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Report: Game industry best at keeping mature content away from minors

The Federal Trade Commission's annual shopping survey shows that the video game industry is still the best at self-policing itself, keeping mature content away from minors.


The Federal Trade Commission's annual undercover shopping survey has yielded some positive results for the video game industry. According to the report [via], 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.

Xav de Matos was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
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      April 21, 2011 9:33 AM

      what was that ??? did i read this correctly ??? I mean seriously.... it was funny... I had a group of buddies over for a Mortal Kombat night (all of us are near or over 30 so we all started with MK1) and we all were reflecting on how many people we performed fatalities and special moves on in the 20 year span between games (not suprisingly enough, the number was ZERO). This was and always has been the most pointless cesnsorship of media in our history and I love to see the facts speak for themselves.

      I remember having to have my mom buy the first MK for me and then sitting down with her and playing a few rounds so she was able to make a grand decision on if it was apporporiate enough for me or not. Then when I was older I made that decision as an employee of gaming stores not to let a minor purchase an M rated game from me unless I was able to inform a parent beforehand what kind of content is in the game in question.

      So I'm proud to say that at 31 years old... I have no arrest record, no violent crimes, never murdered, work a good 9-5 job every day, a good father to my children and monitor what is appropriate for them based on my own past experiences... People are who and what they are based on decisions of action in life and it has nothing to do with the media we are exposed to as a child or adult.

      Pure proof that the choices our children and siblings make come from guidance and lack of guidance at home and in life in general. The more we blame media and other entertainment sources the more we show that those who are putting those forms to blame are not and were not ready to tackle the responsibility in the first place to own up to thier choice to be a parent and follow through with the responsibilities and opportunities to teach our children right from wrong and how to treat and appreceiate others.

      Its been a wild ride in my life as a gamer and I'm proud to say.... VIDEO GAMES DIDNT MAKE ME WHO I AM !!!!

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        April 21, 2011 9:59 AM

        You need to keep this to yourself. Further comments from you could be considered by the media as evidence that playing games leads to uncommon thinking and non-normal (is that a word?) behavior; especially with regard to parenting. Your actions go against the social normals. Clearly, the media will tell you, you need to be treated by big pharma be way of a lifestyle drug.

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        April 21, 2011 1:26 PM

        Oh man you better be careful, they are going to send the guys with white coats after you. Responsible Parenting... whats that Oh Nooees. /sarcasm.

        dude I agree with you 100% .

    • reply
      April 21, 2011 9:45 AM


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      April 21, 2011 9:54 AM

      Foxnews report: "Children STILL able to buy M-Rated videogames. What you need to know about keeping your child from becoming a sociopathic killer who lusts after aliens."

      • reply
        April 21, 2011 10:44 AM

        mmm, aliens
        I like elves too

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          April 21, 2011 11:45 AM

          Those asari? Damn. They're even telekinetic. Don't try to tell me you can't come up with creative uses for a talent like that.

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          April 21, 2011 11:46 AM

          its the ears dawg.

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      April 21, 2011 11:26 AM

      Idiot parents and politicians still won't care, though, and you'll continue to see asinine "Protect the children!" bills being put forth that target the video game industry.

      Unfortunately, there are a frighteningly large percentage of parents out there who don't want to do a damned thing when it comes to actually parenting, and would rather see government regulate "violent vidjagames" than to take the time and effort to get to know their children and the types of games they're playing.

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        April 21, 2011 1:28 PM

        More important take the time and effort to be a part of their child's lives.

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