April 21st, 2011
Kids have easy access to explicit music but have a harder time getting violent video games
Los Angeles Times
For a kid, scoring a music CD with explicit lyrics is easy. But good luck when it comes to getting that new, blood-splattered horror game.
A sting operation conducted by the Federal Trade Commission between November and January found that 64% of kids were able to buy music CDs with a “parental advisory” label. But when the undercover, underage shoppers tried to buy a video game with a “mature” rating, only 13% slipped through. The other 87% were stopped cold.
For movies, 38% of kids were able to buy an R-rated DVD, while 33% were able to buy a ticket to see an R-rated movie in a theater.
With the exception of movie theaters, retailers improved their enforcement over 2009, and all retailers showed progress since the FTC began its investigations in 2000.
“But more needs to be done,” David Fladeck, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement.
The issue of media violence has taken on broader resonance as the U.S. Supreme Court ponders the constitutionality of a California law that would ban the sale of violent video games to minors and fine retailers that do so. The court is expected to issue its opinion on the case this spring.