I teach an after-school D&D class to a bunch of elementary-school children. This is great fun, and constantly provides me with fresh insight on gaming.
Some time ago, the PCs arrived to a town for the first time. Being low on supplies, they decided to go shopping. Since they started out with pregens, they never got to choose their own equipment out of a list - only to pick their share of the loot. As you might imagine, their first time going over the equipment lists was a time of great excitement. They got to pick cool swag to customize their characters like they wanted to, and make plans for what to purchase when they find the next treasure.
When I watched them going on a shopping spree, it struck me that they were acting like modern consumers in a shopping mall: buying stuff in order to define yourself is what Consumer Culture is all about (this is not a value judgment; I don't consider it necessarily a bad thing).
I also realized that in the games I participated in, I have never done a proper shopping scene.
I wasn't going to ruin the kids' fun by starting a discussion about different approaches to shopping and its representation, but I am going to try and ruin yours. So, how do you handle shopping in historical or fantasy settings? Is it any different than your modern, real-life shopping experience?