World of Warcraft is a popular MMO by Blizzard Entertainment that is played by millions. Unfortunately, the game’s reward structure and social aspects can be so addicting that players can sometimes put off responsibilities such as school, work, or homework to keep playing. If you have a child or dependent that is spending too much time playing World of Warcraft, these tips may help in limiting their playtime.
Tip #1: Be A Parent
This may sound harsh but it needs to be said. You are the parent and you have the right to tell your child what they can and cannot do as long as it will not cause them harm. No one has ever died from lack of World of Warcraft or lack of being on the Internet. Give your child strict guidelines on how long they can play and monitor that playtime. Keep the computer in a well trafficked area of the house so that monitoring is easy and put a password on the computer so that your child can not sneak some playtime in the middle of the night.
Tip #2: Parental Controls
World of Warcraft has parental control features that can be used to limit playtime on an account. These can be set by going to the account management section of the World of Warcraft website and entering the secret question that was used in the creation of the account. From there you can set how hours or length of time an account can be played in a given day. With this option your child can have access to the username and password of the account but not the secret question.
Tip #3: Authenticators
The Blizzard Authenticator is a token security device that creates a code that must be entered to access a World of Warcraft account. The code is regenerated every two minutes so a code is usually only good for one immediate use. If you keep the authenticator in your possession and read the code to your child they can only access the account with your permission. Please note that if you do this maintain possession of the authenticator as it can be used to remove itself from an account. The authenticator can be purchased from the Blizzard online store for around $6 or obtained for free using applications available for the iPhone and other smart phones.
World of Warcraft can be a great source of entertainment and social interaction. However, as with almost anything in this life too much can be a bad thing. Children many times do not have the self control to limit their playtime so its your responsibility as a parent to limit their playtime when it becomes detrimental to their health, education, or social development. In the end, remember that you are the adult and that if necessary you can cancel the account all together. One should probably exhaust steps of limiting playtime first but in the end if there are true signs of addiction this may be the only option. You will be public enemy number 1 with your child in the short term, but in the long run you will be doing them a favor.