Fighting Game Addiction the Subliminal Way

Okay, so GP is a sucker for a gadget story…

The Korea Times reports on a company which claims to have developed an inaudible sound sequence that can be used to make obsessive online gamers step away from their PCs.

Yun Yun-hae, president of Xtive, told the Korea Times that the concept is based on subliminal messages:

We incorporated messages into an acoustic sound wave telling gamers to stop playing. The messages are told 10,000 to 20,000 times per second. Game users can’t recognize the sounds. But their subconscious is aware of them and the chances are high they will quit playing.

Korea is one of several countries where officials are concerned about online gaming addiction.  

Our newly developed sound sequence tells (adolescents) to stop playing on their own. We think this can make a real difference in the war against obsessive game play.

It appears that the Xtive audio sequence would need to be licensed by online game companies. Yun has plans to discuss the concept with Korean game companies as well as the government. He sees applications for the subliminal message system which extend beyond gaming.

Game companies can install a system, which delivers the inaudible sounds after it recognizes a young user has kept playing after a preset period of time… We can easily change the messages. In this sense, the potential for this technology is exponential.

Although its effectiveness remains unclear, subliminal advertising has been banned in several countries for decades.

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