just as Barnes & Noble is aware that Amazon sells books. But it's not the same experience. I can always save money buying books from Amazon as opposed to a brick and mortar store, but there is an experience that I feel cheated out of despite the savings and convenience. I was amazed at the price difference of Console Wars from both sources, but I will always love shopping at Barnes and Nobel more than Amazon. The same holds true for sifting through transistors at RadioShack as opposed to a database driven e-commerce site.

It's not just a love affair with books. For me, I take advantage of what local stores offer that e-commerce sites do not. It's interaction - both with products and people. Sometimes sales clerks are helpful, but when I'm digging through the same products at RadioShack as another shopper, I know we have something in common. We may be chasing parts for similar projects or simply have common interests. Inevitably, we begin to chat and that's where the retail experience becomes more valuable than saving a few bucks online.

RadioShack catalog 1980 From talking to folks in Toys R Us, Radio Shack, or a book store, I've gained insights into products, ideas, concepts, and a myriad of random topics that benefited me in ways that online savings cannot. My shopping habits may not be for everyone, but I know I'm not alone. I'm not the only one who can't judge a book through Amazon's "Look Inside" feature, but can judge the same title in a book store by quickly flipping through a few pages and reading a couple of paragraphs.

Digital organization and retail organization are quite different. While Amazon will tell me that other customers bought "these" items, when I'm in RadioShack, I can see nearby products that may be better suited to my needs regardless of who else may have bought them.

As an online society, we seem to value convenience above all which seems to parallel laziness. Sure its easier to click a mouse than go to a store, but it's also easier to look at the moon than stand on it's surface. Fortunately, we still have enough people who want explore and go on an adventure rather than bask on Buy 'n' Large's starliner Axiom.

So, yeah... I bought a few of my favorite TV adapters for old-school video game consoles, at my local RadioShack.

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