Everyone knows about the V-Chip, which gives parents some control over their children's viewing habits. A new program from SMARTGuard Software aims to do the same thing for PCs. The program, called WallFly , monitors video game use and can block games from being run (based on their ESRB ratings an sub-categories); it also lets parents establish set periods where games can (or cannot) be played and set up weekly time budgets for gaming (which raises the problematic scenario of having your weekly budget expire just before you finish a level "? how frustrating would that be?).
This program acknowledges a point that some commentators and many politicians miss, namely that parents should take responsibility for what games their children are playing. Of course, parents who don't bother to check what their children are playing are unlikely to buy a game-monitoring program in the first place. And WallFly only applies to PC games, not console games, and so still leaves a significant portion of the games market uncovered. Still, tools like this are a way to address video game violence and children without resorting to legislation.