I’ve played a lot of videogames ever since I was a toddler – indeed, I learned English prematurely in order to read Zzap!64 in the tender age of nine. The thing is, I play more these days than I used to. Sure, there are no more all-night gaming binges, but I feel that on average, I spend more time with games. There’s a very logical explanation to this. My parents wouldn’t let me play for more than an hour or two per night. While at the time this felt unfair to me, I’m sure I’ve grown much more stable and well-rounded because of this. So I’m all for restricting playtime.
Microsoft has come to the aid of the modern parent, adding a playtime control to the Xbox 360. This is such a simple thing, certainly welcomed by a lot of parents, I wonder how no one has thought of it before. It’s also sending a message about the Xbox 360 being fun for the whole family, which can’t be a bad thing.
The console manufacturers could be thinking that it would be bad business for them to limit gaming on their machines. While technically true, you need to look at the needs of the wallet holder – I’m sure raising a child is a lot higher in the hierarchy of needs than idle entertainment.