Monday, April 25, 2011

It's Easier for Kids to Get Inappropriate Music Than Video Games, FTC Says

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Inappropriate music

Its much easier for kids access inappropriate music than video games. Credit: Getty Images

Hey, kids, if you enjoy tapping your toes to the latest tunes about killing prostitutes and busting a cap in some fellow's (bleep), there's good news.

No one is going to stop you.

However, if you're thinking about doing some cap busting or prostitute killing via a video game, think again. Stick to your violent, obscene and sociopathic music. We adults have some standards.

The Los Angeles Times reports it's much easier for kids access inappropriate music than video games. In fact, a sting operation by agents of the Federal Trade Commission in November and January found merchants turned a blind eye to kids buying CDs with parental advisory labels at least 64 percent of the time.

But when the same undercover and underage shoppers tried to buy a video game marked "mature," 87 percent of them were stopped colder than a kipper on a cracker. Only 13 percent sneaked through.

The spy kids had a little more success with movies. The Times reports 38 percent of them were able to buy an R-rated DVD without getting hassled. A slightly lower number -- 33 percent -- were able to talk their way into an R-rated movie at the local multiplex.

Most merchants, however, scored better than they did during a similar operation in 2009. Only theaters failed to do as well as they did two years ago. Still, all businesses have improved since the FTC started its enforcement checks in 2000.

"These numbers demonstrate once again that industry self-regulation can and does work, and there is no need for punitive government regulation, such as the California video game law," Bo Andersen, president of the Entertainment Merchants Association, tells the Times.

Some family advocates aren't so cheery.

"There is more work to be done," Alan Simpson, vice president of policy for Common Sense Media, an advocacy group in San Francisco, tells the Times. "The study is a reminder of how important it is to have adults making sure that unaccompanied kids aren't purchasing M-rated games."

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