Dumb Money: Is Marcos Garcia Based on a Real GameStop Employee?

The dramedy film, ‘Dumb Money,’ chronicles the events surrounding the 2021 GameStop Squeeze Hold, wherein an everyday crowd unexpectedly one-upped Wall Street traders by beating them at their own game. After Keith Gill, a stock market enthusiast and streamer, invests in GameStop’s sinking ship, it garners the attention of numerous people online who begin to put their money into the company’s shares.

Marcos Garcia, a GameStop employee working at a brick-and-mortar shop, is one such novice trader who decides to use the last couple hundred bucks in his account to bet on his future. Marcos’ character ends up becoming an inspirational rags-to-riches story depicting the real-life wins that several small-time investors saw at the time. However, due to the same, natural curiosity arises about the authenticity behind Marcos’ character and his basis in reality. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Marcos Garcia and His Fictional Roots

Anthony Ramos’ character, Marcos Garcia, is not based on a real-life GameStop Employee. Despite ‘Dumb Money’s’ origins in reality, the narrative still employs creative liberty wherever it sees fit in service of the story. As such, while some leading characters like Keith Gill and Gabe Plotkin are directly based on real-life people and others like Jenny Campbell have partial inspirations, characters such as Marcos are entirely works of fiction.

Marcos works at a ghost-town GameStop shop amid the pandemic, which is when he finds Keith Gill’s livestream. Marcos’ dead-end job has left him with no love for the company and only $136 to his name. Nevertheless, motivated by Gill’s passion for the trade, Marcos puts all his money in GameStop as a last-ditch effort to earn quick cash. However, it isn’t long before his investment plan turns into a considerable show of resistance against the financial one percenters.

While there isn’t any publicly notable instance of a GameStop employee’s participation in the events of 2021 regarding the company, Marcos’ storyline isn’t entirely inconceivable. Throughout the film, Marcos’ financial struggles remain clear, showcasing his job’s despondency. Marcos desperately wants to move on to a different chapter of his life, often marked by his desire to buy his parents a house.

Such circumstances compel the viewers to root for Marcos and effectively establish his relatability and motives at the same time. Furthermore, his narrative also upholds a constant reminder of GameStop’s truly dire circumstances.

Throughout the film, Marcos’ boss, Brad, pesters him with reminders about some new marketing tactic that’s bound to fail. Having such a visible reminder of GameStop’s impending downfall reminds the viewers and Marcos of the risk every retail investor continues to take by investing in the company’s stocks. The added element infuses a sense of urgency within the narrative in spite of its undeterred monotony.

Likewise, Marcos’ employment at the company store confines his character to a singular location more often than not. Yet, his character manages to stay connected with others like Jenny and Riri despite never sharing a screen with them through their shared anonymous solidarity. As a result of the same, the narrative seamlessly builds upon the character’s loyalty to the GameStop community even through the company’s tumultuous time in the stock market.

Therefore, it’s easy for the audience to root for Marcos and gain a sense of satisfaction from his story’s conclusion after he eventually decides to sell half of his GameStop stocks, bringing his estimated net worth from $136 to more than $180 thousand. This aspect of his character portrays the real-life experiences of numerous nameless retail investors, who turned their lives around in whatever capacity after investing in GameStop during its rising peak in 2021. Nevertheless, no specific individual from real life provides inspiration for Marcos’ character, who remains confined to the fictionalized aspect of ‘Dumb Money.’

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