A new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) study which sent ‘secret shoppers’ to US game retailers has found that 13% of children were able to purchase an M-rated title.
Gamasutra reports that this is a steady improvement on the figure of 20%, found by a similar study in 2009. It’s also a gigantic improvement over an FTC investigation in 2000, when 86% of children were able to stroll into their nearest retailer and buy a mature title.
Most interesting of all, FTC studies from 2008 onwards have shown that the videogames industry is better at keeping unsuitable material out of the hands of minors than both the film and music industries.

“These numbers demonstrate once again that industry self-regulation can and does work,” said Bo Andersen, CEO of the Entertainment Merchants Association. “There is no need for punitive government regulation, such as the California video game law that EMA and the Entertainment Software Association are currently challenging in the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Of the retailers tested, Target and GameStop prevented all but 8 and 9 percent (respectively) of children purchasing an M-rated game. Wal-Mart didn’t fare so well, allowing 20% of minors to get their hands on an inappropriate title.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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