Senator urges game console time limits


A CALL has been made to install time limits on gaming consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation in an effort to curtail the number of hours people spend on them.

Fine Gael Senator Fidelma Healy Eames wants manufacturers to incorporate a maximum usage time following the death of a 20-year-old in England from deep vein thrombosis after spending 12-hour sessions playing Xbox.

Chris Staniforth from Sheffield, who his family say was addicted to Xbox and who was otherwise in good health, died in May.

Senator Healy Eames, Fine Gael Seanad spokeswoman on social protection, said she will be contacting the National Consumer Agency and manufacturers in a bid to have the time limits installed. She said teenagers had become addicted to games and controls needed to be installed.

“It is only now that research on the addictive nature of these gaming consoles is beginning to emerge. What we need is quick action and I believe it is not unreasonable to demand some class of a microchip to be installed that shuts the game down after two hours, and that it cannot be restarted for another period of time,” she said.

“We are soon to be putting images on cigarette boxes to prevent smoking because of the impact on health and its addictive quality. This is not far behind in respect of lasting damage.

“Thousands of our children, teens and even young married men are spending endless hours on these machines and it is impacting on their emotional and mental health also.”