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Sales of M-rated games to kids declining, reveals undercover survey

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According to an undercover survey conducted by the Federal Trade Commission between October 2005 and January 2006, sales of Mature-rated games to minors have decreased significantly since 2003. The results reveal that only 42% of the survey's shoppers (ages 13 to 16) were able to purchase an M-rated title without an adult — compared to 69% in 2003. In addition, only 35% of the survey's shoppers scored an M-rated game at a national retail outlet (e.g. GameStop, EBGames, etc.). Local sellers were less strict, selling to kids 69% of the time.

The survey also found that 44% of stores posted ratings information, compared to a paltry 27% three years ago. And at half of the 406 stores involved in the survey, cashiers carded kids who attempted to buy M-rated games — up from 24%. Hal Halpin, president of the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association, concluded, "[With] the industry responding in such a visible and proactive fashion, it is clear that legislative efforts are simply not required." Amen.

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