Getting your child to stop playing video games can often feel impossible without kickstarting a major family row.
So parents may be intrigued to hear that a former gaming addict and his dad have created a device and app that give mums and dads the ability to control their kids’ consoles remotely.
James Potter, 29, and Keith, 57, from Wiltshire, spent two years developing a product with the aim of reducing the often excessive amount of time some kids spent playing these games. If your child has a PlayStation 4 or Xbox you can pair it to the device – called Quiet Time (QTIME) – and control through an app how much time they play.
[Read More: How To Tell If Your Child Suffers From Gaming Addiction]
“I spent a huge number of hours each week playing computer games when I was a teenager,” James tells HuffPost UK. “My dad estimates at least 40 hours per week at its peak. I know my GCSE exam grades suffered, I socialised with my friends less often and I didn’t go outdoors enough. I would even try to take sick days from school so that I could stay at home and play games.
“Luckily I grew out of it when I was around 18, but I think better moderation of my gaming time would have helped a lot.”
So how does it work? The QTIME device replaces the existing HDMI cable between your child’s games console and the TV or screen. Once it’s all plugged in, you connect it up to an app on your phone which will tell you if the games console is on, how long it’s been played and give you the option to turn it off.
Parents can allocate how much time kids spend each day on the console and set rules about when they start or stop playing. They can set a time limit for different days of the week or one time limit that applies every day. Kids also have a child-friendly version of the app, and will receive a warning before the game is going to be shut off as an app notification.