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Press Release

May 12, 2008

PTC Commends Responsible Video Game Retailers

Progress Is Good, But Too Many Still Fail to Help Keep Mature Games from Kids


LOS ANGELES (May 12, 2008) – The Parents Television Council™ commended the select few video game retailers who have gone above and beyond the “retailer accountability” suggestions outlined by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to keep video games that are created for mature and adult audiences out of the hands of kids. However, following the release of an undercover shopper report by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), PTC contends the status quo is still unacceptable.


“A well-timed FTC report claims huge improvements by some video game retailers just after the release of ‘Grand Theft Auto IV.’ We applaud those, and in particular the retailer GameStop, who are working to improve their compliance with the ratings and are implementing additional safeguards to help parents protect their kids. However, it is spurious for the Entertainment Software Association to claim that a 20% industry-wide failure rate is an acceptable level for keeping M-rated games from kids. Failing one out of every five times does not merit a celebration,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“This report should encourage the industry to make good on its commitment to better compliance. A first step would be to impose a meaningful consequence for retailers who fail to comply with the industry’s age restrictions. Such a consequence is the goal of new national legislation put forth by Representatives Terry and Matheson. Additionally, since GameStop has had such widespread success with its screening procedures, it begs the question as to why the rest of the industry still lags so far behind. Retailers, including Best Buy, Toys ‘R’ Us, Target, Kmart, Circuit City and Hollywood Video, must step up to the plate and implement protections that will improve their combined 27% failure rate in keeping M-rated games from minors,” Winter continued.

“Rather than focusing on initiating meaningful change, the Entertainment Software Association has been busy spending three times the amount on lobbying than it did just five years ago to halt any legislative attempts to help parents protect their children from extremely violent games. Our kids deserve better and so do their parents,” concluded Winter.


TAKE ACTION! Ask Your Representatives in Congress to Support the Video Game Ratings Enforcement Act


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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