As the Supreme Court considers whether or not selling violent video games to children should be a crime in California, the Federal Trade Commission releases a report showing that game retailers are doing just fine enforcing game ratings without fines and jail time hanging over their heads.
Once a year the FTC recruits a group of 13 to 16 year olds and sets them loose on America's retail establishment, tasked with attempting to buy movie tickets, DVDs, music and video games rated outside of their age range. The point is to see how well entertainment retailers are doing at enforcing the guidelines they agreed to enforce when they started selling this stuff in the first place.
How'd things pan out? 33 per cent of teens were able to purchase an R-rated movie ticket. R-rated and unrated DVDs were secured by 36 and 47 per cent of teens respectively. Parental Advisory-labeled music made it into the hands of more than 60 per cent of teens, a large number that can likely be attributed to retailers' surprise that someone was actually purchasing a CD.
And video games? A mere 13 per cent of teens made it through the checkout process with a game rated Mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board.
The percentage is an all-time-low for video game retail, which has held the lowest spot in the chart for three years running.
Hopefully the Supreme Court will take note of these results when considering the final fate of California's video game law.