Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

December 3, 2009 -

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) seventh report on Marketing Violent Entertainment to Children (PDF) contains good news for the videogame industry.

The FTC review labeled the games industry the "strongest” of the three entertainment sectors (games, music and movies), when it came to self-regulation. The Commission added that the game industry “did not specifically target M-rated games to teens or T-rated games to younger children.“ Additionally, compliance with the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) code within the videogame industry was “high in all media.”

Undercover shopping stings run by the FTC reported that retailers were “strongly enforcing” age restrictions for M-rated games, with “an average denial rate of 80%.” GameStop and Target were labeled as top enforcers. Toys R Us however, was specifically labeled as trailing when it came to enforcement, with only a 56% denial rate. The report called the use of gift cards to buy games online a “potential gap in enforcement.”

On the advertising side, the FTC found that game companies demonstrated a “high degree of compliance” when it came to television ads, with only a “few instances” of non compliance over a more than two-year period. The same description was used to depict compliance with videogame print ads.

FTC suggestions aimed directly at the game industry were adding content descriptors to the front of videogames, alongside ratings, and to continue to provide more detailed rating summaries online for parents. Additionally, all three industries were told to pay more attention to compliance within online and viral marketing campaigns.

Entertainment Software Association (ESA) President and CEO Michael D. Gallagher was understandably happy about the report, saying, "Today's FTC report is a strong acknowledgement and validation that industry-led self-regulation efforts are the best way to provide parents and retailers with the resources and support they need to keep our kids' entertainment experiences suitable."

The ESA press release also included a quote from National Institute on Media and the Family (NIMF) head, Dr. David Walsh, who stated, “We join the FTC in applauding the industry's progress. The advancement in technology including parental controls by console makers, identification checking by retailers, and an ongoing effort to improve ratings illustrates that the members of the video game industry have taken our concerns seriously and continue to make sure that kids enjoy games that are age appropriate."


Comments

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

Sadly everyone forgets that Age ratings are there to inform parents so THEY can decide what their kids watch or play. At the same time allowing Adults to view anything they want.

Everyone thinks that age ratings can be enforced by the law and retailers, but to be honest that is only a misguided belief.

And to be honest, we gamers get sick of hearing the same thing over and over without anyone hearing what we have to say.

 

In the end, these people who talk allot will only get death ears in return because of all their preaching makes no sense.

 

TBoneTony

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

What font size do movies use anyhow? it seems like 6 or maybe 8. These poor old tired eyes can't read those teeny tiny detailed ratings for films. 

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

It varies between 0 and 8 and the font color is whatever is closest to the background color whil still maintaining a visible difference that can be detected when actually looking.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

I am glad the FTC did this w/the gaming industry, but like I commented on Roh02's comment, I realized afterwards that the game industry has been taking the ratings seriously for a long time. & it's like w/the FTC coming in & basically doing a background check on the game industry it is ridiculous. Almost like NO ONE BELIEVES THE GAME INDUSTRY & WHAT THEY SAY!!!!!!!!!! So someone has to get a second opinion to make the game industry is doing their jobs to not let underage kids get violent games. Why don't the FTC pick on the music and movies!

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

Perhaps you should actually read the report. It is a complete yearly investigation of the Movie, Music and Video game industries on their respective rating and enforcement policies. Not just the Games industry.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

In all fairness, you should be used to important details not sinking into her head by now.

--------------------------------------------------

I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

“We join the FTC in applauding the industry's progress. The advancement in technology including parental controls by console makers, identification checking by retailers, and an ongoing effort to improve ratings illustrates that the members of the video game industry have taken our concerns seriously and continue to make sure that kids enjoy games that are age appropriate."

pretty sure NIMF are refering to just the videogames industry

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

Yes NIMF's comments are directed toward the video game industry alone, but SharpShooter's comments were directed to the FTC. I was responding to her.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

What do you expect from the NIMF? They've been more focused on video games than other media from the start, I believe. But the actual report itself, done by the FTC, was a look at all 3 industries. And like the last report, it was most complimentary about the video game industry compared to the music and movie industries.

Too many people here are just reading the NIMF quote and not paying any attention to the actual report itself. Which has nothing to do with the NIMF.

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

I get that the article itself is fine Im just saying NIMF needs to shut its face

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

oh well atleast they paid attention for once and saw how things REALLY are

they should look (further) into the industries history before making assumptions ... that said some respect for a change is a welcome step in the right direction (dont look a gift horse in the mouth heh)

I wonder if they really believe they played a part?

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

FTC suggestions aimed directly at the game industry were adding content descriptors to the front of videogames, alongside ratings, and to continue to provide more detailed rating summaries online for parents

What is really comforting is that the FTC made the same recommendation to the movie and music industries. They even went as far to tell the movie industry to put ratings and reasons on the front and back is a specific size and font so that the yare easier to find.

I'll have more later.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

taken their concerns seriously? correct me if Im wrong but hasnt the game industry been regulating themsevles this well for many years even when apparently it wasnt legally required?

also parental controls have been around for years IE detachable controllers adapters and the varius other wires heh

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

You are right about this......I agree w/you. I never thought of it that way.

 

 

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

"It's better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." - Montgomery Gentry

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

This is good news for the game industry as a whole.  But beware of the lurking criticism of games on mobile phones.  For the second year in a row, the FTC noted that children may gain access to "mature" games via smartphones.  Here's the killer warning:

"Given the sheer volume of game applications currently available for mobile devices and the dramatic rate at which applications are proliferating, in the near term, responsibility falls on wireless carriers and individual publishers to provide content information and effective parental controls."  (emphasis mine)

I would hate to be the publisher the FTC decides has failed to provide "effective parental controls"!

 

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

Wow! What a waste of taxpayers money this is. Isn't there something better where the money to fund this study could of gone to like maybe i don't know ..... CREATING JOBS!!!!

 "No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

Yeah it's horrible, it's just like the census bureau, always taking polls and taking those polls without employing people at all! Or the department of transportation, what with their making and maintaining roads and rating cars based on safety! That doesn't create jobs, it costs jobs as they use dummies in those cars instead of real people. 

Re: Game Industry Scores Well in FTC Report

To me these reports are useless and a waste because they is no evidence whatsoever that violent media is psychologically harmful or dangerous to minors. Period.

So comparing this to rating cars based on safety when in crashes is like comparing sugar to cocaine. The money used for this could go to something much, much more important and useful. IMHO these reports seem like they are one step away from government regulations and restrictions on Free Speech which as we all know the First Amendment prohibits. When it comes to what's innappropriate or unsuitable for children, that is subjective, depends on the child in question and is the sole responsibility of the children's parents to determine and enforce. 

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment
 
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