So I walked into the Gamestop, and I got in line. The line was short--only a couple was in front of me, and one of them wanted to trade in their Nintendo DS for cash (boo!). It was pretty much standard fare, so I wasn't really paying attention to the conversation the couple was having with the cashier... until someone said something that caught my attention, of course. "Yeah," the cashier said to the the couple, "we have to do all this now when we already gotta card people!" I missed whatever they were talking about earlier so I wasn't sure what that sentence was referring to, but clearly it wasn't something pretty if they also had to ask for ID to complete a transaction. I quickly dismissed the statement, however, and assumed that whatever they were talking about was probably related to the fact that the couple was selling a gaming device and that it wouldn't apply to me since I was trading in a game cartridge (#logic). Their conversation eventually went back to what they were originally talking about. ("Yeah the XBox One is so much better than the PS4... !")
After the couple was finished their business, I walked up to the cashier and I told him that I wanted to trade in my Kirby game and use that credit towards a Smash 3DS pre-order. Again, standard fare stuff: he took my Gamestop PowerUp Rewards card (I know Gamestop is evil yadda yadda) along with the Kirby game, did some bar-code scan stuff, and then reserved my copy of Smash 3DS--all of this was displayed in front of me on the screen of a credit card reader. It was at this point I noticed the small device attached to the reader via a cord. It was no bigger than the size of your thumb, and it was emitting a blue light. What is that? I wondered, but I shrugged the question off 'cause I figured whatever that device was would not be relevant to my transaction.
So then the cashier asked for government ID, and as I handed it to him, another question pop into my head. Why is he asking for my ID if I'm not using a credit card? But I just chalked it up to him wanting to verify that it was my membership card or something. (If you couldn't tell, I assume a lot.) And once he finished his card inspection the cashier said, "Cool, and nooow I need the fingerprint on your right thumb."
"... Wait--what?!" I asked, probably a little too loudly.
"Yeeeah," the cashier said, "it's some new government rule thing." He then went on to explain how that thumb-sized device was a fingerprint reader and that it was used to help cops catch criminals who would steal items from people/stores and resell those items as innocent secondhand stuff to companies like Gamestop. "It's for a good cause I guess," the cashier said at the end of his spiel, "but it's just so weird. And then they also made it a law recently that you have to be at least 18 to even sell or trade-in items, even for store credit!"
So that's why he asked me for my ID earlier.
I was hesitant about giving this man my print, but Kirby: Triple Deluxe so damn mediocre in my opinion that I didn't want anything to do with that cartridge again. And the cashier pretty much completed the whole transaction anyway, and I felt awkward asking him to cancel it that far into the process (social pressure ahh). So I placed my thumb on the device, got my fingerprint scanned, and then eventually received my receipt confirming the transaction.
And now my thumb print is casually sitting in some database somewhere for people to peruse at their leisure. Fun.