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GameDr Video Game Timer limits kids' gaming time

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May 3, 2009

Just what the doctor ordered: the GameDr Video Game Timer aims to eliminate child/parent c...

Just what the doctor ordered: the GameDr Video Game Timer aims to eliminate child/parent conflicts – simply set the built-in clock and plug the power cord of the game console into the GameDr Video Game Timer

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May 4, 2009 Any parent who has spent time trying to prise their kids from the xBox or PlayStation to do homework or household chores is likely to welcome the GameDr Video Game Timer. Its tamper-proof controls allow you to set and enforce time limits to game playing, simply by plugging the games unit into the timer.

According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), 65 percent of US households play computer or video games. Eighty percent of parents impose time limits on their children’s game-playing, but of course it’s not always easy to regulate. “Just 10 minutes more” and “when I’ve got to the next level…” are familiar refrains, often causing friction and arguments.

The GameDr Video Game Timer aims to eliminate such conflicts – simply set the built-in clock and plug the power cord of the game console into the GameDr Video Game Timer. Tabs lock over the console power plug to prevent it being pulled out and a four digit code stops the timer being adjusted.

The timer alerts players when gaming time is nearly up, with a 10-minute and one minute warning, then switches off the game when the time limit is reached. Blocks of time can be set to limit game playing over a 24-hour period and the GameDr timer stores these settings, avoiding the need to reprogram it every day. It can also be set for continuous play.

A handy pause function allows players to suspend the game and resume it later, without losing the remaining time.

According to Digital Innovations, the makers of the GameDr Video Game Timer, found that more than 50 percent of parents were concerned about the amount of time their children spend playing video games. A restriction timer was the most desired feature in helping address this.

Many parents are looking for new ways to help their children avoid too much time on video consoles or computer games. In a recent article, Kimberly Young, director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery, advises parents to find ways to limit video game play without blaming or criticizing. According to Young, "it is better to set and enforce time restrictions. Games should never be a child's main focus."

Digital Innovations says this is just what its video game timer does. "Our timer device enables parents to establish responsible guidelines that are flexible, so parents can modify them as situations change. This also helps children learn to become more responsible for their behavior,” says Gary Masching, CEO of Digital Innovations. “Both parents and their children win because GameDr Video Game Timer eliminates stress and removes the cause of duress that often jeopardizes a peaceful home environment.”

The ESA study also stated that that 49 percent of those playing games are aged between 18 and 49 years of age and 26 percent are over 50, which suggests that the game timer may also work just as well on partners and spouses. With 40 percent of today's gamers being female, it's just as likely to be girlfriends and wives.

The GameDr Video Game Timer will cost USD$29.99, but you’ll need to be patient. It is not available until July 2010.

Karen Sprey

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6 Comments

How ridicules, if that where ever opposed on me, whats stopping me from cutting the plastic zip tie. or just buying another power cord, and switching it when no ones looking.

Plus Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to take away the controllers...hmmm (assuming you can take away the controllers).

Anyway If you let them OD on a game, it quickly gets boring, as long as it isn't a RPG or some Warcraft "Thing"

Neon
3rd May, 2009 @ 02:37 pm PDT

Most recent games for the PS3 have very prominent warnings about cutting off power when there is hard drive activity. They seem to have gotten more visible in recent games. Shutting down indiscriminately is bound to corrupt some data the drive sooner or later, leading to either the game hanging or other unexpected behavior. A better solution would be an acknowledgment from the console makers that addiction can be a serious problem with kids and so, time management functionality should be built into the console\'s operating system.

tangan
3rd May, 2009 @ 09:31 pm PDT

After cutting the zip-tie, one would have to explain how that happened. It's not like those things just randomly snap.

I may be out of touch with the average pre-teen, but I don't think that many of them can easily attain another power cord.

The one thing I worry about is that most computers aren't designed to just have the power cut off from them on a regular basis. I wonder if there will be problems stemming from to many shutdowns via this mechanism.

Devon
3rd May, 2009 @ 09:48 pm PDT

Very good point Devon, but you assume many pre-teens play on a PS3/Xbox. But i'll think you'll find more people, teen and post teen, game. And their the ones who can't easily have the controller wrestled out of there hands. Once you take teens into account, they would just buy some red zip ties, assuming they cared that they even cut the zip tie.

But moving away from that. Tangan and Devon are exactly right in saying cutting the power is bad, as with any system, e.g PC, PS3, Xbox which use hard drives, it could fatally damage the system, if you were to switch off the power when it's writing on the drive, e.g saving. As the arm, could run across the drive, without stowing it's self, corrupting the hard drive.

Strict parents ect... is possibly the best solution, this is an unbiased statement as i detest being governed.

Neon
4th May, 2009 @ 12:40 pm PDT

You knew it would come to this. Too many kids playing their video games for too long. Actually, I've seen even a better tool than this! It's called Pass2Play.com and it makes kids earn their playtime by doing academic exercises, or even potentially homework. Once completed, the kids can then play online and socialize with their friends. Once their playtime is exhausted, thay get "pulled back" out of their online game and need to completed additional exercises to earn more playtime.

jevans21703
10th July, 2009 @ 10:26 pm PDT

I happen to know that the product in the article is discontinued. However, I found an electronic device which comes with the same purpose as this but I think it is a lot better, it is called PlayLimit Children's TV & Video Game Timer/Limiter. It is very simple to set-up and is coin operated with each coin having a 15 minutes of playing time. This will automatically limit your child's playing time and the "ten minutes more" will not be tolerated.

Erica Smith
21st December, 2012 @ 02:03 am PST
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