D.C. TV Station Conducts Retail Sting …Specialty Stores Don’t Do Well

According to a video report aired last evening on Washington, D.C.’s ABC-7, specialty retailers did not fare well in their enforcement of ESRB ratings.

News reporter Kris Van Cleave (left) conducted a secret shopper sting at game retailers in D.C. and surrounding areas. Van Cleave said:

Our hidden camera rolls as kids much younger (than 17) shop chain stores from Maryland to Virginia and half the time those stores sold them age-restricted games. Even though virtually every major game retailer has policies prohibiting the sale of M-rated games to kids, clerk after clerk sold them without asking our kids their age.

Retailers Game Crazy, FYE and EB Games were all named in the ABC-7 report as selling M-rated games to minors. FYE told ABC-7 the sales appeared to violate corporate policy and they would be investigating.

However, according to Van Cleave, big box retailers like Target, Wal-Mart and Toys’R’Us were flawless in their enforcement of game ratings.

Van Cleave also conducted a brief interview with ESRB president Patricia Vance, but the context and timing of the interview was unclear as it did not specifically reference the sting.

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