Jack’s Gaming Column: Why I Hate Time Limits in Games

September 22, 2020 By Jack Freedman

My name is Jack Freedman and I’m 25 years old. I have a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. My muscles are too weak to use a computer mouse or the keyboard that comes with the computer. I use Eyegaze. 

A timer counts down

Eyegaze is a computer system that I use with my eyes.  A camera reads the way my eyes move. I select a letter or symbol by holding my gaze on that place.  There are two computer screens, one for the game and one for the Eyegaze keyboard or mouse control. I can use my Eyegaze to type and to move my cursor and to move and click my mouse.  I play games using my (Eyegaze) keyboard and mouse. I can play some games independently, but sometimes you have to be quick, and then I need help!

When I have a time limit in a game, I have to ask other people to help me because I have to be quick. I can’t be quick because I have to look back and forth between my Eyegaze screen and my computer screen.  It’s too fast for me to do two things at once with my Eyegaze when there is a time limit!

It feels frustrating to me when I ask other people to help me with a time limit because I’m not quick enough to play the game independently.

Jack Freedman smiling
Jack Freedman


Here are a few ways that I think game designers could get rid of time limits and still keep the fun: 

  1. Instead of a timer, they could put in a limited amount of chances without a time limit. 
  2. They could measure how accurate I play instead of how fast I play. 
  3. If they had the same game without a time limit I could finish the game whenever I want to.


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