PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Are you tired of Fortnite? Join the club.
Parents across the country are complaining that Fortnite and other video games have taken over their children’s lives to the point that some have become addicted.
In fact, video game addiction is now recognized as a mental health disorder by the World Health Organization.
But how much video game time is too much?
“I want to encourage parents to think about how the game affects their child,” said parenting expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa. “If it affects them for the better, then an hour of playtime is reasonable. But if the child is angry, or isn’t interested in anything they used to be interested in, those are bad signs,” she said.
To shut off or limit gaming, some parents are now using technology to tame technology.
For example, Comcast customers can use the xFi app.
It allows parents to track devices using WiFi in their home and pause them with the push of a button. You can then use the same app to restart iPads, iPhones and PlayStations when you decide it’s okay.
There is also an app called OurPact, which allows parents to schedule, grant or block screen time.
Through your phone, you control when and for how long your kids can play games or use their devices.
Dr. Gilboa says parents should think about their children’s technology intake like their food intake.
“This is a question of nutrition. You’re not going to say, ‘You didn’t handle this well, so no eating for a week.’ But you need to read labels and think about balance and understand limits,” said Dr. Gilboa.
Along with setting limits, experts say you should also make certain times of the day media free, like during dinner and have media free zones, like bedrooms.