World of Warcraft Parental Controls

May 20, 2008

It sounds kind of funny but my wife and I have enabled the World of Warcraft (WoW) Parental Controls on our accounts. Basically, both of us have been feeling a bit burned out by playing WoW. Additionally, we came to the conclusion that WoW has taken up a bit more of our time than we would have liked it to.

Normally, I would play about 1.5 hrs/day during the week and 5 hours over the weekend, 10-12 hours of play time a week is not a lot by any stretch, especially compared to some friends of mine who I know play roughly 4 hours a night during the week and 10+ hrs on the weekend (totaling 30 hours a week). But truth be told, 10 hours a weeks is still more than I want to play.

Sure, I could have just used some self control, which I have, but I wanted to take it a bit further and really put the nail in the coffin by enabling parental controls. Basically, when you go to the Parental Controls section of your account, you are presented with the following grid of play schedule parameters:

As you can see, there are some predefined links to Premade Schedules. If I had a school-aged child playing World of Warcraft, I would definitely modify the schedule to be after dinner and up to bedtime or something along those lines. The granularity of being able to define play times within 30 minute increments is great.

So, as you can see from above, I have defined my available play time to be from 7:30pm – 10:30pm during the week and I must log off by midnight on the weekends. Even though I allow myself to play until 10:30pm, I am usually logged off around 9:00 pm as I like to do some taiji and meditation before bed ( visit my taiji blog for more ).

The funny thing was last night after putting my son to bed, both my wife and I tried to log into WoW around 7:15 pm and we were greeted by the parental controls screen upon login, lol… I wanted to get in and run an auction house scan before meeting up with her that night and she wanted to do some banking, but alas we had to wait 15 mins before logging in. No worries for me, as I had some mail to go through.

Also, last night my wife and I were questing together and she was helping out my level 47 priest with her level 70 warlock. It’s actually quite rare that we quest together and it was fun for us to finish quests without the worries of being disconnected from the game due to parental controls. However, it just so happens we finished doing like 5 red quests by around 9:35pm and were both in bed by 10pm.

In any case, I think the Tue/Thurs WoW blackout days are nice and much needed. I will be admit that I was getting a feeling like WoW had some control over me and I was getting upset/frustrated while playing. After all, WoW is a game and should be treated as such. We play to have fun but most importantly, Real Life > Virtual Life.


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