GameStops in Philadelphia are now requiring customers who want to trade in their used games to undergo a thumbprint scan, according to a report from Philadelphia’s KYW Newsradio. In a statement to GameSpot—not to be confused with, you know, GameStop—a company representative said the measure started in July at the request of local police and has previously been put into effect in other parts of the country. The company is “reviewing the process to determine if it’s one which should be continued in Philadelphia,” according to the statement.
GameStop says the policy is meant to help local law enforcement by nabbing the prints of potential video game thieves and collecting them in a database; the company says this practice is in line with Philadelphia’s pawn-shop laws. However, talking to KYW Newsradio, Philadelphia city solicitor Shelley Smith said, “GameStop does doesn’t meet any of the elements of the definition in the code, so the pawnbroker ordinance doesn’t apply to GameStop.” In other words, Smith doesn’t think GameStop is a pawn shop. So clearly she’s never been to a GameStop.
This pursuit of justice isn’t entirely new for the company, though. GameStop is a secondhand store, after all, and for years it has required game traders to present their driver’s license before they can get 10 cents in store credit for a copy of Madden 08.