“I am speaking today because the Best Buy stores have done a good job in protecting children from buying mature-rated video games and as the premier retail leader in entertainment, I’m asking Best Buy to do more,” Ms. Plum said at the meeting.
“Despite the rapid changes in technology and the resulting influx of new merchandise, it has been your mission to not let these variables interfere with the one thing you have prided yourself in keeping constant: your commitment to your customers. But, speaking as one of your customers, a shareholder and most importantly, a grandmother, I’m asking why mature-rated video games cannot be placed on higher shelves.
“The PTC has had numerous mystery shoppers all over the nation observe your stores in recent weeks and view these mature-rated games on lower shelves, accessible to children. Best Buy is among the better retailers in carding customers regarding the purchase of mature material, but children still have access to the product in the store and run the risk of purchasing this adult material. You must keep up your standards.
“I urge you to demonstrate ‘respect, humility and integrity’ toward your younger customers as your website states, because we have to be constantly concerned with protecting our children and our members’ children from access to the extreme violence and indecency that has engulfed the entertainment industry, specifically in the area of video games.
“For example, the mature-rated video game Grand Theft Auto 4 promotes violence as the central theme of the game. Through graphic depictions, the game shows bodies being thrown through the air and bullets grotesquely cutting through flesh complete with a saturation of spraying blood. Further, a character can pick up prostitutes and pay for three levels of service. Masturbation, oral sex and intercourse are also elements of the game. GTA4 is the first game in the series where alcohol has been incorporated as part of the ‘fun.’ If the main character gets drunk, his ability to drive becomes impaired and the game’s camera is affected dramatically.
“Mr. Chairman, you understand this game is rated mature and we appreciate all that Best Buy is doing to impose and enforce an age-restricted buying policy. However, I urge you to place these types of games on higher shelves and out of sight and reach of your younger customers,” Plum concluded.