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GAME "very disappointed" by underage sales blunder

Which? sting catches retailer selling mature game to minor

High Street retailer GAME has told GamesIndustry.biz that it is "very disappointed" that one of its stores has sold an 18-rated game to a minor.

Consumer group Which? sent teenagers to a number of retailers to test age restrictions in the UK, and found that three chains – GAME, entertainment retailer Woolworths and electronics store Maplin – all sold 18-rated games to youngsters.

"We are very disappointed that this incident occurred," said GAME. "A full investigation has been conducted, and we have taken appropriate action to ensure that it does not happen again."

The High Street retailer – the dominant games specialist in the UK – said that it takes its legal obligations seriously, and that its in-store staff receive extensive training to ensure age-ratings are adhered to.

"GAME is a responsible retailer and takes its legal obligations exceptionally seriously.

"At GAME we want to sell the right games to the right customers. To ensure that this happens our store teams receive extensive and regular training about their responsibilities and our procedures to uphold the law, but this is only one element of our comprehensive systems," added the retailer.

Under the video recordings act, the maximum penalty for selling a mature-rated game to a minor is a GBP 5000 fine and/or six months in jail.

Sarah Kidner, editor of Which? Computing said: "It's shocking and surprising that 18-rated games have been sold to a child as young as 15 by household names."

GamesIndustry.biz has contacted Woolworths and Maplin for comment.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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