The Federal Trade Commission's annual undercover shopping survey has yielded some positive results for the video game industry. According to the report [via GamesIndustry.biz], the FTC found that the game industry was best at self-policing and keeping mature-rated material out of the hands of children.
According to the FTC's findings over the last decade, the video game industry has had a steady decline of youngsters being able to grab games intended for an older audience. The most recent survey found that only 13 per cent of underage shoppers were able to acquire M-Rated titles, down from 20 per cent last year.
Walmart had the worst record among tested retailers, allowing 20 per cent of minors (of 66 shoppers) to purchase inappropriate titles. Best Buy came in second with 16 per cent of its survey group (45 shoppers) allows the sale of M-Rated titles to children between the ages of 13 and 16.
The worst offending industry in the survey was the music business, with 64 per cent of the FTC's shoppers able to purchase music with a Parental Advisory Label.
Unsurprisingly, the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) was happy with the results. "We are extremely pleased to see the Federal Trade Commission confirm not only that the video game industry continues to have the highest rate of enforcement at retail, but that it continues to climb higher than before," ESRB US ratings body president Patricia Vance said in a statement.
"The strong support that the ESRB ratings have enjoyed from retailers is crucial, underscoring their firm commitment to selling video games responsibly," she added.
The FTC issues its findings to Congress every year. Though the trend is positive for the games industry, it has not stopped some lawmakers from proposing legislation that will penalize retailers for the sale of any inappropriate games to minors.