Wichita doctors hope to curb videogame addiction with remote app

By: David Marcus Email
By: David Marcus Email

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WICHITA, Kan. -- Let’s say your kids are at home playing videogames for hours and you want them to stop and do their homework, but you’re out at dinner or a movie and can’t do anything about it. You soon can, thanks to two Wichita developers.

Doctors James Vincent and Trever Patton are neuropsychologists who say they’ve come up with the parental solution to videogame addiction in kids. It’s called “Take Charge,” and it gives parents remote app access to turn off their kids’ videogames or even schedule when or how long the came console is turned on.

“We give parents control, and it would eliminate the power struggles and sometimes physical confrontations,” said cofounder Dr. Trever Patton. “If we could eliminate all that stuff, it sure would speed up a lot of the recovery of all the parents and kids.”

“The parent can say, ‘You know what, I can see you're doing your chores and being nice to your sister. I'll turn it back on,’” said cofounder Dr. James Vincent.

Gaming for short periods of time has proven to be helpful for hand-eye coordination in children. But international studies have shown that longer videogaming can lead to social problems in kids and a pattern of impulsive behavior.

“Take Charge” might help change all that but, perhaps, at a price.

“The children of America are going to hate Trever and I,” Vincent said. “We may have to buy an island. Yeah, we may have to buy an island."

Patton and Vincent know they won't be very popular with kids, but when it comes to parents who want to say “game over,” that might be a different story.

The “Take Charge” wireless program is now in prototype testing and development, and Patton and Vincent hope to have it in the homes of families nationwide in the next several months.

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