US Video Game Retailers Do A Good Job Of Not Selling Adult Games To Kids

US Video Game Retailers Do A Good Job Of Not Selling Adult Games To Kids

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission in the US ran an undercover shopper sting, aimed at testing various retailers’ compliance with age ratings for media products. Kids aged 13-16, without the supervision of an adult, were asked to try buyin unrated DVDs, explicit albums and M-rated video games.

For all the crap that game retailers often get in this regard — and I know as a former EB Games employee I saw my fill of parents buying young kids inappropriate games — it turns out game store (and retailers) were among the best in the US at enforcing the ESRB’s self-regulated ratings guidelines.

While 30 per cent of kids were able to buy adult DVDs and movie tickets, and 47 per cent could buy explicit CDs, only 13 per cent of secret shoppers could buy M-rated video games, which the FTC says gives video game retail “the highest level of compliance among the industries”.

FTC Undercover Shopper Survey on Entertainment Ratings Enforcement Finds Compliance Highest Among Video Game Sellers and Movie Theaters [FTC]


    • Pretty much. I’ve seen parents buying their 8-10 year olds grand theft auto and various other games. No matter how much you tell them that the game is not for kids, some parents just don’t care.
      there are some who don’t realise and thank the people serving them. The onus is mostly on the parents because they know their children better then anyone and know what they can take.

  • A couple of points of clarification for this article:
    1) Age gating is not legislated for video games in the US (AFAIK). This is entirely voluntary. Incidentally, the specialised shops (ie. The video game shops as opposed to franchises like Wal-Mart) are the ones doing this most often.
    2) Since it is not legislated, it isn’t like buying alcohol and cigarettes where the person selling the goods are liable if they have been told the buyer is purchasing on behalf of a minor. Thus, a parent can, and do quite often, purchase games that are unsuitable for their children. So it’s kind of a bit “Meh”, because while a child can’t often buy the game, they can just get Mum to buy it for them.

    • Usually I’d try and reason with your position and add some articulate argument as to why a certain failure percentage is to be expected with the disparity between retailers expertise and staff ages/competence but judging by the overall lack of coherent argument and hyperbolic nature of your comment it would be wasted.

      So instead I’ll just say:

      U mad bro?

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