Retail Enforcement Of Adult Games Improving In The US

Yesterday Brendan O'Connor spoke at an EB in Adelaide to highlight the importance of an R18+ rating and how it could potentially help parents protect their children from adult video game content. Now reports claim that, in the US, there has been a significant improvement in the enforcement of their equivalent M-Rating at retail - which bodes well for any potential arguments against R18+.

Using secret shoppers, the study found that just 13% of children were able to buy M-Rated games over the counter, compared to 20% in 2009. That's a significant drop but, when you consider that 86% of children were able to pick up M-rated games over the counter in the year 2000, it's clear there is a rapid downward spiral in the amount of children being able to gain access to adult content.

In short, the ESRB system, which is industry regulated, appears to be working.

Wal-mart was the worst performing outlet, allowing 20% of children to purchase M-rated video games, but specialist retailers performed especially well, with Gamestop at 9%. The big surprise was Target, where only 8% of children were able to buy M-Rated content.

"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," said ESRB president Patricia Vance," but that it continues to climb higher than before. The strong support that the ESRB ratings have enjoyed from retailers is crucial, underscoring their firm commitment to selling video games responsibly."

We can only hope that such studies can continue to deflect any potential opposition to an R18+ rating being implemented in Australia.

FTC Finds Significant Improvement In Retail Enforcement Of M-Rated Game Sales [Gamasutra]


Comments

    The ACL could all ways try and spin it as proof that the system doesn't work because children, even though it's a really small ammount, are still able to get access to violent games.

    I hope they don't but it seems like the sort of stunt they'd try and pull.

      Yeah its exactly the kind of tunnel vision you'd expect: Ignore the improvements over time, and how it compares to the R-rated movies...

      Wasn't the study conducted to determine whether or not a criminal consequence would benefit the enforcement of M rated games in California?

      If so, the argument back at the ACL would be

      "Australia has consequences in place already for the supply of R18+ material to minors. The recent study in the US was conducted under different conditions as retailers are not currently held to the same standards as those in Australia. Therefore the sighting of this study as evidence that the creation of an R18+ rating will still allow minors to purchase unsafe material is void. Thankyou for listening to reason."

      Then I'd fly away on my dragon while playing a blistering guitar solo on a double-necked flying V... Also I'd have a sick beard.

        shhhh!

        Don't give them ideas!

        The fact is that the ACL and the Children's council (funny how no children or young people are on it 'ey?) are going to be that small highly vocal minority shouting from the stands for as long as it remains sensible to do so.

      13% is still a significant number. It's a really good drop compared to the last study, but on its own it tells me there is still quite a way to go.

      Imagine if a study showed 13% of 16-17 year olds were freely able to purchase alcohol or cigarettes? The public would be in uproar, not patting the industry on the back. In my opnion, the regulations need to be a lot tighter for this to get my seal of approval.

        That's the thing though Jake, this isn't regulation. Its voluntary. There aren't any crimes being committed.

        Pretty much this. The figures need to be rating at a 5% or below, before they can say that their regulations are working.

        With numbers like 13%, an ESRB-esque system won't shut the scaremongerers up.

    Yesterday Brendan O’Connor spoke at an EB is Adelaide

    In*

      Already posted by Mark I think. Check the R18 tag.

        I don't think he's referring to that.
        Alinos was highlighting a spelling error.

    Though this is very assuming of the studies and is quite a wild jab, I feel like these figures show a growing maturation of the video games industry, culture and how its perceived by the general public.

    And though the figures are promising, 13% is still an alarmingly high amount. Not to mention, studies couldn't possibly cover the amount of copies of such games are obtained by kids through parents, elder siblings and through other means.

    Of course, like I said, it's promising and shows a good morphing of the gaming culture, where we acknowledge there are some games for adults, and should be solely for adults.

    Let's hope this trend continues.

    Let's compare this to kids getting tobacco and booze shall we?

    See what markets need tougher controls. No wait, members of the ACL smoke and drink... nevermind than.

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