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This New Device May Help Your Teen’s Gaming Addiction

What is Gaming Addiction?

Video games “expand the imagination, give children the opportunity to work collaboratively, and sharpen cognitive skills.” Gaming also “triggers a release of dopamine. This is a brain chemical that elevates mood and provides a rush of energy.”

For some teens, “the virtual life becomes more appealing than real life.” This leads to gaming addiction. Gaming addiction can ruin a teen’s social life, and cause extreme isolation.

Gaming addiction can happen to any teen. But teens with poor self-esteem and social problems are more at risk.

Symptoms of Gaming Addiction

Gaming addiction causes negative emotional and physical symptoms, including:

  • Feelings of restlessness and/or irritability when unable to play.
  • Preoccupation with thoughts of previous online activity. Or, anticipation of the next online session.
  • Lying to friends or family members about the amount of time spent playing.
  • Isolation from others to spend more time gaming.
  • Fatigue.
  • Migraines due to intense concentration or eyestrain.
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome caused by the overuse of a controller or computer mouse.
  • Poor personal hygiene.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Lack of social engagement.
  • Avoidance of developmental tasks.
  • Increased aggression or violence.
gaming addiction
A Device to End Gaming Addiction

James Potter created a device to limit daily gaming. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Bath. Potter, along with his father Keith, created QTIME (short for Quiet Time).

The QTIME device plugs into a PC, PS4 or Xbox console. It’s is controlled by an app which allows parents to set a daily time allowance, and see how much time is being spent playing video games. It also has the ability to immediately shut down the screen.”

What is QTIME?

It’s a smart HDMI cable. It “pairs wirelessly with a home’s WIFI, and a smart phone app controls it.”

QTIME aims to end gaming addiction by:

  • Giving teens a 10-minute warning when their gaming time is up for the day.
  • The device turns off the screen automatically.
  • Teens can’t bypass the device when it’s unplugged. The device detects the disconnect, and emails parents.
  • The app shows parents if the device becomes unplugged for a while. It also shows whether it thinks the console is on right now.
  • Restricting game time will lead to better mental, emotional, and physical health. And, it will help teens perform better in school and during activities.

Potter says, “We appreciate gaming as a hobby. Many enjoy it. The motivation to create QTIME is not to stop children from playing video games entirely, but to identify a technical solution to restrict the time they spend gaming each day where necessary.”

To learn more about other treatment options, click here