"Metro Games" - Banning Foreign Games
26 September 1998
Holy macaroni - it's me: Phoning Honey! You probably remember me from such classic phone calls as "I Don't Know Who I Am", "Oop! Wrong Number!" and "I Will Kill Again".
This week I've been calling games shops to see how patriotic they are. I posed as a member of the British Federation Of Games Publishers. It's all lies, of course. Also: I have changed the names to prevent any upsets. Behold.
"METRO GAMES", WEST LONDON
US: Good god. What? Oh, hello. Could I speak to the manager then, please?
MG: I'm the assistant manager.
US: I rather wanted the true manager.
MG: He doesn't tend to work in this store. He flits around.
US: He does what?
MG: Flits around between here and his other places.
US: You'll have to do. I'm calling from the British Federation Of Game Publishers - B.U.S.T. - regarding the White Paper you've probably read about.
MG: I read something about a paper.
US: Basically we're looking to ensure that British-developed games are given precedence over foreign games.
US: Firstly, we demand that you cease to stock imported titles.
MG: How are you going to stop us stocking imported games?
US: We have invented a licence which all games shops within the United Kingdom will be required to have. It's a little round badge. Without it you will be unable to stock any games.
MG: Any games at all?
US: That's right. If you either fail to apply for the licence, or continue stocking imported goods in defiance of our demands, you will be arrested by our plain-clothes officers.
MG: It doesn't sound like you've got any official, you know, law thing. You can't stop us from doing anything.
US: We can do whatever we like. We are the British Federation Of Games Publishers!
MG: I've never heard of you. You're nothing to do with ELSPA.
US: We're better than those idiots. We've got better stationery.
MG: Ha ha ha ha. This is a wind-up, isn't it?
US: Of course it isn't. You think I'd waste my time talking to you? We need to ensure that British developers get a proper look-in. All these foreign johnnies are stealing our sales. It's grand larceny!
MG: Ha ha ha ha! Shut-up! Ha ha.
US: Don't tell me to shut-up, or I'll come round there and get you.
MG: Get lost. Ha ha ha.
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