Is there a way I can stop programs from opening? I want to block Stacraft 2. I've tried blocking the servers using SelfControl but it didn't seem to help.

Edit: I want to disallow access to Stacraft II Battle.net. Not being able to open for a period of time and, not being able to reverse this action for that period of time. The goal is to stop the addiction of playing.

  • 1
    Hi Tiago,Can I ask you to expand upon your question a little, as I'm not really sure what you mean. Do you mean stop programs from starting when you log in?
    – stuffe
    Aug 17, 2011 at 10:26
  • I think the parental controls have some option with program limitation...I am going to take a peak
    – mjrider
    Aug 17, 2011 at 15:52

4 Answers 4



Precommitment is a powerful strategy to control impulsivity. The point is to take a future choice away from yourself: an alcoholic will avoid bars, a drug addict will not carry cash, a person on a diet doesn't go to the grocery store hungry.

If you're addicted to StarCraft, then get rid of the game. Throw it away. Just like an alcoholic would pour his alcohol down the drain.

You can try technological solutions like using parental controls, but if you managed to get around an application like SelfControl. Why will anything else work? There is always a way.

For instance with parental controls, when you try to open StarCraft under a parental controlled account, Mac OS X simply asks you for an administrator password, all you need to do there is slip once.

Habits, good or bad, are like well-blazed trails through the jungle of your mind. When you try and blaze a new trail, certain parts of your brain rebel. They look behind you and say, "why not just take the old path, its a helluva a lot easier." And then, you simply fall back into your old ways. It doesn't matter to that part of you brain that the trail leads to ruin. All it wants is short-term gratification. To change these habits and fight against short-term thinking, you have to exercise willpower.

But willpower alone is rarely enough. People perceive willpower as some infinite resource, only waiting to be tapped, by those who can just bare down and reap their untapped inner potential; but that is just a load of horseshit. Willpower is not infinite but a finite measurable psychological quantity.

This is why precommitment is so important. Precommitment takes away choices, so you don't have to exercise willpower to avoid them.

I know you asked for technological solution, and I know I didn't give you one, but I hope I answered your question anyways.


you could try using Parental controls.

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If you use Script Timer, you can set an applescript to run when you launch a certain application. It is $12, but it is useful for many, many other things. If you write an AppleScript like this

tell application "StarCraft" //Change this to the exact name of the application  
end tell

You could also cut that down to:

tell application "StarCraft" to quit

Just be sure to replace the application name with the right name.


Thanks, clearer now. I can't think of a way off hand, hence this is not an answer (but it will be too long for a comment, so just please don't vote it up or down), but I would just like to point out that anything you can do to stop allowing yourself access, you will also be able to undo.

Perhaps a technological answer won't help, and you just need to work on your self control, which I know sounds twee but bear with me. I used to have a problem accessing the internet too much at work, but I needed access occassionaly for work. I removed all icons, start menu, task bar, desktop etc in order to make it more of a hassle to get a browser open. Because there was always a way around it, it failed, and I used it just as much but wasted more time due to the lengths I had to go to to start the browser, and eventually I settled on simply doing Start > Run > Opera which eventually defeated the object. (Yes, it was Windows at work).

If you are worried about spending too much time playing the game, then try to put mental barriers in place rather than looking for a tool to do it for you. If nothing else, removing the game from your system, putting it under a different user IDs local applications folder (maybe using the parental controls to prevent internet access at certain times or placing it on an external USB disk and leaving it in another room might help, but they key is to work on yourself.

Sorry I can't be of more help. Actually, reading back I think that putting the application into a new user, and limiting access to the internet via parental controls is probably a suitable genuine answer, but as per what I started with, you will know how to get round it and if your willpower isn't up to it, you will get around it somehow. The only way I can think to stop you reverting this is to ensure that you do not either run as, or have access to, an administrator account. Maybe you can try this, and see if there is someone who you trust with your admin password to restrict your access in this way for a short while to see if it helps you.

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