Imagine your own son or young boy that you’re close to going to his local video game retailer to buy a harmless second hand game and bringing home a package of drugs. This is what happened to an 11 year old boy in Florida recently when his mother, Kayla McAllister, casually took her son to GameStop in a Tallahassee shopping mall. They went there to trade in some of their old games so they could use the cash to pick up some other pre owned titles to add to the young boys playing collection.
Innocent enough right? Wrong. After getting home from purchasing a used copy of Grand Theft Auto V he began installing the game which takes quite awhile as it’s a huge game with tons of date. During this time the boy opened the dvd case and began to read through the manual for the game. After a number of pages of reading he turned the page and noticed a package or “baggie” as is the term in the drug world of an undisclosed amount of crystal meth. Although he had no idea what the little plastic bag had inside it at the time he casually took the package to his parents.
His father was quite alarmed when he noticed the plastic bag looked like some form of drug and they proceeded to call in law enforcement to check the suspicious looking substance. When the police arrived at the scene they began testing the product to see if it was indeed narcotics and it quickly returned a positive result for methamphetamine as reported by Detective Rebecca Reed from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office.
If you think you’ve heard of this story before there’s a good chance you’re correct as this same exact circumstance happened only months earlier to another 11 year old boy from who purchased a used game from the GameStop retailer. And again it was a bag of crystal meth. Kayla McAllister was confused when people began contacting her saying she stole the story and was looking for attention. She googled the story and was startled to discover that the exact same thing had happened mere months before.
This kind of publicity can’t be good for any company but for it to happen twice in such a short period is not going to go down well with the average parent looking to buy second hand games. The gaming shop has commented that they check all games, including the manuals, after they are purchased from the original owners. However they do not check the games again if they are transferred between different stores. They have stated they don’t have a tracking system setup in a way that would allow them to see which store it originally came from.
After Mrs McAllister contacted the GameStop branch they purchased the game from to talk about the incident she was told their policy is to check each and every game thoroughly as part of quality control. Well clearly someone wasn’t doing their job properly. Later on the District Manager of the retail chain contacted her and offered her a replacement copy of the game. She was clearly angered by this and took it as an insult when they so generously offered to post it in the mail so she didn’t have to drive to the store again. She has commented that she will not be using the company ever again.
Some parents may not agree that the boy was playing a notoriously violent game like Grand Theft Auto V in the first place but that’s beside the point. GameStop’s quality control and policies are clearly not being followed by all staff. If these kind of drugs were somehow able to make their way into the hands of a much younger kid the next headline could read much worse.