PlayWatch Project Website

This is a website to provide information about the 4th Year IT Management Project in the research
and development of the video game play activity monitoring app named PlayWatch.


An overview of the business value proposed by the project.

A list of business requirements that users—the project's primary market of parents and guardians— would want to see in the kind of app being developed for it was created to assess the project's commercial viability. For purposes of alignment, this was the project's initial development stage. Prior to choosing the functionality that PlayWatch would offer, it was important to identify and comprehend the needs that the target user demographic would have for such a mobile app.
These business requirements were:

  • The ability to monitor children’s play activity
  • The ability to monitor how long a child has spent playing games
  • The ability for the user to see the PEGI rating of the game played
  • The ability for the user see what content the game contains
  • The ability for the user to be alerted/notified if a game being played is inappropriate for their child
  • The ability to monitor online interaction (voice chat, text, etc)

  • To verify the requirements, a survey was conducted through Google Forms in which a sample pool of the target demographic was presented with questions that would consolidate the business requirements that had been set for the project. The results of the survey can be found here:
    Survey Results


    An overview of the technologies researched for and implemented into the project.

    Due to prior exposure to the platform, Android Studio was chosen, which allowed for an offset of what would otherwise be a learning curve. Given that the app idea isn't widely used, the Kotlin-based programming allowed us more flexibility in what may be done with the application. For testing and quality assurance purposes, the option to connect Android Studio to a personal device in 'developer mode' and run the script on emulators of multiple Android phone models was crucial.

    PlayWatch in Android Studio Environment

    PlayWatch's feature was originally intended to utilize a technique that would link the mobile application to a target video game console and enable real-time play data and record updates. However, access to the console's application programming interface (API) was required for any implementation of these technologies to be practical. That was the issue; a video games console's API is not available to the general public, and the processes for obtaining access can be time-consuming and frequently call for special recognition. To this end, an alternate route that would be practical and also integrate well with the Android Studio technology was studied instead of wasting project hours in the search of making an unfavorable method function. The majority of modern gaming consoles log which games have been played and for how long overall. A suitable information system for the application can be created by combining this data with information discovered about a child's gaming preferences. By using the user input data method, the parent can input this information into the app and record it while keeping track of their child's gaming preferences. The format in which the information is recorded is determined by each screen's specifications.

    Research and consideration were also given to the project's potential use of machine learning technologies. This function was included to assist parents to identify games based on what was visible on the screen rather than needing to use a web browser to look up information about them. An image classification model that can identify games from screenshots may be trained, and the model can then be extracted to Android Studio.


    An overview of how the project has made ethical contributions.

    To determine the ethical implications of the project, study was done into the developmental issues and problems that arose in children through bad video gaming habits. By reading online articles to support the stance of the project’s ethical component, I was able to dismiss the development of aggressive and violent behaviour in children through playing video games, as evidenced by studies carried out by the University of Utah and health and medical websites. However, facts do support the notion that unhealthy habits in video gaming can lead to children developing abnormal sleep patterns, deteriorated eyesight from constant exposure to blue light screens, and antisocial behaviours.. In the undertaken research, the parameters were extended to include the effects of the consumption of other age-inappropriate content by children other than video games, such as rated-18 films and other adult media. The effects are synonymous; children are impressionable – they are prone to replicating what they see from other sources.

    Furthermore, while violent behaviours and unhealthy means of expressing anger and frustration are not proven to be directly caused by exposure to video games, these qualities can be exacerbated by them. One such example is ‘gamer rage’ – a colloquial term for sudden outburst typically brought about by an individual failing a certain task in a video game or losing that game, or even external interruptions such as connection failure. the culture around video gaming has changed in recent years with the introduction of E-Sports Tournaments, professional gaming streaming, and general global connectivity introducing more cohesive ranking potential. These factors have led to the concept of gaming becoming less about having fun and more about getting good and continued winning-streaks. Therefore, losing at a video game, especially against another player is seen as a reflection of their own inability resulting in a gamer expressing rage and annoyance. PlayWatch aims to allow parents to be more involved in their child’s play sessions; if a certain game is eliciting a poor response from their children, it can be put on a watchlist and be futher monitored. This also the benefit of the parents, as anecdotal evidence presents that if ‘gamer rage’ is not dealt with in a healthy way, individuals have been known to damage their hardware (or surroundings) in this fits of rage, causing unnecessary cost and property damage.

    PlayWatch aims to have parents co-operate with their children in cultivating a healthy lifestyle regarding video games and to develop positive habits that will ensure the development of negative behaviours that stem from an bad gaming habits, be that long, uninterrupted gaming sessions, the inability to prioritise other responsibilities such as schoolwork, or the fascination with and absorption of age-inappropriate content. By allowing a parent to be able to keep a closer eye on a child’s gaming habits and persuasions, they can have a more informed say as to what is and is not healthy for their child. Studies show that parental involment in a child's activities yield numerous positive results, such as decreased behavioural issues, better time management, improved self-esteem, and increased communication between parents and children