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A Sales Pitch

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I use Play-Asia.com quite a bit, seeing as how they have free shipping to most places in the world, and prices are competitive with local retailers. Yesterday I went to a store looking for Rainbow Six Vegas and a sales guy nearby asked me out of the blue, “Do you like… The Darkness?”

Normally, that would be indication to leave the store as quickly as possible without making any sudden movements. But he meant The Darkness, a highly-rated supernatural FPS that’s just been banned here for no apparent reason. Far more violent games continue to be available. It could have something to do with the fact that your character is a mob hitman at the age of 21. Perhaps it has some immeasurable ability to coerce youth into secret societies.

“Ah. How much is it?”, I asked casually, with all the know-it-all insouciance I was born with and which has cost me many a friendship.

“$89. It’s banned, you know.”

Dammit, I wasn’t getting through to him. I decided that I had no time to waste with the maker of such a bad deal, although Rainbow Six Vegas was sitting cold on the shelf before me, at a bargain price of $66, five less than the neighboring stores were asking. The tension built, the silence between us unnerving. Should I make some concession to his salesmanship and indicate some surprise? ‘Wow, that’s a steal for contraband of that calibre!’, or perhaps, ‘Banned? I had no idea!’. Or even maybe affect the creepy voice of the merchant in Resident Evil 4. ‘I’ll buy it at a high price, stranger!’

I decided to walk away, making no comment, letting the imaginary desperation of his mind (in my mind) fester as I picked up Rainbow Six Vegas and made my way to the cashier. While $66 for my game was a steal, The Darkness at $89? Pah! I knew it was only $76 on Play-Asia.com.

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