If there’s one thing I’ve learned from a lifetime of playing video games, it’s that corpses often contain valuable loot.

Game Crazy and Hollywood Video corporate parent Movie Gallery is going out of business, and its stores began liquidating all their merchandise this week. This afternoon, I headed over to Santa Rosa’s Hollywood Video/Game Crazy at 711 Stony Point Road to take stock of the situation and see what they’ve got for sale.

Right now, everything in the store, which includes new and used games that go back multiple console generations, plus DVDs, is 20 percent off. An unnamed employee told me that the discounts are expected to get deeper the longer the liquidation goes on. Companywide, the sale is expected to take somewhere between one and two months. Obviously, you can wait around and hope discounts deepen, but based on past liquidations, such as Circuit City’s, 20 percent off is a pretty good starting point, and the longer the liquidation goes on, the slimmer pickings will get.

Right now, there’s a huge selection of games on sale. My dream of picking up the recently released “3D Dot Game Heroes” for 20 percent off proved to be a fantasy, but they had plenty of blockbusters from March and April, including “God of War III,” “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction” and “Super Street Fighter IV.” I nabbed “Darksiders” on PS3 for $32 and made a mental note that I might want to go back at some point, dig deeper into the stock of retro games and accessories and pick up “Metro 2033.”

As the liquidation continues, there’s a good chance Hollywood Video will close the slowest-selling shops and ship off their inventory to higher-performing stores. If you wait too long, there’s a chance the Santa Rosa store could be closed and see its merchandise sent to stores in San Jose or the Central Valley. (Following the closure of the Petaluma Game Crazy in October, the Santa Rosa store is the only outlet in the Bay Area other than a store in San Jose.)

In other words, if the Santa Rosa store can keep moving product, its employees might get to hang onto their jobs a few extra weeks. If you’ve been considering a new game purchase or two and can afford it, get over there and help these guys and gals out. It stinks whenever a company goes out of business and folks lose their jobs, but the Game Crazy sale offers you a chance to prolong someone’s employment while getting a new game at discount.

Game Crazy is on Stony Point Road, between Sebastopol Road and Highway 12, on the left-hand side as you head north. Call 546-2692 for more information.