The Daily Grind: Should games cut us off? [Updated]

Free Realms screenshot
Recently, Free Realms instituted a troubling feature for accounts belonging to minors. Parents began noticing that after they or their children played for three hours on an account flagged "minor," the interface announced that the player had entered "fatigue gaming time" and should log out to get some exercise for his health. Moreover, fatigue time reduced all in-game gains for the player by 50% and prevented him from completing quests and spinning the loot wheel.

Gamers erupted over what they saw as Sony Online Entertainment's attempt to intrude upon the parental domain, and the company has since rolled back this feature and stated it was "unintended." Still, other games have implemented similar features. What say you, Massively readers? Are you happy for games to nanny you (and your kids), or do you think they should mind their own business?

[Update: SOE contacted us to clarify that this feature is for the Chinese version only, as part of that government's Chinese Anti Indulgence System. It was accidentally included in the US version of the game briefly, hence the "unintended" statement. It's not in the US version of the game at this time.]

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This article was originally published on Massively.