46 percent of children can buy M-rated games

46 percent of children can buy M-rated games

42 percent of children are able to buy M-rated games from national retailers in America according to the NIMF.

Videogame ratings are something which people have very, very mixed feelings about. Some people think that they are essentially useless things and that video games are a medium which should not be rated at all. Other people think the opposite. Apparently, almost half of the people who are actually selling the games in stores are in the first group - that or they just don't know the law.

In a a study which was partially released today, the American National Institute of Media and Family has revealed that 46 percent of children who tried to buy M-rated games were actually able to. The study covered more than 60 national American retailers.

The findings of the NIMF report, which has not yet been fully disclosed, are similar to those of the Federal Trade Commission who released a report earlier this year that showed that 42 percent of underage buyers could buy games rated as unsuitable for their age group by the ESRB.

The report is actually good news though and shows a decrease from the results of 2003 where 69 percent of children could buy M-rated games. However, even though the rate is falling it's still something which obviously needs to be tackled by those in the industry.

According to Gamespot, the full report of the NIMFs annual sting operations will be available next month.

So, what do you think of game ratings? I know that as a kid I never had any trouble buying games with adult ratings - but I never had trouble getting into 18-rated movies either thanks to being quite tall for my age. What about you though - ever had any troubles with ratings? Let us know in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
steveo_mcg 22nd November 2007, 10:23 Quote
Before every one starts jumping up a down, remeber the ratings system in the US is not legaly enforced there for there is no motivation not sell the product to a minor. Unlike in the UK where the BBFC classifications must should be enforced but just aren't.
Mankz 22nd November 2007, 10:45 Quote
I've allways been able, Doom 3 was the only game where they asked for ID..
Cptn-Inafinus 22nd November 2007, 11:08 Quote
They let me buy Doom 3 when I was the tender age of 14. No questions asked.

I am a regular in that certain game shop, but in many other game shops i havent had a problem either!
Major 22nd November 2007, 11:23 Quote
Think it's a lot more scrict here now, especially in big places i.e. HMV, I got asked for ID when I was 16 for an 18 game, even though I looked 18, it was the whole "you have to look 21 blah blah" policy.
LeMaltor 22nd November 2007, 11:28 Quote
What is the point trying to enforce anything when the child can just go online and order what they want, or do they ID children online aswell?
steveo_mcg 22nd November 2007, 11:34 Quote
No, but that's where the parents are supposed to step in!
Lazarus Dark 22nd November 2007, 12:02 Quote
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
No, but that's where the parents are supposed to step in!

46 percent of parents don't give a crap.

and 100 percent of complete jerkoffs are legally allowed to produce offspring.
Daniel114 22nd November 2007, 12:05 Quote
I had to get my dad out of work to buy me Duke Nukem 3d back in the day, and the guy at the store asked him if he knew the game was rated 18
DXR_13KE 22nd November 2007, 12:35 Quote
when i was about 16 i got SOF from the super market and no one asked me for ID..... i had a beard at the time... so that helped, i think.
DeXtmL 22nd November 2007, 13:50 Quote
Since these buying activities are not under supervising, it's generally hard to control or make a 100 persent sure that every kid is banned from buying those unsuitable games.
A 14 years old child may looks as if he has already reached a mature age, the shopkeepers could not judge his age by eyes, directly asking he about age would avails little ('cause he can tell lies), and it's virtually inpractice to have the buyer to show up some vouchers to prove their ages.
So, if a kid badly wants a game, there's no way to stop him from getting it. The same rule is also applied to the pirated copy. If a person wants pirated copy of certain software, i think currently there's no way to prevent it.
All these things grow in the dark corner that lacks certain extent of supervising.
Mentai 22nd November 2007, 14:38 Quote
They're quite strict with age restrictions here in New Zealand. I remember going with my friend to get dungeon seige and it was R13. Even though we were in our high school uniforms they still wanted proof. They phoned my mum and asked my date of birth to see if it matched up with what I said. Pretty stupid imo, I've never known a 13yo kid to have ID.
Also, I've only been to one bar where they didn't ask for ID, they're supposed to ask unless you look over 25. I found it really odd lol, after being ID'd for every little thing for the past 6 years.
Anakha 22nd November 2007, 15:05 Quote
Of course, generally most kids (Especially the underage ones who are more the target of this) get their games by pulling on a parent's arm and saying "I want this one", which the parent then purchases for them. You know, so that electronic babysitter (The TV/Games console) doesn't start getting boring for the kids and they start wanting attention.
Omnituens 22nd November 2007, 16:10 Quote
I'm incredibly strict in the store i work at - i always ask for ID if there is the slightest hint that they are below the rating on the box - that goes right down to the 12+ games.

I'm covering my own backside - I dont want to get a criminal record.
Gravemind123 23rd November 2007, 03:07 Quote
46% seems like a really high number, I have never found a store that would. Even one day before my 17th birthday they still made me bring my mom in to vouch for the fact that I could buy Oblivion. Gamestop, EB Games, Game Crazy and Best Buy are all really strict about this, but I suppose some smaller chains or non-chain shops might have more lax rules about it.
Arkanrais 23rd November 2007, 16:15 Quote
it doesnt sound so bad. I was able to buy alcohol a few times with my brothers birth certificate a few years back.
C-Sniper 26th November 2007, 01:03 Quote
man.... i bought Half Life when i was 7 and wasn't asked for ID or anything.
DougEdey 26th November 2007, 08:34 Quote
Does Gamestation even exist in the US?
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