GameStop has been encouraging its employees to participate in a TikTok Dance competition where one of the prizes is gaining more work shifts over the holidays. The decision has received a lot of backlash on social media while the challenge continued to spread from store to store.
The rules of the dance challenge, which Gamestop has called The Incisiv TikTok Dance Challenge, is that it must be a part of the Red Wine challenge that was viral on TikTok a couple of months ago. GameStop executives even posted an example of the dance to YouTube in a video that now has comments turned off. The number of dislikes is currently above 500 while the likes are below 50.
Employees are encouraged to work with the rest of their coworkers. Winners can take home a variety of prizes ranging from an Amazon Echo 8, Amazon Echo Auto, or VISA gift cards. At first, the dance competition seems like a normal attempt to boost employee morale with the advertisement reading, “Imagine what you could do with all those prizes,” However, one prize stood out among all of them. 10 extra work hours during Black Friday.
This prize was not received well as, surprisingly, people didn’t want to dance for the chance to work the craziest shopping day of the year. The announcement made its way to a subreddit dedicated to GameStop with most Redditors taking issue with the 10 extra hours. Former employees in the thread commented their mostly negative opinions on the competition with one user saying, “That’s demeaning,” and another saying “I question who makes decisions on this stuff. Without a thought, a TikTok dance contest for hours is just a bad idea.”
The contest announcement was swiftly removed from their website along with the advertisements they had posted about the contest on Facebook. It was too late though, as news of the challenge quickly became popular across other social media websites. The popular question being asked at the time was, “who would want to work more hours during Black Friday during a pandemic?”
The Tik Tok Dance challenge is far from the only controversy GameStop has faced this year. Gamestop also received a huge backlash for decisions putting not only its employees but the entire country at risk. Near the beginning of the pandemic, GameStop announced that they considered themselves an essential business, despite not carrying any items required for living such as food, medicine, nor cleaning supplies. However, due to its status as an “essential business, the company still required its employees to come to work and put their lives at risk, despite receiving lower and lower sales throughout the duration of the quarantine. Many at the time theorized it was an attempt by GameStop to stay relevant as online sites like Amazon and retail stores like Walmart continue to improve upon the already unpopularly poor foundations for videogame shopping GameStop had laid in the beginning. In any case, GameStop faced a lot of backlash due to the decision as many people saw GameStop’s claim as an essential business to be caused by corporate greed.
The company’s run as an “essential business” continued for a little while until they decided to do curbside pickup near the end of March, possibly due to the unceasing online backlash being aimed at them.
Twitter users had a lot to say about this dance challenge, as many of them saw the process as embarrassing and unempathetic.
“GameStop found a whole new level of fucking stupid. The prize for the contest is…working more Holiday hours…,”one user stated.
GameStop found a whole new level of fucking stupid. The prize for the contest is…working more Holiday hours… https://t.co/btlT4A0x7Q
— Weaponized Nerd Rage (@WeaponizedRage) November 5, 2020
“They’re literally making the working class dance for the right to put food on their table. This is an ultimate new low,” another user stated.
They're literally making the working class dance for the right to put food on their table. This is an ultimate new low.
— Dragoneer.exe (@Dragoneer) November 4, 2020
“When I worked retail, not even during a pandemic, we wanted to *not* work. It’s horrendous. Couple this with covid and it would be a nightmare. I would wholeheartedly want to lose, and badly..,” another user stated.
When I worked retail, not even during a pandemic, we wanted to *not* work. It’s horrendous. Couple this with covid and it would be a nightmare. I would wholeheartedly want to lose, and badly.
— Jared (@thefirstjaredm) November 4, 2020
No one from GameStop has stated whether the challenge is fully canceled or just removed from its website. The TikTok and essential business controversies enter a long line of issues people have had with GameStop in the past. Time will tell if it will be it’s last.
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