Retailers Turn Away 80% of Kids Trying to Buy M Rated Games

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Retailers Turn Away 80% of Kids Trying to Buy M Rated Games

image

Research conducted by the Federal Trade Commission shows that that retailers are following ESRB ratings more than any other form or rating system.

It's harder for minors to buy videogames rated M by the ESRB than get into R rated movies at theaters or buy R rated DVDs or Parental Advisory music. Research conducted by the FTC over the last ten years shows that retailer compliance with the ESRB system is at an all time high.

Secret shoppers audits conducted between 2000 and 2009 showed a steady rise in the number of underage shoppers turned away when they attempted to buy M rated games until it hit 80% in 2007, where it has remained ever since. By contrast, 70% of minors were turned away from R rated movies at theaters, 45% were stopped from buying R rated DVDs, and just 35% were prevented from buying PA CDs.

The ESA is sending out the FTC figures as a counterpoint to the findings of Common Sense Media, which suggested that nearly three-quarters of adults want videogames regulated by law. The FTC figures suggest that despite the assertions of groups like Common Sense Media, videogames are already very well regulated.

It's hard to know to know whether these figures will really make all that much difference, as it's a little too easy to talk around them. They certainly show that minors usually can't buy M rated games themselves, but they don't do anything to stop the idea that parents don't understand ESRB ratings and will buy M rated games for their kids.

Source: Ars Technica

Permalink

Yet more proof Jack Thompson is a total nut.
Not that we needed more.

stick that in your pipe and smoke it pushy parents bitching about kids getting mature games!

Logan Westbrook:
the number of underage shoppers turned away when they attempted to buy M rated games until it hit 80% in 2007, where it has remained ever since.

I wonder what game could have changed this and kept it this way?

OT: All they need is a BIG RED LABEL saying "18+" like they do in England. Then it's all fine!

Calumon: I wonder if they wanted a microphone with that game? :S

I can attest to this, they wouldn't even let me buy Red Dead Redemption a WEEK away from my 17th birthday.

I do think that the ESRB needs to implement a Color Coding System similar to the PEGI ratings in Europe. Say what you will about it but Parents are occasionally dense and distracted people and a simple "Green is for Kids, Yellow is For Teens, Orange is for Grown-Ups and Red is Porn (for lack of a better term)" might go a long way in identifying to parents whether or not their kid should be playing this game. PEGI uses it, Canadian Movie ratings use it, and as far as I'm concerned videogames should use it.

Educating Parents in the particulars of game ratings could help kill any future attempts to demonize game devs and sellers for overlooking their "duty" to consumers.

And they said the industry wasn't doing anything to keep children from playing violent video games...

Proof that it's the parents that are buying the M rated games. And yet it's the stores that have been blamed.

TBH, 80% is WAY to little. 20% can get games they shouldnt be able to? Thats shocking.

It is, however, no argument for the banning of violent games. The violent games arent the problem, its the salesmen. When a shop sells an underage dude beer, its the shop that gets the law on its nuts. Should be the same thing here.

Won't affect way to much. A lot of kids have their parents buy games

OK, the kids who are trying to buy the games are probably more likely to look like they're underage (or the ones who the shop worker can turn away easily).

Parents buying the games for their kids is no excuse. If the parents don't understand the ESRB ratings, they are too stupid to be having kids. End of story. The ESRB ratings are so simple, the kids themselves can understand them.

Logan Westbrook:
They certainly show that minors usually can't buy M rated games themselves, but they don't do anything to stop the idea that parents don't understand ESRB ratings and will buy M rated games for their kids.

That's the thing though; how could the ESRB possibly be simpler and easier to understand? It says, right on the box, who the recommended audiences are.

This might be a little bit on the cynical side, but I honestly believe that a lot of these parents didn't give a damn when they bought the game and now that they see what's actually involved, they're blaming everyone else for their own imcompetence.

Heh. So much for Jack Thompson and people like the State of California who keep saying that nobody follows it.

jbchillin:
Won't affect way to much. A lot of kids have their parents buy games

any parents that some idea on how to raise a decent human being would never buy a m rated game for a kid.

but then again....

Parents are still buying the games for their kids. All the time, I see kids under ten buying GTA and Call of Duty games with their parents there. The employee usually explains to the parent that it's rated M for violence and such, and the parents ALWAYS shrug it off.

So yeah, the problem is that parents refuse to educate themselves on what the ESRB ratings really mean, and continue to buy their kids games that are probably inappropriate for them.

Ahhh. Good, exactly what we need to shut "common sense" media up. Not that they will shut up, but still every little bit helps. Not only are video games self regulating, they are the MOST self-regulating medium. How can anyone argue with that?

It all boils down to neophobic old guards and parents who blame the industry for their own failings as caretakers. As for those who buy mature games by accident: Why? Do you really not notice the big "M-for mature" logo? Or the 17+ only note? That's not our problem, that's yours.

Get your eyes checked and don't rely on the government to decide what your kids need.

Why do I have a feeling that this isn't going to make it to Fox news?

I worked at best buy for two years. You can get fired for not checking ID enough when selling M rated games. Oh god when odst came out I got to turn down so many 12 year olds.

rockyoumonkeys:
Parents are still buying the games for their kids. All the time, I see kids under ten buying GTA and Call of Duty games with their parents there. The employee usually explains to the parent that it's rated M for violence and such, and the parents ALWAYS shrug it off.

So yeah, the problem is that parents refuse to educate themselves on what the ESRB ratings really mean, and continue to buy their kids games that are probably inappropriate for them.

It's the same mentality as the animation age ghetto, where parents will give kids anything animated (they assume it must be Disney-esque) just because of the medium. Then when they inevitable give their kids hentai or something in the realm of ultraviolence they complain to the retailers. Games are the same way, most parents probably just assume they're all for kids and then get mad when they're proven wrong.

JeanLuc761:

This might be a little bit on the cynical side, but I honestly believe that a lot of these parents didn't give a damn when they bought the game and now that they see what's actually involved, they're blaming everyone else for their own imcompetence.

It is a little cynical, but it's also a little bit correct. Unfortunately the gaming industry is losing this argument in the courts of the United States, which will likely refuse to place the blame on the parents for being ignorant.

Unfortunately if the gaming industry wants to win this fight, they are going to need to bend over backwards. Retailers could start arranging titles by rating, since parents are obviously very concerned about such things, the ESRB could also start color coding its ratings. Yes this is catering to the ignorant, but I don't know if you noticed, America is the land of the ignorant masses and in order to prevent said land from castrating our favorite hobby, we need to cater to those self same ignorant masses.

Honestly, who cares?

I said this on a different site before but I would much rather have my kid in the hosue playing all sorts of violent video games than whoring and doing illegal drugs... Or even legal ones.

-------------------------
Honestly, parents need to be parents and stop wanting the government and the schools raise and teach their children alone. Also, if a child is inside playing games, the really aren't joining gangs or doing all sorts of illicid stuff for "entertainment". So really, are games THAT bad?

It's Easier For Us Europeans, IMO
We Have 12, 16, And 18
I'm 14, And Growing A Beard, Which Makes It 10X Easier!!! :D

Fake statistics are fake.

I'll be over there with the 83% of people that owned a blue car.

Dorkmaster Flek:
Parents buying the games for their kids is no excuse. If the parents don't understand the ESRB ratings, they are too stupid to be having kids. End of story. The ESRB ratings are so simple, the kids themselves can understand them.

EXACTLY! I mean really color coding the ESRB? Are adults so stupid that they cannot read small print or goto the ESRB website for clarification of the ratings system that use BIG BOLD LETTERS? I'm done with this, as far as I am concerned parents need to stop blaming others for their childs behavior, start looking in the mirror, and then look at their kids as well. Blame the parents and the kids for being irresponsible, the only freedom you have to give up.

Lot of shit; game retailers don't care who they sell games to, as long as they get the money they carry.

TehIrishSoap:
It's Easier For Us Europeans, IMO
We Have 12, 16, And 18
I'm 14, And Growing A Beard, Which Makes It 10X Easier!!! :D

Fourteen and growing a beard? Damn, there must be a lot of growth hormones in European food.

@Topic

This is why I have absolutely no problem with the California law banning the sale of violent vidjamagames to minors: For all intents and purposes, the law is already in place.

Proof that that stupid Californian law isn't necessary.

This research makes me happy...

dex-dex:
any parents that some idea on how to raise a decent human being would never buy a m rated game for a kid.

BS. That's a generalisation and a huge assumption.

Any parent with any idea on how to raise a decent kid would never buy an M rated game for a child who is not "ready" for it. My dad shooed me away when he played GTA1 (Perhaps 98/99), but come 2002 (Roughly, when I was 12) he didn't mind too much. I was 13/14 when I got Halo and Halo 2, yet they're M rated too.

If a parent buys GTA for a 9 year old, yes, that's going to be borderline bad parenting, but if the kid is 11 or 12? No, not really. If the parent buys Halo for a 11/12 year old, that's not bad parenting either because they're just a little violent.

But if you go to games at the high end of the M scale, like The Witcher, then yes, that's terrible parenting.

Ldude893:
And they said the industry wasn't doing anything to keep children from playing violent video games...

And they will continue to say it because the facts don't fit the narrative.

Cassita:
Fake statistics are fake.

I'll be over there with the 83% of people that owned a blue car.

Which statistic(s) is fake? The one from ESA, CSM, or both? And you know it is fake how?

AxCx:
TBH, 80% is WAY to little. 20% can get games they shouldnt be able to? Thats shocking.

It is, however, no argument for the banning of violent games. The violent games arent the problem, its the salesmen. When a shop sells an underage dude beer, its the shop that gets the law on its nuts. Should be the same thing here.

While that's true it is understandable since there are kids who look older than then are and working in a game shop you really don't want to have to check every customers age day in and day out.

Also the figures in the OP are making me suspicious... they are all multiples of 5. Either they are massively rounding or they didn't test thoroughly enough

PedroSteckecilo:
I do think that the ESRB needs to implement a Color Coding System similar to the PEGI ratings in Europe.

PEGI is all-black, no colours. In Germany, there are actually three systems used: PEGI, FSK for movies (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft, meaning "Voluntary Self Regulation of the Movie Industry") and USK for games (Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle, meaning "Self-Monitoring of Entertainment Software"). Unfortunately, all game retailers orientate themselves using the USK, although it means "SELF monitoring". And those ratings are usually harsher than the PEGI ratings.

PEGI ftw, but noone cares about it here. :(

Flying-Emu:

@Topic

This is why I have absolutely no problem with the California law banning the sale of violent vidjamagames to minors: For all intents and purposes, the law is already in place.

I think you misunderstand the thinking of the Anti-Game crusader, you see to the Jack Thompsons of the world, like the Frederic Werthams of the past (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fredric_Wertham) VIDEOGAMES ARE FOR CHILDREN, CONSENTING ADULTS DO NOT PLAY VIDEOGAMES. Hence M-Rated Games are not being produced for consenting adults, they are vile products aimed at corrupting the youth and should be stopped altogether from being produced. We're looking at something very similar to the comic-book debacle of the 1950's here and if the worst should happen we'll be in for 30 years of cheesy mainstream games producing nothing but "safe" content and requiring approval from some shadowy government appointed approval board before any game can be sold as anything but, for lack of a better word, pornography.

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here