FTC Report

… So basically, in America there is – despite some politicians’ continuing struggle to change this – no legal obligation for any retailer to refuse a minor trying to buy a game rated for adults, there’s only the voluntary ESRB system. There are many good reasons behind this, but to keep it short no causal link has been established between media violence and real-world aggression, so any laws passed would be based entirely on morality – a varying base, at best, and not enough to withhold free speech and produce the chilling effect enforced ratings would have on any media.

This being said it’s in everyone’s interest to ensure that the videogame industry can handle this responsibility and not sell games to underage buyers when their parents might object, and the failure of the retailers to do so is a very common target for the aforementioned politicians.

That’s why it’s interesting to see the new Federal Trade Commission Secret Shopper report; it sems game retailers only let underage buyers get M-rated games 20% of the times, little more than half of that of underage moviegoers being let into R-Rated movies (which, if I recall correctly, are actually enforced by law).

I’m in no position to argue about the need for ratings, but it’s always nice to have some proof that you’re working for a responsible industry since there still seems to be a lot of misconceptions about whom videogames are for.

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Posted on May 08/08 by Saint and filed under Moral panic | No Comments »