Southern California startup Woog Laboratories Inc. today introduced PC Moderator(TM), http://www.pcmoderator.com/ , a parental control device that tackles the problem of computer addiction, particularly among teens.
PC Moderator lets parents effortlessly, and with less conflict, limit the amount of time their children spend while they play games or chat online. Unlike parental control software, PC Moderator operates independently of the computer and cannot be easily hacked by tech-savvy teens. Easy configured, PC Moderator is compatible with most desktop computers, operating systems and applications.
The small device easily and securely locks to the desktop computer’s VGA (or DVI with optional adapter) video port. During setup, parents choose passwords and time limits for up to 8 users. PC Moderator simply shuts off signals to the display when the user is unauthorized or time is not allowed. PC Moderator contains a battery-backed clock and microprocessor enclosed in a compact 18-gauge, stainless steel case.
According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study, the time children spend on the computer has doubled over the past five years. As of 2004, ten percent of 8-18 year olds use the computer for more than 3 hours daily. Thirty-five percent report having their own computer.
Of particular concern are massively multi-player online games, widely considered addicting. One such game, Everquest, referred to by many players as “Evercrack,” received broad public attention for its highly addictive nature.
“With the phenomenal response to World of Warcraft, the world’s most popular online game, we’re worried that more teens are at risk for computer addiction,” said company founder Dr. Kenneth Woog. “The problem has gotten so bad in China that the government is now requiring online game manufacturers to incorporate anti computer-addiction time limits into their games.”