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It’s Never Been Harder to Sneak Into an R-Rated Movie

Vital Information for Your Everyday Life

We all know that people who consume violent media become violent people, right? I mean, it’s so obvious. So we should all acknowledge how important it is that we keep violent movies and video games out of the hands of children, in fact, we should be calling on the movie and video games industries to put standards in place to –

Wait, you mean they already have? And they’re being enforced? And they’re being enforced most efficiently in the retail video games market? Yes, according to the Federal Trade Commission itself, it’s never been harder for kids to buy tickets for R-rated movies or purchase M-rated video games, which just goes to show that some things were not harder when you were a kid, and kids these days do not have everything just handed to them.

See, every now and then the FTC rounds up a gang of young teenagers and tasks them with trying to purchase R-rated and unrated movie tickets and DVDs, M-rated games, and CDs with parental advisory labels. Seriously. Just a bunch of 13-16 year olds, trying to buy, I dunno, Dredd. This year, only 27% of those kids actually managed to get their hands on a movie ticket, compared with 33% in 2010. Sorry kids. Only 1 in 4 of you will be able to see Evil Dead instead of 1 in 3.

Acting director of the FTC Charles Harwood said:

This report and its results continue to reinforce the importance and effectiveness of the voluntary ratings system. As the Supreme Court noted in its decision in Brown v. EMA, retailers’ voluntary enforcement of the ratings provide an effective alternative to state regulation. We will continue to do our part in enforcing the voluntary ratings system that allows creators to create and parents to make informed decisions about their children’s entertainment.

Voluntary ratings systems don’t always work out, especially if they are not built from the ground up with the health of the whole industry in mind and not just the health of the businesses of whoever’s making the rules (see The Comics Code Authority). And I’ll be the first to rail against the MPAA’s ridiculous standards, particularly when it comes to consensual sex and homosexuality. However, it’s still a far sight better than government getting involved in regulating art, in my opinion. R-rated DVDs are only a little easier to come buy in stores, with 30% of kids managing to buy one, and music retailers have a lot to answer for, what with managing to catch more than half of the kids trying to buy CDs labeled with a parental advisory for the first time only this year. Video games retailers, working for a frequently scapegoated industry, however, had the best rates of all, with only 13% of kids under seventeen being able to get away with an M-rated game.

(via The Hollywood Reporter.)

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