The Federal Trade Commission recently conducted an annual undercover shopping survey
and found that, of the various consumer entertainment industries, the video game industry was actually best at self-policing and keeping material intended for mature audiences away from children. Following a trend since 2000, the game industry scored very well with only 13 percent of underage shoppers able to buy M-rated games, down from 20 percent last year.
Of the various retailers in the survey, Walmart had the worst track record with 20 percent of sales allowed, while Target let only 8 percent of potential shoppers buy games they weren't supposed to. Outside of the game industry, the music industry was the least effective, with 64 percent of the FTC's shoppers able to buy music marked with a Parental Advisory Label.
The Entertainment Software Ratings Board responded to the survey through president Patricia Vance, saying it was happy with the results and that retailers have helped. "The strong support that the ESRB ratings have enjoyed from retailers is crucial, underscoring their firm commitment to selling video games responsibly," she said in a statement.
The FTC issues this report to Congress every year and says that, despite enforcement improvements across the board, "more needs to be done" to prevent the sale of mature content to young audiences.