FTC Reports Games Ratings Enforced More Often Than Those of Any Other Entertainment Media

When assholes talk about how games are ruining our yutes, er, youths, they often are pushing for legislation that would make it law that retailers must enforce ESRB ratings because, really, any child can go into a store and buy an M-rated game. Right?


Every year, the US Federal Trade Commission likes to perform an “Undercover Shopper Survey on Enforcement of Entertainment Ratings” to see if those assholes are correct. What they do is get teenagers between the ages of 13 and 16 from all across the country to try to buy music CDs that have a parental advisory label, tickets for and DVDs and blu-rays of R-rated movies and unrated versions of movies that were originally R-rated and M-rated video games to see if anybody is actually enforcing these voluntary measures.

They published this year’s report today, and it turns out that the M rating is enforced more often than any of the others. The survey found that 64 percent of shoppers were able to buy the parental advisoried CDs, 47 percent were able to buy the unrated DVDs and blu-rays, 38 percent were able to buy R-rated DVDs and blu-rays and 33 percent were able to buy tickets to R-rated movies. Video games? Only 13 percent succeeded in buying games that carry the M. The previous year’s survey had a 20 percent success rate.

The ESRB was pretty happy about this:

We are extremely pleased to see the Federal Trade Commission confirm not only that the video game industry continues to have the highest rate of enforcement at retail, but that it continues to climb higher than before. The strong support that the ESRB ratings have enjoyed from retailers is crucial, underscoring their firm commitment to selling video games responsibly. We congratulate game retailers on this indisputable validation of their efforts, and commend groups like the Entertainment Merchants Association and our own ESRB Retail Council members for their ongoing work and progress in preventing the sale or rental of M-rated games to those under the age of seventeen.

Suck it, haters.

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