The FTC released its annual mystery shopper report where to measure media rating compliance among major retailers nationwide. They hire 13-16 year old kids to go out to different stores and attempt to buy age inappropriate material–such as R-rated movies, Mature Music, and Mature and Teen rated video games. Despite all the hooplah about how games are ruining our children based on reasons, the FTC found that video game ratings had the highest compliance of any media. Again. For the 3rd year in the row.
Pretty awesome. I think it shows a lot for us as a hobby and an industry that we continually have the highest level of compliance. R-rated movies in the theater came in at just under 25% non-compliant. DVD movies from stores saw 30% of the secret shoppers where able to purchase when they shouldn’t have. Mature rated music – just under half the mystery shopper kids were able to buy music that was rated mature. Video games, if you were wondering, came in with a whopping 13% of shoppers able to purchase mature or teen games underage.
Not surprisingly, the mystery shoppers had the best success buying mature and teen games from a huge retailer–Walmart coming at 25% success rate from the store. The best store was Target coming in at a zero success rate.
Again, pretty amazing and kudos to the game industry. This is great news for us — we deserve a nice pay on the back.