If you’re like me, (a tech-savvy twenty-something) and even if you’re not, you’ve probably experienced the odd video game binge. If you haven’t, you probably know someone who has, be they your friends, your kids, or your friends’ kids. When I was in highschool, my friends and I would sit around an old TV in a dark room and take turns playing Super Mario on Nintendo. We would do this for an hour or two until we got bored, or needed to go home to do homework.
With the advance in technology, kids today can (and do!) play games that are much more complex, much more fun, and much more engaging than Super Mario. Not to mention, they can play them on 50″, 4k TVs. Now, I’m all for the advancement of technology, I’m just glad that I didn’t have these bells and whistles when I was younger, because I doubt I would have gotten as much done. Kids will play videogames for days if they’re not supervised. There was an instance of one young adult in Korea who was playing a computer game in a PC-Bang (similar to an internet cafe) for days until he died from dehydration. Now, keep in mind that he was in a dark, smoky environment, drinking only coffee, eating only junk food, and smoking cigarettes, so this is a very extreme example, but it goes to show that kids have a hard time regulating their time.
I know first-hand how the hours tend to slip away when you’re enveloped in a game. And don’t forget that there are benefits to playing video games (think fine-motor skills, strategy-building, and problem solving), but those benefits are meaningless when they’re not balanced with real life sports, reading, and other activities.
Xbox One is coming out with a solution to this problem that has parents excited and kids disappointed: if you guessed limits to play-time, you’re correct. It will act similarly to Boomerang’s parental controls, in that you (as the parent) will be able to control when your kids are allowed to play (i.e., which days), and how much time they’re allowed to spend playing. You can see the TechTimes article here!