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December 06, 2005

DING! You Have The Right To Remain Silent

So here's the newest parental aid on the market, a token-based system that effectively turns your living room into a pay arcade.

According to the PlayLimit website, “the tokens empower kids to manage their own time, so parents no longer have to be the ‘time’s up!’ police.”

Are parents out there so eager to unload this task? Parents are supposed to be the "time's up! police". It's our job to set limits for our kids on a daily basis. Our kids are supposed to hear our voices saying no to them sometimes.

I'm not saying that all parental controls are bad - far from it. I'm all for availing myself of existing tools such as cable/satellite TV or game console lockout features, to make sure that my kids don't accidentally (or at some point in the future, on purpose) stumble onto skinemax or play an M or AO-rated game on the Xbox 360 (once we get one, that is).

But at the macro level, isn't there anyone out there who thinks that allowing parents to be responsible for what their kids play (and for how long) is a good idea?

"Ladies & gentlemen, introducing PlayLimit, brought to you by the design firm of Clinton, Thompson & Yee."


  • But....but....if Chocolate Milk Boy's Mom had had this, then she would have been a Good Parent (tm). Right?

    Oy. If you can't tell your kids to turn off the games or be bothered to pay attention to what they do, you get what you deserve, unfortunately. Never mind the fact that if the kid gets access to another video cable, this device is USELESS. Never underestimate the cleverness of a kid. There are, I'm sure, several ways to defeat this thing.

    Oh and the kid holding a soccer-ball in the picture...is that supposed to imply something?

    By Blogger WizarDru, at 6:33 AM  

  • Using available technology to help here and there is okay with me, but this just strikes me as parenting by proxy. Even though you're ultimately the one "saying" no, that's only true through the magic of the transitive property. You're the disciplinarian, once-removed.

    By Blogger Dan, at 9:18 AM  

  • Parents should be held accountable for their children, to the extent we can control their actions. I think in this situation a parent having the control to tell the child "NO" when they want to continue playing beyond the set limits is what is required, rather than a device. But I recall the days when Dad had to shut off the power to the house to get the kids in order... perhaps this is somewhere in between.

    By Anonymous Max, at 6:01 PM  

  • Preach on, Brother Max! :)

    By Blogger Dan, at 11:14 PM  

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