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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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May 8, 2008 11:11 AM

Game retailers getting better at carding for M-rated content

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

The Federal Trade Commission reported today that video game retailers are getting much better about checking IDs before selling M-rated games, such as "Grand Theft Auto IV." That's the Entertainment Software Ratings Board's "mature" rating, suitable only for people 17 and over. I experienced this first hand when I got carded while trying to purchase "GTA IV" at the Game Stop in Northgate Mall last night.

After I waded through the gaggle of sk8t kids congregating around the demo consoles in the store, the guy behind the counter surprised me by asking to see my ID. I wasn't even carded when I picked up a pre-Derby bottle of bourbon at a state liquor store.

Turns out, Game Stop / EB Games had the best performance of any retailer in the FTC's nationwide undercover shopping program. The agency's 13- to 16-year-old shoppers hit up 66 Game Stop locations and were successful in buying M-rated titles only 6 percent of the time.

All stores in the study sold M-rated games to children 20 percent of the time, down from 42 percent in 2006 and 85 percent in 2000. Retailers improved in sales of some other categories measured in the study, too, but the FTC noted "roughly half of the undercover shoppers still were able to purchase R-rated and Unrated movie DVDs and [Parental Advisory Label] music CDs."

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Posted by Kaddis

3:45 PM, May 08, 2008

Ben glad to see you picked up GTA! And also glad to see I wasn't the only adult carded for this purchase.

I'm actually happy that EB/Gamestop are enforcing the ESRB policy on it's customers. Even though a recent study showed (how unprofessional of me not to site my info...) that the average gamer is 30 years old, which we are all aware is over the mature rating of 17+, it's still a nice thing to see being pushed.

I have to admit, I've yet to hear a 12 year old screaming into the microphone during any online matches of GTA IV.

Posted by Kim

12:06 PM, May 09, 2008

Bourbon and GTA! A daring combination, Ben... Have you reached the part in the game where you get a little too tipsy? The visuals are pretty funny. And MADD can relax, because as soon as my character got in the car the police busted me.

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