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EMA: Report Card Vindicates U.S. Retailers

The Entertainment Merchants Association has issued a response to the just-published NIMF Video Game Report Card, hoping that improved results for retailer age checks will help convi
In response to the National Institute on Media and the Family's Eleventh Annual MediaWise Video Game Report Card just earlier reported, the Video Game Report Card found the lowest success levels of minors buying mature rated games compared to the past several years. In fact, only 8 of 25 'sting operations' at retailers resulted in a sale, a 32% success rate which is down from the previous year's 44%. Subsequently, the NIMF gave nationwide 'major' retailers an 'A' after its 'sting operations' were completely unsuccessful at Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart. In response, the EMA points out that the findings are consistent with the Federal Trade Commission's own 'mystery shopper' report, released in March 2006, which showed a turn-down rate of 65% for national retail chains. "While the MediaWise survey admittedly uses a much smaller sample - 25 stores, compared to the hundreds surveyed by the FTC and ESRB - and employs a less scientifically rigorous methodology than the other surveys, it does provide a useful yardstick each year for how computer and video game retailers are continuing to enhance their ratings education and enforcement methods," said EMA president Bo Andersen. He added, "Retailers have been targeted with punitive legislation regarding video game sales, which is based on a lack of understanding of the actual level of ratings enforcement in stores. Hopefully, today's Report Card will help convince legislators that efforts to target video game retailers are misplaced."

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