Ars Technica writes: "How easy is it for children to purchase Mature-rated games? The Federal Trade Commission released its report in May, claiming that only 20 percent of its secret shoppers were able to purchase M-rated games at retail stores. The Parents Television Council was apparently skeptical of those findings, as it began its own secret-shopper program. Its findings weren't quite as positive: the report claims their shoppers were able to purchase the M-rated games 36 percent of the time.
The group found that some stores did much better abiding by the ESRB's ratings than others. Game Stop and Best Buy sold M-rated games to minors less than 10 percent of the time, while stores like Circuit City and Kmart sold the games to minors half the time, or more. The study was conducted by 16 PTC "grassroots" chapters in 16 states, visiting 100 stores and using children 11 to 16 years of age to try to purchase the M-rated content."